Luckily, Kia says the price will remain affordable in the hatch, which has been seen being driven around the Top Gear track by a string of A-list celebrities and F1 drivers.
However, some things have changed for 2012 with new, more frugal engines lowering running costs, a new exterior design and a move upmarket for the interior.
Kia says the new model is a ‘further leap forward for the brand in terms of capability and sophistication’ and has confirmed it will go on sale at Kia UK dealerships in time for summer 2012.
The key changes for the Kia Cee’d include a new design taking its cues from attractive new Kia models such as the new Kia Picanto and new Kia Rio.
This means the new Kia ‘tiger face’ has been included once again while the car itself is lower and more aerodynamic than previous versions.
Kia has introduced two petrol (a 1.4 and 1.6-litre) and two diesel engines to the new Cee’d. The smaller of the diesels, a 1.4-litre 90PS unit, will offer sub-100g/km of CO2 emissions for the first time on a Cee’d – enough to qualify for zero UK road tax and exemption from the London congestion charge.
Kia has also tweaked the handling and suspension to bring it closer to what the Korean manufacturer calls the ‘class-leaders’ – the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra being the most likely targets for the up-and-coming car maker.
The new Kia Cee’d will be sold in hatchback and SW, or estate, variations in the UK as the manufacturer continues its remarkable rise into the mainstream.
It is expected to come with Kia’s industry-leading seven-year warranty covering 100,000 miles, an offer available on all new Kia cars.