Ahead of the 2018 Geneva Motor Show in March, Kia has unveiled the third-generation Ceed, which has been designed, developed, engineered and built in Europe. There’s plenty that’s new with the C-segment hatchback, including a new name – previously it was known as the cee-apostrophe-d (cee’d).

The evolved styling is largely inspired by the Proceed Concept from 2017, with sweptback headlights that feature “ice cube” daytime running lights that bear resemblance to Porsche’s efforts. The lighting units flank a more angular “tiger nose” grille, while further down, there is a wider lower intake as well as triangular fog lamps enclosures.

Viewed from the side, the car projects a more upright stance than before. This is largely thanks to a more horizontal shoulder line that joins the front and rear lighting clusters. A wider C-pillar is also another revision here, serving to enhance the Ceed’s cab-rearward look and provide for a “half-moon” shape for the upper window line.

At the rear, the wider stance of the Ceed is further exhibited by new taillights which are accompanied by deeper bumper cutouts and a number plate recess that has been shifted from the bumper to the tailgate.

The Ceed rides on Kia’s new K2 platform, and is 20 mm wider (1,800 mm) and 23 mm lower (1,447 mm) than the outgoing model. Its wheelbase is unchanged at 2,650 mm, but the front overhang has been shortened by 20 mm (to 880 mm), and rear overhang extended by 20 mm (now 780 mm).

Moving inside, the cabin follows in the footsteps of recent Kia models, beginning with a free-standing touchscreen display – available in 5-, 7- or 8-inch options. This effectively splits the dash into two sections, with the lower area housing the switchgear for the infotainment and climate control systems.

For the driver, there’s a new steering wheel and gear lever to interact with, available in leather-wrapped form if needed. The previous three-pod instrument cluster has been replaced with one that features just two, with a multi-info display nestled in the middle.

A Drive Mode Select system allows drivers to swap between Normal and Sport modes, with the latter increasing throttle response and weighting up the steering. Swapping between the two is done via a dedicated button located on the centre console.

According to Kia, the new platform bestows better ergonomics as well as more efficient packaging. Boot space now stands at 395 litres, and there is improved shoulder room for rear passengers, more headroom in the front row and a lower driving position.

There’s plenty of equipment on offer as well, with several wheel options to choose from – 15-inch steel wheels, 16-inch steel or aluminium alloy wheels, and 17-inch two-tone diamond cut aluminium alloys. Buyers can also order their Ceed in a choice of 12 exterior paint finishes.

Other options include an optional heated windshield, wireless smartphone charger, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seat and a JBL Premium sound system with Clari-Fi music restoration technology.

For the eco-minded, an ECO Pack can also be ordered. It comes with an Active Air Flap, which opens and closes depending on engine cooling requirements, along with an underbody cover, lower suspension and low rolling resistance Michelin tyres.

On the safety side of things, the Ceed comes with seven airbags and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) as standard. Also included are High Beam Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Lane Keeping Assist and Forward Collision Warning with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist.

A first for any Kia in Europe, the Ceed can be specified with Lane Following Assist, a ‘Level Two’ autonomous driving technology. The system tracks vehicles in front of the Ceed in traffic, and identifies appropriate spaces in other lanes to move in to safely to gain more ground in heavy congestion at speeds of between zero and 130 km/h.

Petrol and diesel powertrains are available for the Ceed, beginning with a 1.4 litre MPi (100 PS), 1.0 litre T-GDi (120 PS) and a Kappa 1.4 litre T-GDi (140 PS). The last one replaces the earlier naturally-aspirated 1.6 litre GDI, offering 4% more power and a wider torque band.

Oil burners include Kia’s new U3 diesel engine that is designed to meet the latest Euro 6d TEMP emissions standard. The 1.6 litre CRDi mill is available in 115 PS and 136 PS outputs. Every engine will be paired with a six-speed manual transmission, although the 1.4L T-GDi and 1.6L CRDi can be had with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic as well.

As with the first-generation cee’d, the new Ceed will be produced at Kia’s production facility in Žilina, Slovakia, alongside the Sportage and Venga. Production will begin in May, with European sales due to begin by the end of Q2 2018.