Ahead of the planned unveil set for the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, Kia have pulled the figurative wraps off their all-new Ceed (sans the apostrophe this time), known to certain markets (such as Australia) as the Cerato hatch.
Following the full reveal set for the South Korean automaker’s booth at the Swiss capital next month, the Cerato hatch is set to enter production with accelerated schedule. However, those Down Under will likely have to wait until further into the year for a local debut.
Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe, said: “Building on these solid foundations, the all-new Ceed offers a truly contemporary and recognisable design, and advanced technologies to enhance comfort, convenience and safety. Its new engines and suspension will make it more enjoyable and engaging to drive, and will continue to offer the same high quality that customers expect from Kia. This will be one of the most innovative cars in its class.”
We already have a clear idea what to expect from the Cerato sedan since made its inaugural appearance at this year’s Detroit Motor Show (as the Forte), so this new hatch bodystyle shouldn’t pose too high a degree of unfamiliarity. That said, just like the sedan, this new hatch sports some structural and cosmetic upgrades that should give it a good leg over the outgoing car, which has been with us since 2014.
It sits upon Kia’s new K2 platform and fills a footprint that’s both longer and wider than the older model despite sharing an identical wheelbase. On the outside, the styling cues of the flagship Stinger sports saloon are evident, and help the Cerato/Ceed display a more assertive, even aggressive presence on the road.
While the range is set to largely mirror the sedan, local examples of the hatch should see the return of the GT variant at the high end, powered by the same TGDi 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder found in the i30 SR and Elantra SR Turbo from Hyundai, mated to a dual-clutch automatic transmission
However, Kia is touting the smaller 1.4-litre turbo four-pot as well as the new ‘U3’ 1.6-litre diesel unit as being the most efficient options, and likely to make up the majority of global sales. Sadly, these motors, including the 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol running the efficient Atkinson combustion cycle, are unlikely to be offered here.
Inside, the Cerato hatch should be identical to the recently revealed Cerato sedan, with a cabin that can look quite premium given the right materials and tech options. An 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display dominates the upper portion of the centre stack, as has become the norm, while safety kit will likely include Autonomous Emergency Braking in all or most variants, along with Blind Spot Monitoring, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Lane Keep Assist.