The Kia Cee’d is dead. Long live the Kia Ceed. Kia has pulled the curtain off its third-generation European hatchback prior to its debut next month at the Geneva auto show. Along with a new chassis and improved styling, the compact car drops the apostrophe from its name.
Like the Forte sedan that made its debut in January at the Detroit auto show, the new Ceed features the brand’s latest styling, which includes a slim “tiger nose” grille and “ice cube” LED daytime running lights integrated into the headlights. Behind the mean-looking mug is a hatchback body that boasts a longer rear overhang and LED taillights.
Inside, the Ceed features a standard 5.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display that stands proud of the dash and is angled toward the driver. Both 7.0- and 8.0-inch touchscreens are optionally available. Whereas the Ceed’s exterior shares many of its design details with the Forte sedan, the hatchback’s interior is very much its own entity.
Despite its interior differences, we’d wager the new Ceed will eventually make its way to our shores as the next Forte5, a model that a Kia spokesperson told us “continues to be an important part of [Kia’s] lineup.”
Unlike the Ceed, which is assembled in Kia’s Slovakia plant and offers a range of gas and diesel engine, the next-generation Forte5 will almost certainly be built at the same Monterrey, Mexico, factory as its sedan counterpart. Expect the sedan’s 147-hp 2.0-liter inline-four and continuously variable transmission to power the all but inevitable next-generation Forte5 hatchback. Still, we’d be delighted if the Ceed’s 138-hp turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four and six-speed manual transmission, as well as the optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, found its way under the hood of the North American–spec car.
Of course, it’s possible this handsome-looking hatch will stay put in Europe and the next Forte5 will take on completely different styling. We hope that isn’t the case, though, because we like what we see in the Ceed.