Euro-looks, more space
Kia has officially outed the 2018 Ceed Sportswagon in Geneva, blending the hatchback's Euro-chic looks with an ultra-practical load bay.
As is often the case with compact wagons, it's not quite as sporty as the hatchback from the back-end, but the extra load-lugging capacity inside more than compensates.
A range of 15-, 16- and 17-inch wheels will be offered, while LED daytime running lights give the car a clear signature at both ends.
Speaking of load-lugging capability, there's a whopping 600 litres of space in the Sportswagon's boot with the rear seats in place. That's more than the new Volvo V60, and more than a BMW 5 Series Touring – in spite of the car's compact-ish 2650mm wheelbase. Kia is also keen to mention the boot's low loading floor, and the 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats.
Under the skin, Kia has tuned the Sportswagon's suspension to handle the extra metal over (and beyond) the rear axle. It gains a faster steering rack than its predecessor, along with revised spring and damper rates for a sharper drive.
In Europe, the car will be offered with three petrol engines and one diesel. The petrol range kicks off with a 1.0-litre turbocharged option making 88kW and 172Nm, and jumps to a 1.4-litre turbo making 103kW and 242Nm. A naturally-aspirated 1.4-litre petrol making 74kW and 134Nm will also be offered.
Diesel power will be delivered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, making either 84kW or 100kW and a constant 280Nm of torque. The two base petrol engines will only be offered with a six-speed manual, while the top-spec petrol and diesel will also be available with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Inside, the Sportswagon matches its hatchback brethren in the front row. That means it has the same horizontally focused dashboard, the same 'floating' touchscreen and the same centre console, tilted slightly toward the driver. A panoramic sunroof is optional, as are leather seats and a leather steering wheel.
Standard safety kit will include high-beam assist, driver-attention warnings, lane-keeping assist and forward-collision warnings, with an optional adaptive cruise control system, blind-spot warnings, rear cross-traffic alerts, and forward-collision avoidance.
The Ceed hatchback will be arriving in Europe during the second quarter, and we'd expect the wagon to drop around the same time. The Sportswagon might not make it Down Under – we're getting the Cerato sedan mid-year, and the hatch will be here before year-end. There's no official word on whether our new Cerato hatch will actually be the Ceed.
UPDATE: Kia has told CarAdvice there are no plans to bring the Sportswagon here at this point. There's a little glint of light though – the company said "never say never."