2008 Kia Cee'd

Erik B. Johnson
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Kia's cee'd concept, which debuted at this year's Geneva auto show, appears to have blossomed into a pretty impressive production car. Spelled c-e-e-'-d (lowercase 'c' and all), the unusual moniker was chosen to represent the company's growing sales as well as to symbolize that the car is made in the community of Europe ("ce") from a European design ("ed"). The engine lineup includes three gasoline-powered units (1.4-, 1.6-, and 2.0 liters) as well as a 1.6-liter diesel.The cee'd will initially be available in the four-door hatchback body style shown here, but a station wagon and a sportier two-door hatch will go on sale late next year. (The two-door is previewed by the pro_cee'd concept also displayed at this year's Paris show.) All three models will compete with C-segment entries such as the Opel Astra and the Ford Focus and be built at Kia's new manufacturing facility in Zilina, Slovakia--for European customers only. That's a bummer, since we wouldn't be ashamed of (bad pun alert!) planting the cee'd in our garage.

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