The current Kia Cee'd family hatchback has been around for a long time – five years, in fact. And while a mild facelift in 2015 brought the Cee'd closer in line to key rivals including the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra, it's remained part of the chasing pack rather than a class leader. With the current Cee'd now nearing the end of its life, though, Kia is getting ready to unveil a new model next year.
The new Cee'd is one of 12 cars shortlisted for What Car?'s 2018 Reader Award. To see all of this year's contenders and vote for your favourites, click here.
2018 Kia Cee'd – what do we know?
The most exciting news about the new Cee'd is the addition of a new bodystyle, previewed by the Procee'd concept car that you see in these pictures. Unveiled at the recent Frankfurt motor show, the Procee'd takes the form of a shooting brake, which Kia is calling an "extended hatchback".
The current Cee'd is available as a three and five-door hatchback, as well as an estate. There's a shift away from three-door hatchbacks at the moment – in fact, Kia dropped the three-door Picanto city car recently – so the company is likely to remove that bodystyle and instead reintroduce the Procee'd name as a stylish middle ground between the hatchback and the estate.
While the Procee'd concept showcases a new bodystyle for Kia, it also hints at the new Cee'd's styling. The car's looks will be toned down for production but, nevertheless, we're expecting a sleeker shape and a larger, wider interpretation of Kia's 'tiger-nose' grille.
As well as the Procee'd, Kia is known to be considering a crossover-style version to appeal to SUV buyers.
2018 Kia Cee'd interior
Big changes are due for the new Cee'd inside, where a new free-standing infotainment system will take pride of place. This touchscreen set-up should prove easy to use and will run the same infotainment and navigation software already seen in the rest of Kia's range.
Underneath the new screen are three rows of buttons for the ventilation and climate controls. Ease of use is something we like about the current Cee'd, so Kia will want to keep its interior accessible and practical.
2018 Kia Cee'd engines
Rather than using all-new engines, Kia is expected to revise the options it already has, meaning the core range will consist of 1.0, 1.4 and 1.6 petrols alongside 1.4 and 1.6 diesels. The highest-powered 1.6-litre diesel is currently our recommended choice in the Cee'd because of its frugal fuel economy figures and refinement.
While no hybrid or plug-in hybrid version of the Cee'd has been announced yet, Kia will be looking closely at whether it can borrow technology from the Niro small SUV and adapt it into the new hatchback.
2018 Kia Cee'd price
It's too eary to say how much the new Cee'd will cost for certain but, given the scope of styling and technological changes Kia is planning, we'd suggest a modest rise from today's starting price of £15,365. Even at the current price, the Cee'd is cheaper than both the Astra and Focus, so there's room for that starting price to rise while still remaining competitive. Kia's market-leading seven-year warranty should entice buyers, too, as should attractive PCP finance deals.
Looking for a great family car? Below we've listed our favourites, and if you click through the next few pages we'll also tell you which models to avoid.
The best family cars
10. BMW i3
The BMW i3 is an electric family car that uses super-light carbonfibre and aluminium to offset the weight of the battery pack that’s mounted beneath its floor, while a smart interior and great handling add further to its appeal. In addition to the fully electric model, BMW offers a range-extender version with a two-cylinder petrol engine that acts as a generator to prevent the car's batteries from running flat.
9. BMW 1 Series
A more conventional option from BMW is the 1 Series, which offers a strong combination of performance, fuel economy and CO2 emissions. It’s still a little unusual in that it sends its power to the rear wheels rather than the fronts, but this makes it entertaining to drive and ride comfort is also good.
Pick of the range 118i SE
8. Honda Civic
The latest Honda Civic is good to drive and has plenty of space inside for your family and their luggage. Add to that an impressive array of standard safety equipment and it's easy to recommend as an all-rounder. Team the frugal 1.0-litre petrol engine with mid-range SR trim for the best results.
Pick of the range 1.0 VTEC SR