Kia Motors will reveal its first model for India – the production version of the SP Concept – next year; but there’s much more to come from the Korean carmaker. A made-in-India compact SUV will make its debut in 2020, and one of the other models in the range could be the Kia Ceed. Sun Wook Hwang, Senior General Manager, Marketing and PR, Kia Motors India confirmed the same.
Now in its third generation, the 4.3m-long Ceed is a large hatchback and a rival to the likes of the Volkswagen Golf and Hyundai i30 in markets abroad. In India, the Ceed would be a unique offering. Owing to its length, the Ceed will not qualify for any ‘small car’ excise benefits but Kia is not planning to play the hatchback on price. Rather, the Ceed will be priced at par with or perhaps even higher than executive sedans such as the Hyundai Elantra; and will be pitched as an option for buyers looking for something different. To make the offering more appealing, Kia will only introduce the hatchback in GT Line trim that gets sportier bumpers, exterior detailing in red-and-black, and large 17-inch alloy wheels. The cabins on GT Line cars are all-black affairs and also get sportier front seats.
Engine options for India will include a 140hp, 1.4-litre direct-injection turbo-petrol and a 1.6-litre diesel, likely in 136hp guise. Seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions will be available on both models.
Kia is not looking at massive sales volumes for the Ceed and the carmaker's primary focus is to use it as a brand builder. The model will be assembled at Kia’s upcoming facility from CKD kits; but if demand exceeds 1,000 units a month, local production could be a possibility, too.
Kia says it doesn’t want to be boxed-in by traditional segments and body styles. The prospect of the Ceed sure suggests the Korean carmaker is keeping to its word.
Would you pay executive sedan money for a sporty, large hatchback? Let us know in the comments section below.