Hot on the heels of the electrified versions of the Niro, Soul and Sportage, Kia is expanding the line-up even further with the launch of Plug-in Hybrid versions of the recently introduced all-new Kia XCeed and the stylish and practical Ceed Sportswagon. Each is powered by a 1.6-litre GDi engine combined with an electric motor and 8.9kWh battery pack to produce 139bhp and 265Nm of torque.
The new Kia XCeed and Ceed Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid offer a compelling alternative to conventional petrol and diesel models. The new powertrain combines a lithium-polymer battery pack, an electric motor, and an efficient 1.6-litre GDi (Gasoline Direct injection) engine. The powertrain’s total power and torque output are 139bhp and 265Nm.
The powertrain is paired with a six-speed dual-clutch auto transmission (6DCT), ensuring a more enjoyable drive than other hybrid vehicles equipped with electronic continuously variable transmissions (e-CVT). Traditional e-CVT hybrids convert a portion of engine output through the electric motor, resulting in power losses from energy conversion. Kia’s six-speed dual clutch differs by allowing the full output of both the engine and motor to be transferred in parallel through the transmission, with minimal loss of energy. Standard regenerative braking technology allows the new Plug-in Hybrid models to harvest kinetic energy and recharge their battery packs while coasting or braking, further enhancing the overall efficiency of the powertrain.
Both new models feature their own distinctive design features to differentiate them from other petrol and diesel models in the Kia XCeed and Ceed Sportswagon line-ups.
Each car has a new closed ‘tiger-nose’ grille at the front of the car to aid aerodynamic efficiency and feature distinct ‘eco plug-in’ exterior badges. The charging port is integrated into the left front wing of each car.
Inside, there’s the same driver-oriented dashboard, low seating position and everyday ergonomics of the existing Ceed line-up. However, the new Plug-in Hybrid models feature a range of new functions to enhance usability for owners looking to extract the most out of the new powertrain. Both vehicles are equipped with a charging indicator, a visual aid to tell owners that their car is charging or when the battery is fully-charged. Its location on top of the dashboard means drivers can instantly ascertain the car’s state of charge at a glance from outside the car (for instance, when it is parked on the driveway at home and the owner hasn’t left the house yet).
Both cars offer Kia’s brand-new 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system with Kia’s UVO Connect telematics. Unique to the new Plug-in Hybrid variants, the systems incorporate new functionality to help owners locate available charging points in their vicinity, or en route to their navigation destination. The screens can show relevant information relating to the powertrain, displaying remaining charge levels in the battery and energy usage graphics. Owners can use the touchscreen system to schedule when their vehicle should charge when plugged in at home, enabling owners to take advantage of cheaper off-peak energy tariffs, if available.
The instrument cluster features unique displays for the Plug-in Hybrid powertrain, displaying remaining charge levels, anticipated electric-only range and the flow of energy between the battery pack, engine and electric motor. Standard on the Kia XCeed ‘First Edition’, Kia’s new fully-digital 12.3-inch ‘Supervision’ instrument cluster is designed to deliver information as clearly as possible with a range of unique graphics displays. The high-resolution 1920x720-pixel Supervision display replaces the conventional dials.
The ‘Driver Only’ heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system – activated with a new button on the dashboard – instantly de-activates airflow to all cabin vents except those nearest the driver. This is designed to reduce the draw on battery energy from the ventilation system, while still keeping the driver at their preferred temperature. Unlike conventional ventilation systems, Kia’s ‘Driver Only’ system doesn’t simply restrict airflow to certain vents, rerouting it elsewhere; instead, it switches off the fans themselves, reducing energy use at source.