Kia has revealed the third generation of its Euro-focused C-segment hatchback ahead of its Geneva Motor Show debut in March and like its Hyundai i30 cousin, the Korean looks to be a far more formidable challenger to the Golf throne.

The new Ceed - previously known as the cee’d - is not just more grammatically correct, it also brings new technologies to the Kia fold, including level two autonomy, and introduces a new turbo engine option.

Designed in Germany and built in Slovakia, the lower, longer and wider third-gen Ceed is initially being introduced as a five-door hatchback, but a second bodystyle (almost certainly a sporty wagon inspired by last year's Proceed Concept) will make its debut at the Geneva show.

But is it coming to South Africa this time around? 

Kia SA says that at this stage there's no indication of whether the new Ceed will be made available to “general markets” outside of Europe, but if it is, the importer will certainly consider a local introduction if it can position the car competitively. 

Theoretically it would replace the Cerato hatchback, living in harmony with (and alongside) the new Cerato sedan.

Now let's take a peek inside the new Ceed:

The interior layout resembles that of the latest Rio with the central command centre being a ‘floating’ touch screen, which in this case is sized between 12.7 and 17.8 centimetres depending on the variant. 

In keeping with its Golf-rivalling ambitions, the new cabin employs more soft-touch surfaces and there are some new high-end optional gadgets, including a JBL Premium sound system and Kia’s Lane Following Assist. This ‘Level Two’ semi-autonomous driving feature provides acceleration, braking and steering assistance, allowing the car to track a vehicle in front at speeds of up to 130km/h.

Although the latter is optional, Kia has packed in a fair amont of standard driver assistance gadgetry, including Lane Keeping Assist, Forward Collision Warning with Collision-Avoidance Assist, High Beam Assist and Driver Attention Warning.

The Ceed rides on a new fully-independent suspension system that was engineered “exclusively” for European roads. 

Topping the engine range for now is a new ‘Kappa’ 1.4-litre turbopetrol engine rated at 103kW and European buyers can also opt for a revised version of Hyundai’s 1-litre turbo triple, with 88kW, a normally aspirated 1.4 or an all-new 1.6-litre turbodiesel with either 85kW or 100kW.

IOL Motoring