Popularly known on a certain British car show as the “Kia Cee-apostrophe-D,” the Cee’d has become one of the fastest-selling compact hatchbacks in Europe, competing directly with other big sellers like the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus. And its lineup is now growing with the 2013 Kia Cee’d Sportswagon, complementing the hatchback version overseas.
The European Cee’d is closely related to the 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT, which just went on sale in the U.S. And more to the point, they’re both related to the upcoming 2014 Kia Forte sedan, which is set to be introduced in a matter of months and go on sale as a 2014 model.
Could the Cee’d be sold in the U.S. as a variant of the Forte? Sure. Is it likely? Absolutely not. But its technology will make its way here. We’re sure of it. And the 2013 Kia Cee’d has its fair share of neat stuff packed in it.
Kia debuted its Idle Stop and Go (ISG) automatic engine shutoff in the 2013 Kia Soul and Rio. The Cee’d gets it paired to one of two diesel engines. Chances are we won’t get those engines, but the Forte is bound to implement ISG.
In addition, with capacity reaching its peak, the Korean automakers said they would start working for more quality instead of just quantity. That means we can expect a richer interior. If the Cee’d is any indication, expect it to come in the form of luxury car features like an electronic parking brake, heated steering wheel, automatic headlights and windshield wipers, dual-zone climate control, 10-way power driver’s memory seat, electric lumbar support, and 600 MB of on-board music storage. Additionally, all the mainstays already available on the Forte are also in the Cee’d: LED tail lights, a rear-view camera, and a GPS system.
For the Cee’d, Kia says a panoramic sunroof, LCD color display, parallel parking assist, lane departure warning, and adaptive xenon headlights will also be available.
In Europe, cars the size of our compacts are often seen as family vehicles, allowing automakers to justify putting more features into smaller cars that may be driven as primary cars. In the U.S., they’re for young families or teenagers; people don’t spend nearly as much on them here as they do overseas.
Yet, given how much Kia puts into its cars already, we wouldn’t be surprised if the automaker goes the extra mile for the U.S. Might we see some of these high-tech options available in U.S.-spec cars? We wouldn’t bet against it.