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cee’d sown for an upgraded Kia

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K_5321Kia today unveils a major package of advancements to the entire European-designed, European-engineered and European-made cee’d family.

The revisions, which affect the five-door cee’d, three-door pro_cee’d, spacious cee’d Sportswagon and sporty cee’d GT and pro_cee’d GT, introduce new powertrains bringing major improvements in fuel consumption and emissions, modified chassis settings and styling and trim changes. There are also significant additions to electronic driver assistance features and connected car services.

First deliveries of the new cee’d family will be arriving in UK dealerships on October 1, priced from £14,905 (cee’d), £15,250 (pro_cee’d) and £16,750 (Sportswagon). The pro_cee’d GT is priced at £23,105 and the cee’d GT at £23,605.

New EcoTurbo petrol and CRDi diesel engines

The cee’d family becomes the first range of models to be available with Kia’s advanced new 1.0-litre ecoTurbo petrol engine as well as a new 1.6-litre CRDi diesel and seven-speed double-clutch (7-DCT) automatic gearbox.

The ecoTurboengine were revealed at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show and are eventually destined to be used in a number of models. They are three-cylinder units featuring direct fuel injection and turbocharging. There are two versions, delivering 98 or 118bhp, for the cee’d and pro_cee’d, while the Sportswagon is available with the higher-powered unit.

Both are 998cc engines developed in-house at Kia’s Namyang research and development facility in Korea, and have been engineered to require 10 to 15 per cent less fuel than the 1.4-litre multi-point injection or 1.6-litre GDi units in other versions of the cee’d family, with similar reductions in emissions. Depending on model, fuel economy is up to 57.6mpg, with CO2 emissions as low as 113g/km.

All three cee’d body styles are also available with a new 1.6-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine. This has increased power – up from 126 to 134bhp – with greater torque of 207lb ft in manual versions and 221ft lbs with the new 7-DCT gearbox. CO2 emissions are down by as much as 10g/km in manual versions and now start at just 94g/km. However, the greatest gains are seen when the CRDi engine is paired with the 7-speed DCT gearbox. Compared with the previous model with a conventional six-speed automatic transmission, emissions tumble by almost 25 per cent, from 145g/km to 109.

K_5365The 7-speed DCT gearbox was also developed in-house at Namyang and, with a maximum torque capacity of 221ft lbs, will be used in a wide range of models within the next few years. It offers buyers the smoothness and comfort of an automatic with the sportiness of a manual when the driver wishes to take control of gear changes.

GT-Line adds a sporty new look

For buyers who want the sporty styling and trim of the GT models, but with lower fuel, insurance and taxation costs, there is a new GT-Line trim package which also debuted at Geneva earlier this year. GT-Line is available with all three body styles powered by the higher-powered 1.0-litre T-GDi petrol engine and with the new 1.6-litre CRDi diesel.

GT-Line models are distinguished by a deep front bumper flanked by ice cube-style LED daytime running lights. These are housed in black high-gloss panels along with the foglights and daytime running lights. There is a unique black lower grille and a black high-gloss mesh main grille with a graphite chrome surround. This is complemented by an equally sporty rear bumper with a deeply recessed number-plate housing and dual exhausts, or twin tailpipes on the Sportswagon. The number plate and rear foglights are encased in high-gloss black panels. The rear lamps are full LED units. At the sides there are sill extensions (not Sportswagon) and bespoke five-double-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels. There is a ‘GT-Line’ identifier on the rear bodywork.

In the cabin, GT-Line models feature black cross-stitch upholstery with grey inserts. The driver and front passenger seats have power lumbar adjustment.  There is a sporty leather steering wheel with a perforated grip, and silver stitching, which is replicated on the gear shifter, back door centre trim and seats. There are also alloy pedals with rubber grip inserts and faux black leather door inserts. The navigation centre in the fascia console has a matt black finish and there is a high-gloss black console tray, air vent surrounds and door trims.

The highest level of driver aids and connectivity ever offered in the cee’d family

The 2016 cee’d family introduces a range of additional driver assistance and connectivity features. Depending on model, the cee’d is now available with a Speed Limit Information Function to reduce the risk of drivers falling foul of the law.

To help reduce accidents, Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert add to the already comprehensive passive and active safety systems. Blind Spot Detection gives the driver an extra pair of  ‘eyes’  when swapping lanes, while the Rear Cross Traffic Alert prevents the car from being reversed into the path of another vehicle when leaving end-on parking bays. A perpendicular parking function has been added to the Parallel Park Assist System which was available in the previous model. It can steer the car into or out of parallel parking spots and into perpendicular (90º) spaces.

K_5322The 2016 models feature the highest level of connectivity ever offered in the range through the latest Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom®. Via a stylish, modern-looking 7-inch central touchscreen, drivers gain access to European mapping, a Traffic Messaging Channel, full UK postcode entry and the choice of fast, short or economical route-planning, while TomTom Connected services provide additional and valuable driver information, including speed camera locations, live traffic updates and local search and weather details. The 7-inch touchscreen is linked to a colour reversing camera. A DAB radio with MP3 compatibility becomes standard.

A revised chassis with styling and trim changes

All versions of the cee’d family have modified fully independent suspension to improve comfort and handling. All-independent suspension has inherent advantages for ride and handling compared with the simple beam rear axle used by many cars in this class.

The range now features torque vectoring to minimise understeer in hard cornering by partially braking the inner front wheel. The Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS) has been retuned to be more linear and predictable in response to steering inputs, while the front wheel geometry has been adapted to improve on-centre feel. Revisions to the suspension improve comfort on poor surfaces by minimising vibrations and the rear anti-roll bar is now hollow rather than solid to reduce the transmission of road noise into the cabin.

All diesels feature additional noise-insulating material under the bonnet and in the cabin for greater refinement and reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).

The two GT models have sports-tuned suspension and now feature larger front brake discs, up from 16 inches in diameter to 17 inches, and stylish new 18-inch alloy wheels with 225/40ZR18 Michelin Sport tyres. The larger front brake discs help to shorten the stopping distance from 62mph from 36.4 metres to 35.2 metres.

New for the 2016 GT models is an electric sound generator which delivers an even more rich and exciting engine note into the cabin. When activated via a ‘GT’ button on the steering wheel, the traditional analogue speedometer changes to a digital numerical display showing turbo and torque gauges. The steering wheel has a new D-shaped rim and is trimmed in leather with perforated grips and red stitching.

K_5323A new illuminated aluminium engine start/stop button is fitted to all models with the Smart Entry System, while every version has a revised air vent system with a chrome surround to accentuate the width of the cabin, and additional chrome on the window switches.

There is a new oval-shaped grille mesh for all models except GT-Line and GT. This has a chrome surround on lower-series versions and a graphite chrome surround on all others. A newly designed front bumper is now common to all three cee’d body styles. It includes a horizontal lower section which links the front foglamp/daytime running lamp surrounds and a flatter grille, emphasising the wide stance of the car and presenting a sportier look. The foglight housing is in either matt or high-gloss black, depending on model, with matt black or chrome edging.

There is also a revised rear bumper for the five-door cee’d with more voluminous reflectors housed in high-gloss black panels (except the entry-level car) and LED lamp clusters for the majority of models. There are also stylish new 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels

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