This Unsuspecting Kia Compact Hybrid Wagon Might Open A Pandora’s Box Of Hybrid Wonders

Kia has finally embarked on creating hybrid systems for its popular hatchbacks. The Ceed Sportswagon PHEV should be the first one from the Ceed family to benefit from the new technology, and I am reporting on this because we have actually caught the Ceed Sportswagon PHEV testing in the wilderness. The Hyundai-Kia duo does wonders in the hybrid world right now. The Kona Plug-in hybrid prototypes roam the streets, and a few interesting production hybrids found their place in Hyundai and Kia showrooms. However, the unavoidable introduction of the Kia Ceed Sportswagon PHEV basically announces something very important - the coming of the Ceed hatchback hybrid and, far more importantly, the Sportage hybrid. Now, that will be really important. Yet, let’s start with the basics - the Ceed Sportswagon PHEV.


2020 Kia Ceed Sportswagon PHEV Exterior Spyshots
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The Kia Ceed Sportswagon PHEV won’t be any different compared to the standard Ceed Sportswagon in terms of the overall design. Heck, I am writing about the same car here, only with a hybrid. Yet, Kia will do some tricks to make it obvious that this is not just another Ceed Sportswagon.

The heavy camouflage on the prototype spotted in the Arctic circle shows that the front end and possibly some details in the back will be different compared to the standard Ceed Sportswagon.

I can only imagine aerodynamic features like the active (or completely closed) front grille and a nice diffuser in the back.


2018 Kia Ceed Interior
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Well, if you do want a tidy, nice, and honest interior, you cannot get much more than what the Kia Ceed offers.

The same goes for the Sportswagon as well. And I can only say that the Ceed Sportswagon PHEV will have exactly the same interior as the standard Ceed.

The only difference is that it will be drizzled with PHEV stuff like special software on the infotainment screen and a differently styled gear lever. Nothing major, mind you.

All in all, the Kia Ceed Sportswagon PHEV’s interior will be just the same as the Ceed Sportswagon interior. Basically, some kind of a knock off of the Audi A3 and the Mazda 3 interior only for a reasonable price. A really tidy setup I am telling you.


2020 Kia Ceed Sportswagon PHEV Exterior Spyshots
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As expected, the Ceed Sportswagon PHEV propulsion system will be basically the same as in the Niro hybrid.

In short, this will be a car powered by a 1.6-liter, naturally aspirated engine with 139 horsepower and a bit over 100 pound-feet of torque.

Add to this a 79-horsepower electric motor and you get something like 200+ horsepower. Thanks to a fairly large battery pack with 8.9-kWh of capacity, the Ceed Sportswagon promises to be quite raspy and happy. And, if we are to believe the official fuel consumption numbers from the Niro PHEV that returns an insane 180 mpg, the Ceed Sportswagon PHEV should be seriously efficient.

Now, a small disclaimer. That 180-mpg number (1.3 l/100 kilometers) was achieved with the NDEC test. That’s an outdated Euro test for fuel consumption that actually makes it possible for manufacturers to achieve such incredible results. In reality, personally, I expect the Ceed Sportswagon to return 40 mpg (that’s good too).

Apart from the Ceed Sportswagon PHEV, we may even see yet another Ceed hybrid - a mild-hybrid at that. Michael Cole, Kia’s Chief Operating Officer for Europe, hinted at it some time ago. It will be the first Kia with a 48-volt electric system too. I kinda want to see it ASAP.

2020 Kia Ceed Sportswagon PHEV Exterior Spyshots
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So, what does this mean for the freaking Kia Forte that we have in the U.S.?

Right now, no one actually knows, but back in 2010 Kia actually showed the Forte Hybrid at the SEMA motor show. It was powered by a 1.6-liter engine that runs on liquified petroleum and was assisted by a lithium polymer battery pack.

We wrote about it, because why not!

When all said and done, if Kia installs hybrid tech in all versions of the Ceed, we can definitely expect it here as a Forte sometime in the future. If gas prices go up again, that is!


2020 Kia Ceed Sportswagon PHEV Exterior Spyshots
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In Germany, the Kia Ceed Sportswagon starts somewhere at $20,000 (for the one with 100 horsepower). If you want a really, really nice one with a 140 horsepower engine and a lot of gear, be ready to churn out up to $38,000. Yup, I am speaking USD here and 38 grand for a freaking Forte is insane, but Europe is a really strange place, so that’s that. I can only imagine that, in Germany, the price for the Kia Ceed Sportswagon would touch $40,000.

The U.S., however, is a completely different playground. The Niro PHEV starts at $28,500. The hypothetical Forte hybrid would be somewhere in that vicinity as well.


Toyota Auris Touring Sports Hybrid (it is a Corolla Hatchback wagon basically)

2015 Toyota Auris High Resolution Exterior
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Toyota has been into hybrids for ages, and the most direct imaginable competitor to the alleged Kia Ceed Sportswagon PHEV could just be it. Only, the Auris Touring Sports Hybrid is seriously underpowered with combined 136 horsepower compared with the upcoming Kia Ceed Sportswagon PHEV.

Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota Auris Touring Sports Hybrid

Volkswagen Golf GTE

2017 Volkswagen Golf GTE High Resolution Exterior
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Only if it were available in the Variant (that’s SportWagen for the U.S.) guise, but it is not. This one actually has a 150 horsepower gasoline engine helped by a 102 horsepower electric motor for a combined output of 204 horsepower. And yes, it is a plug-in hybrid. There isn’t a production wagon, though. Only the concept guise.

Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTE


2020 Kia Ceed Sportswagon PHEV Exterior Spyshots
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Public reveal of the new Kia Ceed Sportswagon PHEV is likely to happen at the IAA in Frankfurt in September this year. That could set the stage for a number of awesome new hybrid cars from Kia. The hatch could follow, the same hybrid system could land in that cool ProCeed and even eventually reach the Sportage and the Forte in the US.

All in all, a spy shot of the Kia Ceed Sportswagon PHEV taken somewhere in the Arctic Circle deviously hides the Kia PHEV’s intentions for the future. Although really humble, this compact Sportswagon shows incredible possibilities. For now, we know that it will come from the Kia’s plant in Slovakia. Everything else is open to interpretation.

  • Leave it
    • Out of reach expensive
    • Toyota is its competitor

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
- image 731391

Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Proceed Concept.

2018 Kia Ceed Exterior
- image 768764

Read our full review on the 2018 Kia Ceed.

2020 Kia Ceed Crossover Exterior Spyshots
- image 807908

Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Kia Ceed Crossover.

It’s not just the Hyundai Kona that’s around testing as a plug-in hybrid in the cold right now, we also spied the Kia Ceed Sportswagon PHEV out testing for the first time.

On an interview earlier 2018, a Kia manager mentioned that the Ceed plug-in will share the same Plug-in Hybrid powertrain as the Niro PHEV and is scheduled to go on sale “in the second half of 2019” in wagon form and now Kia has started testing the car in the low temperatures around the Arctic Circle.

With a 139bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to a 59kW electric motor and 8.4kWh battery pack, a Ceed estate with the same powertrain should match, or even beat, the Niro’s 29g/km of CO2 and 217mpg of the outgoing NEDC economy standard.

The design of the new Ceed SW PHEV will probably share a similar front end compared to the normal Ceed. We are basically only expecting a slightly different grille and minor detail changes. The camouflage up front doesn’t really show that a charging port is hidden there so we actually think its hidden in the left front fender.

This were the words by Kia Motors Europe Marketing chief, Artur Martins, who mentioned the wagon will be the first to come and other body-types could follow. “We are going to introduce it for the wagon, and then decide if it makes sense on other body-types.” Having a car like the Toyota Corolla with an hybrid option & hatchback configuration, we bet that Kia will at least, launch a variant for the 5-door model.

The optional LED headlights, tail lights and the LEDs daytime running lights X-type looks the same as the normal Ceed but this could still change before its time for an debut.

Production will be localised at Kia’s Slovakia plant, the first Kia plug-in hybrid vehicle to be built in Europe.

The public debut could be at the IAA in Frankfurt during September but an earlier internet reveal is also possible.

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