I don't know if you've noticed this, but a Golf 7 2.0 TDI costs about as much in the second-hand market as an F30 BMW 318d. And what competes with the Golf? The Kia Cee'd that's what.
13 photos If you want to be technical about it, the Cee'd is not a Korean car at all. The development center is in Germany and production takes place in the Slovakia. It's certainly more European than a Golf Variant. So we should be surprised that it's built to certain standards.
We love what we see inside this 2018 Cee'd 5-door prototype. Unlike in the new Megane, there's a button for literally everything on the dash, backed up by even more buttons on the steering wheel. You also get presets for radio stations and old-fashioned knobs. No more taking your eyes off the road or reading a thick manual just to learn how to set the temperature.
In a way, that reminds us of the BMW 3 Series. The car launched in 2012 doesn't care about new fangled gizmos. And I don't know if you've seen the interior of a second-hand 318d, but it's worlds away from a new M3 or even the kind of 3er press cars we get. In five years, the plastic usually peels off some of the buttons and especially the door grabs and air conditioning controls. So what about the new Cee'd body design?
Well, I don't hate it, but I'm not in love with it either. The point is obviously to have a more premium-looking hatchback, and they've done that slightly better than with the Hyundai i30. It's intricate but in a good way.
The best way to explain what's going on here is to point at the Kia Stonic and say "like that but lower." The old Cee'd looked very sporty to look at but never drove the part, especially in the steering department.
The engines will all have to carry over from the new Hyundai i30, together with the gearboxes and platform. The pick of the European range should remain the 1.6-liter diesel, but a 1.0 T-GDI turbo should attract new customers, much like Ford saw when it made the first Focus 1.0 EcoBoost.
Expect to see the new Cee'd in Frankfurt or Geneva soon, followed about half a year later by the all-new Sportswagon.