Kia is looking to add more diversity to the Europe-only Cee’d by adding a family-hauling, MPV variant. The folks over at Motor Trend recently caught the larger Kia Cee’d tester with the corporate “tiger nose” grille being the dead giveaway. Flanking the grille are headlights that also appear to house LED daytime running lamps, a feature found on most Kia models including the diminutive Rio. Other interesting finds on this tester include a panoramic sunroof, roof rails, and back up sensors, which should come in handy when parking the long people mover into tight spaces.
Not surprisingly, the side profile is similar to the rumored Hyundai ix30 MPV that is expected to be based on the i30 hatchback. Once the camouflage comes off, we predict the Hyundai’s sheet metal will be more sculpted and the Kia’s more understated, as is the case with their cars today. The Kia Cee’d and Hyundai i30 already share platforms and power trains, so we expect the same strategy to be used on the MPV versions. The Cee’d is expected to feature seating options for 5 or 7 passengers.
If Kia decides to bring the Cee’d stateside, it could compete with the Mazda5, which for years has enjoyed being the only MPV player in the market. However, that will all change once the 2012 Ford C-Max arrives in showrooms sometime later this year. For now, Americans will only see the C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi (plug-in hybrid), both of which are five-seaters. Europeans currently get a non-hybrid, seven-passenger C-Max crossover that won’t make it to our shores.
That said, seeing how the Rondo -- a vehicle that competed in a very similar segment -- never sold that well on our shores, we wouldn't be the least bit surprised if this remains a European exclusive.
Head over to Motor Trend to view all the photos.
Source: Motor Trend