Kia has revealed a new 1.0-litre turbocharged, three-cylinder petrol engine for the Cee’d hatchback, Pro Cee’d coupe and Cee’d Sportwagon estate. Its tiny capacity belies its impressive 98 or 118hp output and healthy reserves of torque.
We got behind the wheel of the new engine to help you decide if it’s for you. We’ve also compared it to its key rival – the Ford Focus 1.0-litre EcoBoost. Read on to discover if the new Kia has what it takes to best the Ford’s award-winning motor.
The 1.0-litre turbo is, like the new gearbox, a totally in-house design that will eventually grace other small cars in the Kia line-up such as the Rio supermini. Two versions are offered – one with 98hp and another with 118hp, and they directly rival the 99 and 123hp versions of Ford’s 1.0-litre EcoBoost.
It’s a fantastic unit and, despite its diminutive capacity, it packs a pretty serious punch out on the road. Both versions share the same 126lb ft torque figure and that thrust is delivered very low in the rev range making nipping through city gaps or fast motorway overtakes very easy.
The 118hp version is marginally quicker than an equivalent 123hp Focus – the Kia’s 10.7-second 0-60mph time is 0.6 seconds faster than the Ford. It also feels more responsive than the Focus’ unit and has less of the ‘elastic’ feeling you get in other small-capacity turbocharged engines. It’s a shame you can’t yet have the new automatic gearbox with this engine because the six-speed manual gearbox feels vague to use compared to the Focus’ direct-feeling shift.