This is the all-new Kia Cee’d, which will be released in the UK in June. Designed and developed in Germany but built in Slovakia with the European market in mind, the 2012 Cee'd doesn't just want to be on the road - it wants to own it.
It's slicker and more visually-pleasing than the original Cee'd, which launched in 2007. The design re-think has helped catapult the brand into the 21st century and Kia's focus on technology seems to have strengthened. We went hands-on.
Kia Cee’d 2012: Tech
Available in four trim grades – 1, 2, 3 and 4 – you can customise your Kia to your individual needs. Saying that, there are more or less two models you can opt for: just above basic or kitted out to within an inch of its life.
T3 tested out the grade 2 Cee’d, with USB and Bluetooth connectivity and built-in USB port. There's no built-in sat nav on board - only a modest LED-lit screen which displays the essentials.
It's certainly not the most high-tech car we've tested but for a little over £14k, it's the best you're going to get.
Fortunately, the simplistic setup is carried through to the pairing of the system to your smartphone via Bluetooth. You can safely make and recieve calls thanks to a simple set of controls on the steering wheel, which also allow you to manipulate the on-board entertainment system, so flicking through radio stations is a piece of cake.
Sadly, other than that, there's not much to get excited about.
Kia Cee’d 2012: Specs
iPod-compatible audio system
Kia Cee’d 2012: Performance
With prices ranging from £14,395 for the basic entry-level 1.4 petrol Cee’d to £23,795 for the high-end 1.6 GDI petrol with six-speed dual-clutch auto transmission, the driving experiencing depends totally on how much cash you’re willing to part ways with (as is the case with most cars).
Kia Cee’d 2012: Verdict
The Korean car maker may be punching above its weight with the Cee’d – especially at the price it’s charging for the high-end model (the ridiculously high-tech Audi A3 2.0 TDI S-Line costs over a grand less, and that’s for the top-of-the-line version) – but overall, it’s a comfortable transporter and the attention to detail, in terms of design, is spot on – it’s clear that Kia put a great deal of thought and effort into the architecture of its latest four-wheeler.
Tech-wise, you’d need to fork out for the higher-end trim grade 4 Cee’d if you want access to a raft of technical delights but if you’re on a budget, don’t expect anything special.
Kia Cee'd 2012 availability: available in June
Kia Cee'd 2012 price: From £14,395
Kia Cee’d 2012 Review: Hands-on
Kia Cee’d 2012 Review: Hands-onT3
The 2012 Kia Cee'd is compact, fun and built for the road but you would need to opt for a major upgrade to get the techy version
Best Smartphones: Reviews
HTC One M8 review
The new HTC One (M8) is the brand's new flagship Android KitKat smartphone
Samsung Galaxy S5 review
Can the new Samsung Galaxy S5 flagship smartphone blow away the competition?
iPhone 5s review
After a year on sale, is Apple's 4-inch smartphone still the one to buy?
Google Nexus 5 review
Can the Google Nexus 5 trump the excellent Nexus 4?
LG G2 review
Is the G2 the best Android smartphone around?
HTC One Mini review
The HTC One Mini is a scaled down version of the popular HTC One Android phone
LG G Flex review
The LG G Flex is the maker's very first curved Android smartphone
Motorola Moto E review: Hands-on
Is the Motorola Moto E the best budget smartphone around?