2020 Kia XCeed and Ceed Sportswagon plug-in hybrids revealed
The Kia Ceed Sportswagon estate and XCeed SUV will be available as a plug-in hybrid from 2020. Kia predicts an electric range of 60km (around 37 miles), helped by energy recuperation technology. The two cars get subtle styling and interior changes too.
Both models use the powertrain already in use in the Kia Niro, Hyundai Ioniq and Hyundai Kona Hybrid. That consists of a 1.6-litre petrol engine, a 8.9kWh battery pack and a 44.5kW electric motor, together producing 139bhp. Zero to 62mph takes 10.8 seconds in the Ceed Sportswagon PHEV and 11 seconds in the XCeed PHEV. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox is standard and should prove more economical and user-friendly than the CVT gearboxes used in most hybrids.
The cars feature brake regeneration technology, which replenishes the battery with the energy usually lost when slowing down. As with the Niro, you can also save energy by choosing the ‘driver only’ ventilation setting, which turns off all the fans apart from the driver’s. Kia has also included an artificial engine noise that activates when you’re in the fully electric driving mode, to make pedestrians aware of the car’s presence.
There are a few design changes over the standard models but you’ll be hard-pressed to notice them unless you’re up close. Both cars get a closed grille (aiding airflow) and a charging port on the left front wing. Each car rides on 16-inch alloy wheels as standard but you can choose 17-inch alloys for the Ceed Sportswagon and 18-inch wheels for the XCeed - like the cars in the pictures. The Ceed Sportswagon also gets ‘eco plug-in’ badges and the bumpers from the sporty-looking GT-Line model.
Besides the driver-only ventilation setting, the interior is almost unchanged apart from some new software. The central touchscreen - eight inches as standard and 10.25 inches optionally - can show nearby charging points on the sat nav and the level of charge left in the battery, and it can also be used to manage the timing of battery charging if you’re plugged in at home. This is so you can take advantage of off-peak tariffs to charge the car.
You’ll get special displays on the instrument cluster but you can opt for a 12.3-inch ‘Supervision’ digital instrument cluster that replaces dials with a screen. Meanwhile, choosing the bigger central touchscreen allows you to connect two Bluetooth-compatible devices at the same time.
Despite Kia’s attempts to offer similar boot space to the regular Ceed Sportswagon and XCeed, practicality does suffer in the plug-in hybrid models. The Sportswagon PHEV has 437 litres of boot space, rising to 1,506 litres with the rear seats folded, compared to 625 and 1,694 litres in the standard Sportswagon. It’s a similar story with the XCeed, which offers 291 litres of boot space in the hybrid model. Both cars offer dedicated storage space for the charging cable.