Over the course of the past decade, the Ceed has been the instrument through which its globally ascendant creator has sought to convince the most discerning car buyers in the world that it deserves a mention in the same breath as Volkswagen, Toyota, Renault, Nissan, Ford, Peugeot, Citroën and others; and that it can make cars of matching style, quality, performance and dynamic sophistication as those brands do.

The larger Stinger has lately taken on a talismanic role in that mission and the popular and handsome Sportage crossover has, at times, assumed a similar one.

But the Ceed – an entrant into the important European C-segment hatchback market that was designed in Europe, is built in Europe and is sold exclusively in Europe – is greater proof than you’ll find anywhere else of how much European market success and esteem matters to the firm’s global bosses.

With this third-generation Ceed, Kia rolls its VW-Golf-rivalling hatchback onto a new model platform in a bid to make a more telling dent in the regional segment dominance of its European car-making rivals.

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Peugeot 5008 2018 long-term review hero front
    18 March 2019
    First Drive
    Did six months with Peugeot's seven-seater prove it has a place among...
  • Lynk&Co 01 PHEV 2019 first drive review - hero front
    15 March 2019
    First Drive
    Youthful styling on a Volvo technological base make this plug-in hybrid SUV a...
  • Hyundai Santa Fe 2019 road test review - hero front
    15 March 2019
    Car review
    Hyundai’s US-market breakthrough SUV aims for greater European success

The car gets a new compact diesel engine, too: the 113bhp 1.6-litre U3-generation CRDi in the entry-level sub-£20,000 example we’ve chosen to test. Stand by to find out how much closer either may bring Kia to the European market eminence it covets.

What Car? New Car Buyer Marketplace

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Peugeot 5008 2018 long-term review hero front
    18 March 2019
    First Drive
    Did six months with Peugeot's seven-seater prove it has a place among...
  • Lynk&Co 01 PHEV 2019 first drive review - hero front
    15 March 2019
    First Drive
    Youthful styling on a Volvo technological base make this plug-in hybrid SUV a...
  • Hyundai Santa Fe 2019 road test review - hero front
    15 March 2019
    Car review
    Hyundai’s US-market breakthrough SUV aims for greater European success