Kia has introduced a new seven-speed twin-clutch automatic gearbox for the latest Cee’d hatchback, Pro Cee’d coupe and Cee’d Sportwagon estate. The new ‘box helps improve acceleration with more ratios and faster changes than the outgoing six-speed traditional auto while lowing emissions by using the engine’s power more efficiently.
It’s currently only offered on the Cee’d’s 1.6-litre diesel but, considering the unit has a 221lb ft torque limit, it can be applied to Kia’s more powerful engines. This means it’ll eventually make its way into the Sportage SUV and Optima saloon. Impressively, it’s been designed and built in-house where many rivals simply purchase gearboxes from suppliers.
While it’s not offered on the petrol, the 1.6-litre diesel can be specified with Kia’s new seven-speed twin-clutch automatic gearbox. It’s an excellent addition and brings a near 25 per cent improvement in emissions over the previous six-speed traditional auto. The diesel engine itself has also been upgraded with 10hp more than the outgoing unit.
Changes in automatic mode are almost imperceptible and the ‘box rarely selects the wrong gear. It holds higher ratios for gentle acceleration yet changes them briskly when accelerating more vigorously.
You can ape Lewis Hamilton using the paddles behind the steering wheel but, because they feel less responsive than some rivals’ systems, we’d recommend simply leaving it in ‘D’ and letting the computer take over.