Unfortunately, there's a catch.
Between the Soul, the Niro, the Sportage, the Sorento, and the Telluride, Kia has no shortage of crossover SUVs to offer American customers – and there's more to come. The latest it's rolled out, though, is just for Europe. Which strikes us as a bit of a shame, because it looks pretty damn good.
The new Kia XCeed was designed in Germany and will be assembled in Slovakia specifically for the European market. It's the latest member of the Ceed family that already includes a five-door hatch, wagon, and ProCeed shooting brake, only this one sits taller.
"This latest addition to the Kia portfolio takes the Ceed model family in a bold new direction, showing the breadth of Kia’s imagination and ambition in the compact family car segment,” said Kia's European chief Emilio Herrera. "The Kia XCeed addresses the growing desire for cars which offer more emotion and dynamism than an SUV, both in terms of the way a car looks and drives.”
The coupe-like shape is stretched over the same wheelbase as the hatchback on which it's based, with a swept-back windshield and steeply raked rear window to give it a profile that reminds us of some of Infiniti's crossovers.
Broad shoulders, a wider track, angular design elements, and visually weighty lower front intake and rear pseudo-diffuser help imbue it with a sporty appearance, with higher ground clearance and contrasting side sills and wheel arches (housing alloys as large as 18 inches) to underline its crossover approach.
Despite the streamlined shape, Kia says the "XCeed still manages to provide comparable interior space and luggage capacity to Europe’s best-selling SUVs.” It also features all the latest infotainment and safety tech you'd expect from the newest product from a major automaker, from the optional 10.25-inch touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital instrument displays to the extensive list of driver-assistance systems.
Motivation comes from an array of turbocharged gasoline and diesel engines, with three or four cylinders, ranging in displacement from 1.0 to 1.6 liters and output from 113 horsepower to 201. They all drive the front wheels (no all-wheel drive available as yet) through a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. 0-62 mph times range from 7.5 seconds to 11.4, with top speeds from 115 mph to 137.
Both mild and plug-in hybrid powertrains are slated to join the range early next year. In the meantime, the first new XCeeds are set to reach European dealers later this year, complete with Kia's seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty.