Positioned between the Stonic and Sportage in Kia's European crossover lineup, the XCeed is getting a nip and tuck for the 2023 model year. The revised model ushers in an extension of the lineup thanks to a GT-Line trim level offered for the first time on this body style. It mirrors the sporty visual tweaks we’ve seen on the regular hatchback, but now in a high-riding format with an eye-catching green paint and swanky two-tone 18-inch wheels.
As before, the XCeed sits 44 millimeters (1.73 inches) higher than the Ceed hatchback, with a ground clearance of 184 mm (7.2 in) when equipped with the 18-inch wheels or 172 mm (6.7 in) with the standard 16-inch set. It carries over the wheelbase (2,605 mm / 102.5 in) but the front and rear overhangs are 25 mm (1 in) and 60 mm (2.3 in) longer, respectively. Compared to the regular five-door hatch, only the front doors are shared between the two models.
Naturally, the styling updates we saw last year on the hatch have been carried over onto its crossover sibling. Featuring the updated corporate logo, the Kia XCeed gets the new taillights with a plethora of hexagonal elements reserved for the GT-line trim level. It also has a "discreet exhaust-look design," which is just marketing jargon for fake exhaust tips. It inherits the sharper-looking headlights and redesigned front bumper from the hatch, while the side profile looks a tad more rugged thanks to the plastic body cladding.
The interior is more of the same, although the GT-Line has sportier seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, black headliner, and alloy pedals. Kia also wraps the gear knob in perforated leather and installs a red "GT" badge with a smaller white "Line" on the bottom spoke of the steering wheel. Other updates include the frameless rearview mirror, a glossy black panel for the transmission tunnel, and the option for a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster with full HD resolution.
The engine lineup includes the usual suspects, starting off with a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder mill with 118 hp and 172 Nm (127 lb-ft). A larger 1.5-liter unit takes the output to 158 hp and 253 Nm (187 lb-ft), while the 1.6-liter borrowed from the Ceed GT and ProCeed GT pumps out 201 hp and 265 Nm (195 lb-ft). With the latter engine and a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission, the crossover sprints to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 7.5 seconds.
Elsewhere, Kia will sell the XCeed with a mild-hybrid 1.6-diesel rated at 134 hp and 280 Nm (207 lb-ft) with the six-speed manual while the seven-speed DCT ups the torque ante to 320 Nm (236 lb-ft). This 48-volt tech slashes CO2 emissions by as much as 10 percent and allows the vehicle to briefly provide engine-off coasting at speeds of up to 77 mph (125 km/h).
The thriftiest powertrain will once again be the plug-in hybrid with a 1.6-liter gasoline unit, a 44.5-kW electric motor, a six-speed dual-clutch auto, and an 8.9-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The XCeed PHEV has a combined output of 139 hp and 265 Nm (195 lb-ft) and can run on electric juice for 37 miles (60 kilometers) in the city.
Kia will have the XCeed on sale in Europe from September, complete with the usual seven-year / 150,000-km warranty.