Kia Ceed

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Kia Ceed
2018 Kia Ceed First Edition 1.4 Front.jpg
ManufacturerKia Motors
AssemblyŽilina, Slovakia (Žilina Plant)
Body and chassis
ClassCompact car (C)
Body style3-door hatchback (pro_cee'd) (2006-2018)
5-door hatchback
5-door station wagon (Ceed SW)
5-door shooting brake (Proceed) (2018-present)
5-door crossover SUV (XCeed) (2018-present)
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
PredecessorKia Spectra
Kia Cerato

The Kia Ceed (styled as CEED; known as the Kia Cee'd before 2018) is a compact car produced by the South Korean manufacturer Kia Motors since 2006, exclusively for the European market. It was released in December 2006, superseding the Kia Spectra and is available as a three-door hatchback (Pro Cee'd), a five-door hatchback and a five-door station wagon (Cee'd SW), with a choice of four engines (two gasoline and two diesel), five trim levels (1, 2, 3, 4 and 4 Tech – previously S, GS, LS and SR) and either manual or automatic transmission.

The Cee'd is Kia's first European-designed and built car and Kia intends to sell and manufacture the car exclusively in Europe. To mark the occasion, Kia took the initials of the European Economic Community, EEC or CEE in some places and added ED for European Design. Realizing that "CEEED" had too many ‘E's, they replaced the last 'E' with an apostrophe, with "Cee'd" being the end result. The new Ceed's name, unveiled in 2018, does not include an apostrophe anymore. The initials now mean "Community of Europe, with European Design".[1]

First generation (ED; 2006–2012)[edit]

First generation (ED)
2008 Kia Cee'd SR-7 1.6 Front.jpg
Pre-facelift Kia Cee'd (front)
ManufacturerKia Motors
approx. 646.300 units produced
DesignerGregory Guillaume
Miklós Kovács
Body and chassis
Body style3-door hatchback (Pro Cee'd)
5-door hatchback
5-door station wagon (Cee'd SW)
RelatedHyundai Elantra
Hyundai i30
Kia Forte

The Cee'd was designed in Frankfurt, Germany, with Miklós Kovács leading the design team.[2] while the Concept Car was designed by Pontus Fontaeus. Cars are manufactured in the Kia factory in Teplička nad Váhom, Slovakia.[3]

As of 2010, the Cee'd received Kia's new corporate grille, known as the Tiger Nose.


The Kia Cee'd earned a Euro NCAP 5 star safety rating for adult occupants for the pre 2009 model.[4] It is also fitted with six airbags (including curtain airbags) as standard even in countries like Ukraine where safety options were usually stripped in comparison with other countries.[citation needed]

  • Adult Occupants 5/5 stars score – 34
  • Child Occupants 4/5 stars score – 37
  • Pedestrians 2/4 stars score – 11

The Euro NCAP results also showed that the dashboard can become a threat to the driver and passenger's knees in the event of a front collision, despite having 6 airbags in the car and the Cee'd also scored the maximum available points for the side impact and pole tests.[citation needed]

Second generation (JD; 2012–2018)[edit]

Second generation (JD)
Kia cee'd 1.6 CRDi 128 Vision (EU) – Frontansicht, 9. Juni 2012, Düsseldorf.jpg
Pre-facelift Kia Cee'd (front)
ManufacturerKia Motors
approx. 647,700 units produced
DesignerPeter Schreyer
Body and chassis
Body style3-door hatchback (Pro Cee'd)
5-door hatchback
5-door station wagon (Cee'd SW)
RelatedHyundai Elantra
Hyundai i30
Kia Forte

Making its worldwide premiere at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show is the all-new second-generation Cee'd (with the internal code JD) which is claimed to be more sophisticated, efficient, refined, better equipped and with a more engaging driving experience than the first generation. The second-generation Cee'd is, however, significantly more expensive than the first generation and moves the Cee'd out of the "budget" market as noted by independent reviewers such as Honest John.[5] The new Cee'd is expected to build on the success of the original model. With the new Cee'd, came Kia's first attempt of a hot hatch with the Pro Cee'd GT.[citation needed]

First shown in June 2015, a facelifted model of the Cee'd went on sale in September of the same year.

Pro_Cee'd GT and Cee'd GT[edit]

Kia Pro_Cee'd GT (front)
Kia Pro_Cee'd GT (rear)

On July 1, 2013, Kia released the Pro_Cee'd GT; a 5-door Cee'd GT was released January 2014. The Pro_Cee'd GT is the company's first performance oriented car and the first European style "hot hatch" to come from a Korean manufacturer.[6] The GT models are a sign of Kia's growing confidence in Europe,[7] and act as a halo model for the rest of the range. It is also the first Kia sold in the UK with a turbo-charged petrol engine.[citation needed]

The Pro_Cee'd GT uses a variant of the Kia/Hyundai T-GDi Gamma Engine. The engine in the Pro_Cee'd GT is the same as that used in the American market Hyundai Veloster Turbo, but different gear ratios and more aggressive suspension have been used.[citation needed] The torque has also been increased to 265 N⋅m (195 lb⋅ft); though, where the standard T-GDi engine has all of its torque available between 1750 and 4500 rpm, the engine as used in the Pro_Cee'd GT has been altered slightly, having its full torque available between 1750 and 4600 rpm. The engine propels the car from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 7.4 seconds,[8] 0.4 seconds faster than the Veloster Turbo with the same engine (albeit a with a lower tune).[citation needed]

The suspension in the GT has been modified over the standard Pro_Cee'd, giving a far more agile and sporting ride. As too has the steering, being more responsive and engaging, though it also comes without Kia's "FlexSteer" system, meaning drivers will not be able to choose a different steering mode (of which there are three: Comfort, Normal and Sport).[citation needed]

The styling of the car has been well received. The lines and body panels of the standard Pro_Cee'd have remained on the GT, but a body kit has been fitted to give the car a more muscular stance. The rear bumper now includes a splitter and twin exhausts, whilst the front introduces a large air intake with red pinstripe, a gloss black grille with silver GT badge and distinctive LED "Ice Cube" daytime running lights—side skirts are also fitted. The car runs on 18" Alloy Wheels over the standard car's 17" wheels. The interior gains red accents including an overstitched GT badge on the bottom of the steering wheel, as well as Leather and Suede Recaro sports racing bucket seats and TFT instrument dial, allowing the driver to switch between an analogue speedometer and digital readout with boost pressure and torque meters.[citation needed]

The car has also received praise for its impressive grip, handling and real world performance, along with its low asking price despite very high levels of standard equipment and excellent interior build quality and comfort. Its ability to remain comfortable and composed when driving in normal traffic despite its sporting pretences has also been praised—Top Gear UK[6] stating that it is much easier to live with in day to day situations unlike its competitors, citing the Megane 265 as an example, calling it a "Steroidal Bugger to live with" in comparison to the far more forgiving ride of the Pro_Cee'd GT. The British television show Fifth Gear (Series 23, Episode 11) compared the Pro_Cee'd GT very favourably to the Megane 265, claiming that although it lacks the outright power of the Megane, it was "still quick" and its chassis balance and control were both matching the Renault in corners. The online review Series CarThrottle also gave the Pro_Cee'd GT a very high score; praising its looks and grip, complimenting how fun it was to drive on the limit and calling it "one of the best budget all-rounders money can buy".[9]

The Pro_Cee'd GT, however, has met with some criticisms,[7][10][11] mostly pertaining to its speed and fuel economy. Other C-Segment hot hatches, such as the Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen Golf GTI, use 2.0L petrol engines where the GT only uses a 1.6L unit, making the car a full second slower to 60 as compared to other rivals. The engine is also somewhat inefficient given its size—emitting 171g/km CO2 and only averaging 38.2mpg on the EU Combined Cycle. This is the same average fuel economy as the more powerful 2.0L engine present in the 2013 Ford Focus ST, meaning the GT may be expensive for some drivers to run if driven hard. However, the Pro_Cee'd GT starts at £19,995—making it £5,890 cheaper than a basic Golf GTi[12] and £2,000 less than an equivalent spec Ford Focus ST 1,[13] with the Tech model being £2,500 less than the equivalent Focus ST 2 (prices correct at time of writing).[citation needed]

Third generation (CD; 2018–present)[edit]

Third generation (CD)
2018 Kia Ceed First Edition ISG 1.3 Front.jpg
ManufacturerKia Motors
DesignerPeter Schreyer
Body and chassis
Body style5-door hatchback
5-door station wagon (Ceed SW)
5-door shooting brake (Proceed)
5-door crossover SUV (XCeed)
RelatedHyundai Elantra
Hyundai i30
Kia Forte/Cerato/K3

The third-generation Ceed was announced in February 2018 and revealed ahead of the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. The estate version was announced in March and officially revealed at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. The production of the hatchback started in May 2018 and the car became available in June. The production of the estate version started in summer 2018.


The Cee'd became Kia's best selling European model in the first few years following its launch, strongly outperforming sales of its predecessor, the Cerato—and the previous best selling model, the Picanto—with sales of between 90,000 and 150,000 units per year.[14][15] Sales benefited from the innovative seven years' warranty—the first such warranty ever to be offered on any vehicle marketed in Europe.[16]


Kia Pro_cee'd Concept
Kia Pro_cee'd

At the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show, Kia unveiled the Pro_Cee'd, The Show Car designed by Pontus Fontaeus, and began marketing the model in January 2008. The Pro_Cee'd is mechanically identical to the 5-door model but many body panels (sans the bonnet and front-wings) are new and do not carry over from the 5-door model. The first-generation Pro_Cee'd was often compared to the Audi A3 in terms of its appearance,[17] Auto Express calling it a "bargain Audi A3".[18]

In 2013, Kia released the second-generation Pro_Cee'd. Unlike the previous generation, this car shares no body panels with the 5-door model. The new Pro_Cee'd has been continually praised in reviews for its looks, with a more coupé-like appearance, more sporting stance, lower suspension (by 40 mm) and a smaller front grille.[19][20] The car has, however, gained some criticism; it excels at comfort and refinement like the standard Cee'd, but its suspension and steering are not considered at all sporty, its setup favouring the aforementioned comfort.

Kia Ex_cee'd
Kia Ex_cee'd Concept

Kia's Ex_cee'd cabriolet concept car premiered at the 77th Salon de l'Automobile de Geneve in 2007 and was designed by Pontus Fontaeus. Based on the three-door Cee'd hatchback (Pro_cee'd), the Ex_cee'd shares the same platform, but features different exterior panels and an electric folding fabric roof.

Kia Eco_cee'd

Kia revealed a concept of its Pro_cee'd line, with improved aerodynamics and mild hybrid engine tuning to their diesel engine, under the name "Eco_cee'd". The concept models were fitted with ISG (Idle Stop&Go) and regenerative braking.[21]

Hybrid version

Kia previewed a hybrid Cee'd concept at the 2008 Paris Auto Show,[22] and operates an evaluation fleet of[clarification needed] in Europe[23]—with the hybrid models featuring an electric motor, powered by a high-voltage battery mounted behind the rear seats.[24]


On 27 June 2010, the Kia Cee'd was revealed as the new reasonably priced car for the "Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car" segment of the top-rated UK television programme Top Gear, where presenter Jeremy Clarkson incorrectly pronounces the name as "Cee-apostrophe-d" and describes it as "the only car with an apostrophe in its name."[25] The version used had a kerb weight upwards of 1,263 kg,[26] and was priced at £13,930 (US$22,873).[27] The car was eventually replaced in Series 20 by a Vauxhall Astra Tech Line. Top Gear dented several Cee'ds in a game of car rugby in 2013.[28]


The Kia Cee'd has been homologated for TCR-specification series and is manufactured and supplied by Austrian company STARD.[29] Kia will run a factory-supported team in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship in 2017.

The Pro Cee'd serves as an official safety car in Poland's Kia Lotos Race, a racing organization created by Kia Motors Polska and Grupa Lotos.[30]

Outside Europe[edit]

The Cee'd is currently available only in European markets (as the Kia Forte, already sold outside Europe would then be in direct competition with the Cee'd) and in Israel and South Africa, where it was imported in August 2009.

In 2014, the Pro_Cee'd GT is being sold in Israel, Australia and New Zealand. In 2015, Kia Australia announced that the Pro_Cee'd GT will no longer be offered in 2016, registering just 746 units over the two years on-sale. Grey imports were being seen on the roads of Iran and in Tunisia.


  • Auto Express – New Car Honours – Special Honour for seven-year warranty[31]
  • Autocar – 'Idea of the Year' for Cee'd seven-year warranty[31]
  • What Diesel Car? – Hatchback of the year[31]
  • Towcar awards 2007[31]
  • Camping Fritid (Danish Camping magazine, from DCU) – Camping car of the year 2007
  • UK survey, Cee'd ranked in first place in the Driver Power's Compact Family category to beat out Volkswagen, Toyota, Fiat and other notable competitors in the segment. Driver Power is Auto Express's car owner reliability and satisfaction survey which presents the frank and honest views of drivers in the UK.[32]
  • Top Gear named it runner up in their car of the year award for 2009 (broadcast 3 January 2010). They then named it as their new "reasonably priced car" from series 15 to series 20.
  • German auto magazine ACE Lenkrad, Kia Cee'd surpassed the Toyota Auris and the Volkswagen Golf.[33]
  • German auto magazine Autobild, Cee'd was rated higher than the Toyota Auris, Citroen C4 and Honda Civic.[34]
  • Austria auto magazine Autotouring (2007.4), Cee'd was rated above Toyota Auris, Volkswagen Golf, Mazda 3.[35]
  • Danish auto magazine Motor, Kia Cee'd is the first car to ever earn the 6-out-of-6 rating.
  • Swedish magazine Vi Bilägare found in the yearly long-distance test (one year, 40 000 km) that Kia Cee´d had the highest second-hand value among all cars the magazine had tested through the years.
  • German car magazine Autobild tested the Kia Cee'd during 100,000 km. Just a few flaws, ranked as high.[36]
  • France's motoring publication L'Automobile Magazine, The Kia Cee'd won a 2009 quality/reliability survey in the compact-car category.[37]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Robin Marshall (2007-04-19). "Kia plants a Hungarian cee'd" (PDF). The Budapest Sun. Retrieved 2008-05-20.[dead link]
  3. ^ "Kia Motors Slovakia celebrates its 10th anniversary". SME. 8 June 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  4. ^ "For safer cars | Kia Cee'd". Euro NCAP. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
  5. ^ "KIA Cee'd 2012 - Car Review - Honest John". 16 January 2015.
  6. ^ a b Top Gear. "First drive: Kia pro_cee'd GT". BBC Top Gear.
  7. ^ a b Leo Wilkinson (28 June 2013). "Kia Pro Cee'd GT review".
  8. ^ "Kia pro_cee'd GT - Technical Specification - Kia Motors UK".
  9. ^ "Kia's Pro Cee'd GT Is A Sexy Warm Hatch You Shouldn't Ignore". YouTube.
  10. ^ Matt Burt. "Kia Procee'd GT first drive".
  11. ^ "Kia Pro_cee'd GT - Auto Express". Auto Express.
  12. ^ "Golf GTI / GTE / GTD / R : Volkswagen UK".
  13. ^ "Ford".
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  15. ^ Kia global sales announcements for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
  16. ^ "'New-look' for best-selling Kia cee'd range". Kia Media Site. 10 August 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  17. ^ Roosevelt Joseph (29 February 2008). "Kia pro_cee'd: Wheels of desire".
  18. ^ Hilton Holloway. "Kia Procee'd Review - Autocar".
  19. ^ "Kia Pro_cee'd Review - Auto Express". Auto Express.
  20. ^ Top Gear. "Car review: Kia Proceed 1.6 GDI S driven - road test - BBC Top Gear". BBC Top Gear.
  21. ^ "2008 Kia ECO ceed". ZerCustoms. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
  22. ^ "Kia Debuts Cee'd and Soul Hybrid Concepts in Paris". Worldcarfans. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
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  24. ^ "Car reviews | Kia cee'd hybrid | Kia sows hybrid cee'd | by Car Enthusiast". 2008-09-18. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
  25. ^ Our Guide to the Top Gear Track - Top Gear
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  27. ^ Beissmann, Tim (2010-06-29). "Kia cee'd Top Gear's new Reasonably Priced Car | Car Advice | Reviews". Car Advice. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
  28. ^ "Car rugby part 1/2 (Series 19, Episode 4)". Top Gear. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  29. ^ "STARD officially unveils K:Force Kia Cee'd TCR". Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  30. ^ "Kia Lotos Race". Kia Motors Polska. Retrieved 2017-05-25.
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  32. ^ "24 HOUR NEWS CHANNEL ::::::::::::::::::::: YTN (와이티엔)". 2009-04-15. Retrieved 2009-08-01.[permanent dead link]
  33. ^ Updated July.3,2007 11:24 KST (2007-07-03). "Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition) : Daily News in English About Korea". Archived from the original on July 26, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
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  35. ^ "auto touring". Archived from the original on 2009-07-26. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
  36. ^ Der cee'd ist garantiert solide(in German)AUTO BILD 2009
  37. ^ Kia Cee’d wins French reliability survey Archived 2012-09-19 at 2009-04-02. SAMAR

External links[edit]