Kia has released details of a raft of enhancements to the 2015 Cee’d and Pro_Cee’d range, set to go on sale in the UK in October. Subtly updated styling, a brand new 1.0-litre ‘ecoTurbo’ three-cylinder engine, a new dual-clutch autobox plus new cabin and safety tech will help it go head-to-head with the revised Hyundai i30 that shares the same platform.
Released in 2012, the Cee’d hatch and estate range has been overtaken by several newer competitors, including the Seat Leon, Mazda 3 and facelifted Ford Focus. In order to bring it back into line with rivals, Kia has modestly updated the exterior. The trademark ‘tiger nose’ remains but new sports mesh inserts and a reprofiled bumper featuring chrome headlight surrounds are added. Subtly tweaked rear bumpers combine with new LED rear lamps and alloy wheel designs to round off the outside changes.
The interior is similarly updated, with the same basic design refreshed with extra chrome highlights, gloss black dash materials and option colour packs to brighten things up. Kia also claims work has gone into improving NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) on the diesel model.
The biggest news is under the bonnet, where a brand-new 1.0 litre three-cylinder direct-injection ‘ecoTurbo’ petrol engine joins the segment-wide trend for downsizing. It comes in 98bhp or 118bhp form in the new Cee’d, with both producing the same 172Nm of torque from 1,500 to 4,000rpm. No efficiency specs have been revealed yet, but Kia promises large improvements in MPG and CO2.
The debut petrol engine will eventually find its way into other models in the range, such as the forthcoming new Sportage, Rio and Venga. The 1.6 CRDI diesel will remain, but is modified to improve efficiency meaning CO2 figures for the 108bhp version drop as low as 94g/km (when fitted with stop/start). The higher powered diesel also gets five more bhp and 20Nm more torque. The Cee’d will still be offered with the normally aspirated 1.4 and 1.6 GDI petrol units, too.
Other powertrain changes include the option of a seven-speed dual-clutch DCT autobox for the first time, available only on the 134bhp 1.6 CRDI diesel. It trumps the old torque-converter ‘box for efficiency, improving CO2 emissions by 36g/km to 109g/km. All other engines receive a six-speed manual gearbox.
New technology includes Kia’s latest 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system taken from the new Sorento, which receives updated graphics and menus, DAB radio capability and later in the year will be made compatible with TomTom Connected Services for life traffic updates and alert functions.
2015 Cee’d GT and GT-Line
A new GT-line trim is also available for the first time on the Cee’d and Pro-cee’d range. It brings several of the styling and suspension upgrades from the GT on lower-powered engines.
Alongside this, existing GT models receive the same updates as the standard hatch, with additional styling tweaks including new 18-inch alloys, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and extra chrome. The 201bhp 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine also gets small revisions, with Kia improving the turbo’s low-end response to shave 0.1 seconds off the 0-62mph time.
The GT also gets beefier brakes, with 20mm large front disc improving the 62-0mph stopping distance by 1.4 metres. There’s even a new switchable electronic sound generator in the cabin that aims to give the GT a sportier engine tone.
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