Kia will soon launch an all-new high-riding crossover model based on its Ceed hatchback and, thanks to the first batch of spy photos showing a camouflaged prototype, we can start to tell you what it’s going to be like. The plan for this model is to slot in between the Stonic and Sportage in the Kia range, although judging by its overall shape it looks like a more hatchback-like crossover (like the Stonic) and not a more SUV-like model such as the larger Sportage. There’s definitely a new Kia Ceed look about this as of yet unnamed model, although it does look quite a bit higher than the regular hatch model. The automaker really wanted us not to see the details, so it covered the front and rear fascias with especially heavy camouflage that doesn’t really allow us to see anything.

We can, however, spot that it will have a similar face to the Ceed (the latest Kia family face), complete with headlights and grille that look similar to those of the hatch.

This model will go up against models such as the Ford Focus Active or Subaru Crosstrek (also known as the XV), some of which have all-wheel drive, others not - in this example, for instance, the Subaru has it as standard, while the Ford doesn’t get it at all and the big question with this Ceed crossover is whether or not it will be offered as an option; it definitely won’t have standard all-wheel drive like the Subaru, that’s for sure.

2020 Kia Ceed Crossover Exterior

2020 Kia Ceed Crossover Exterior Spyshots
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While we can see the shape of the headlights is definitely in line with that of the new Ceed, as well as the shape of the “tiger nose” grille, we can’t say much more about the rest of the front fascia due to the type of camouflage Kia chose to cover this prototype with.

But don’t expect it to be too much of a departure from the look of the Ceed model, just a taller version of it with slightly different details.

Moving to the side, we can spot the belt line and shape of the side windows and it’s here where this new crossover model differs from the Ceed. The side window shape is completely different and if you look more closely so too is the shape of the greenhouse; the prototype spotted also had silver roof rails to add to its visual ruggedness.

2020 Kia Ceed Crossover Exterior Spyshots
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The back is completely hidden away from prying eyes by thick camo that reveals very little. We can, however, see that the rear light clusters are quite high-set, and to us this means the rear end design of this raised model could be very similar to that of the ProCeed special estate model.

The roofline may very well start going down dramatically at the point where the camouflage starts on this prototype.

If this is the case, the vehicle will look a bit like a fastback when viewed from a rear three-quarter view - again, this could point to a ProCeed-esque rear end design.

The window line doesn’t look like that of the Ceed hatchback and it is instead closer to the smaller Stonic model. However, we believe that the Ceed crossover will not look as upright as the Stonic, and adopt a sportier, more planted look instead, based on what we can make out from this mostly hidden prototype.

2020 Kia Ceed Crossover Interior

2018 Kia Ceed Interior
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Inside the Ceed crossover, Kia will probably install a very similar interior to that of the hatchback.

Another route would be to advance the design of the Stonic’s interior and also bring it a bit upmarket - the Stonic and Ceed have similar interiors, but the crossover model has a chunkier, more rugged feel and Kia will probably want to retain this for the Ceed crossover as well.

Overall, this means the interior will be quite conservative, but build quality will be on par with the Ceed hatch and that’s really good because the Ceed has one of the best screwed together interiors in the segment, complete with decent swathes of soft-touch plastics and a nice expensive-feeling buttons and controls that are nicely damped just like in premium cars.

The Ceed hatch falls just short of the top of the class when it comes to perceived quality, as it can’t match the rock-solid VW Golf. However, one of the Ceed crossover’s rivals from VW will be the T-Roc and that is unlike all other modern VW products (from that size segment or larger) that doesn’t have any soft plastics anywhere inside - so against the T-Roc, the car which could have kept it from reaching the top of the class in terms of quality feel, it looks like it could come out ahead.

2018 Kia Ceed Interior
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Base models will come with a 7- or 8-inch infotainment screen which will probably look just as tacked on to the top of the dash as it does in the Ceed hatch.

But aside from maybe not looking as good as it could, the upside is you don’t have to look down to operate it like you do in some rivals - this is a safety feature as it takes you less time to move your focus from the road to the screen and back.

The screen itself is responsive on both screen choices and the menu structure in recent Kia models has been improving - the Korean automaker now offers one of the better thought out infotainment operating systems in the segment. It comes complete with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay mirroring capability, even on cars equipped with the smaller screen.

Kia has also bucked the trend of reducing the number of buttons on the center console to an extreme amount - it’s not cluttered, but at the same time there are buttons for all functions you want to access regularly, like the climate control and volume.

2020 Kia Ceed Crossover Drivetrain

2018 Kia Ceed Drivetrain
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Under the hood of the Ceed crossover we won’t find anything other than the regular Ceed’s range of engines and transmissions. It will probably skip the weedy 1.4-liter 100 metric horsepower four-cylinder, the weakest engine you can get on a Ceed, and the crossover’s base engine will probably be the 1.0-liter T-GDI turbo with 120 metric horsepower and 172 Nm / 126 pound-feet of torque.

This smallest turbo engine will probably only be mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, while the larger 1.4-liter T-GDI will allow for a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic option.

The larger engine makes 140 metric horsepower and 242 Nm / 178 pound-feet of torque.

2020 Kia Ceed Crossover Exterior Spyshots
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The top engine choice will probably the the turbocharged 1.6-liter T-GDI with 180 metric horsepower and 265 Nm / 195 pound-feet of torque. In the larger Sportage, this engine is available with either a manual or the dual-clutch automatic, as well as optional all-wheel drive.

Regarding all-wheel drive, Kia has not mentioned if this Ceed crossover will get it or not, but since most rivals do offer it on higher trim level models, it could make an appearance here as well.

Some rivals in the segment, however, like the Ford Focus Active don’t have all-wheel drive on any version.

Only one diesel engine is expected to be offered, Kia’s 1.6-liter CRDI with either 115 or 136 metric horsepower and, quite interestingly, whichever one you go for, you get the same 280 Nm / 206 pound-feet of torque in manual cars and 300 Nm / 221 pound-feet in cars equipped with the dual-clutch automatic.

2020 Kia Ceed Crossover Prices

2020 Kia Ceed Crossover Exterior Spyshots
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In Europe, Kia will probably price the Ceed crossover somewhere in between the Stonic and Sportage, or from around €15,500. For a top of the range model with all-wheel drive (if it is offered) could cost around €25,000.


Subaru XV/Crosstrek

2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Exterior
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Subaru has an all-new XV/Crosstrek to do battle in the compact crossover segment, a segment that’s hotly contested right now by all the major brands. Subaru’s entrant looks very good in its latest generation (much better than the car it replaces) and it features an improved interior over its predecessor as well as much more extra tech.

Being a Subaru, it is only available with permanent, symmetrical all-wheel drive which means the XV/Crosstrek has no problem in lower grip conditions or off the beaten path. The all-wheel drive is one of this model’s party tricks, but at the same time it doesn’t handle as well on the road as some rivals and it’s not especially fast to get going either - oh, and the only automatic option is a continuously variable transmission which is good as far as CVTs go, but some people may not like the way it feels and it could be a deal breaker.

Read our full review on the 2018 Subaru XV/Crosstrek

Renault Kadjar

2015 Renault Kadjar High Resolution Exterior
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While it may simply be a sister model to the hugely popular Qashqai from Nissan, the Renault Kadjar adds more style and chic into the mix. It looks much better in person compared to the Nissan and its interior also gets a touch of extra class over the Qashqai.

It has a wide range of gasoline and diesel engines, as well as manual and dual-clutch automatic transmission options. It also drives surprisingly well, rewarding the driver with its good steering and decent body control, and all-wheel-drive models feel especially surefooted, even when hustling on a twisty road.

Read our full review on the Renault Kadjar

Peugeot 3008

2017 Peugeot 3008 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Few (if any) crossovers in this class can match the daring Peugeot 3008 for sheer style. It looks really good both inside and out and it has a whiff of the future about it. Nothing else on the road looks like it, and while it’s not as capable as it is rakish, it’s really about as good as you’d expect a vehicle in this class to be.

It has unexpectedly sharp steering and quite a tight, planted feel on the move. You do sit quite high in the 3008, but it doesn’t really feel that top heavy, and there’s also plenty of room inside for up to five people and their bags.

But frankly, the 3008 just looks so different (and also not bad at the same time) that it’s really worth buying based on style alone. The fact that it’s also a decent, practical car is a bonus on top of that.

Read our full review on the 2018 Peugeot 3008


2020 Kia Ceed Crossover Exterior Spyshots
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Kia had a niche in its crossover range that had not been filled but now it’s being filled by the as of yet unnamed Ceed crossover. It’s a vehicle that will probably blend the look of the Stonic with the Ceed hatch and feature an interior very close to the latter.

It may or may not offer all-wheel drive, but it will probably stand out with a clean, unfussy yet slightly aggressive exterior look, a high quality interior lush with soft-touch plastic, excellent levels of equipment and the famous Kia warranty. There’s not going to be anything revolutionary about it, but it’s a model Kia needs to complete its range.

  • Leave it
    • Yet another model created to fill a gap in a range
    • Nothing revolutionary or particularly special about it

Further reading

2019 Kia Ceed GT Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Kia Ceed GT.

2019 Kia ProCeed Exterior
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Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Kia ProCeed.

2017 Kia Proceed Concept High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Proceed Concept.

2018 Kia Ceed Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Kia Ceed.

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