Kia has announced it is taking the redesigned Cee’d compact hatchback to the Geneva Motor Show. A new Cee’d for Europe likely means that a new Forte is coming down the pike for Yankees.
Rebranding based on place
Many car makers sell cars in the United States under different names than they have overseas. There are sometimes mechanical differences such as diesel engines, which Europeans tend to buy more often than U.S. residents.
For instance, a Toyota pickup was simply a “Toyota pickup” in the United States, but everywhere else it was the Hilux, until Toyota started building the Tacoma for North America and the Hilux for everywhere else. The new Ford Escape is the Kuga in Europe and the Chevrolet Sonic is still the Aveo. Mazda doesn’t rename; a Mazda 5 is a Mazda 5 everywhere. The Kia Forte, outside of North America, is the Kia Cee’d.
Planting a new seed
Kia, according to AutoBlog, is taking a new Cee’d hatchback to the Geneva Motor Show this year. The car will have an updated interior, with more “premium materials” and an upgraded touchscreen navigation system, according to KickingTires.
The exterior is getting the most of of the overhaul, according to Motor Authority, as the new model has the same wheelbase, but is lower, wider and longer. The new Cee’d is also getting a more aggressive “Tiger nose” grill similar to the Optima, part of Kia’s new sporty design strategy.
The new Cee’d is also rumored to get four engine options, two gas and two diesel, including a 250-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel. It isn’t explicitly confirmed that a new Forte is coming, but it appears likely, though the diesel engines aren’t likely to be offered.
A reasonably priced car
The Kia Cee’d is the “Reasonably Priced Car” from “Top Gear,” the BBC’s wildly popular, long-running motoring show. It’s American counterpart, the Forte, is also a reasonably priced car.
The current Forte five-door hatchback is a class leader on power and price. The base model starts at $18,100 and has a 156 horsepower two-liter four-cylinder engine, with an automatic transmission. The Forte gets 26 miles per gallon city, 36 highway. There is also a 173 horsepower 2.4-liter engine available for an extra $1,500.
The closest competitors in base price and power among five-door hatchbacks are the Ford Focus and the Volkswagen Golf. The base Focus five-door, with 160 horsepower, starts at $18,300, gets the same gas mileage with a manual transmission. The five-door Golf, with 170 horsepower, starts at $19,795, less than $200 more than the 2.4-liter Forte, and it gets 1 mpg more. Other comparable five-door hatches are either less powerful or more expensive.