It’s heartbreaking that the new Kia XCeed is only available in Europe

There aren’t many crossovers available in Malaysia that shy away from the conventional SUV bodies except the Subaru XV being the only notable comparison.

Judging from its facts and figures, features and proportions, it could be quite a hit should it be sold in our local market; which it wouldn’t as the Xceed was created specifically for the European market.

There are up to five different engine options from 1.0-litre, 1.4-litre, and 1.6-litre turbocharged although the most feasible for our market seems to the 1.4-litre turbocharged T-GDi engine making 140 hp and 242 Nm.

For the curious, the 1.6-litre turbocharged engine makes as much as 204 hp and 265 Nm; enough power to turn the Xceed into a “hot crossover”. Transmission options include a 6-speed manual and a 7-speed Dual Clutch unit.

As for the looks, it’s almost impossible to point out a flaw in the Xceed’s aesthetics from any angle. It bears the same “ice cube” LED headlamp design like in the new Kia Forte, slapped on to a body that does not have to try hard to impress.

The Xceed is equipped with either 16-inch or 18-inch alloy wheels, with ground clearance rather at 174 mm and 184 mm. Decent figures, but it would be no match for the Subaru XV’s 220 mm ground clearance. Then again, it may not even match the Subaru’s off-road prowess so that shouldn’t matter all that much.

Inside, the Xceed is laced with soft touch materials and is available with a new yellow-themed interior made up of yellow stitching for the seats and doors, yellow seat piping and metallic yellow highlights throughout the cabin.

What it lacks in ground clearance, the Xceed makes up for it in bootspace where it’s rated at 426-litres, giving it bragging rights over the Subaru XV’s mere 345-litres.

Features which have been made available also includes the Smart Power Tailgate, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a JBL Premium sound system with Clari-Fi technology, and the most significant of all, the brand’s fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster – similar in size to the newly-launched DS7 Crossback.

Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Blind Spot Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Smart Parking Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Following Assist and High Beam Assist are among the driver assistance systems available.

The Xceed is supposedly more engaging to drive due to its bespoke suspension tuning, aimed at offering more compliant rides, absorbing large shocks and improved steering response.

According to Kia, there will even be plug-in hybrid and 48V mild hybrid models available by 2020.



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