When the veils are drawn back over the auto bodies ready to be shown to the press, in a mercilessly hot Frankfurt, the shapes do not express themselves in a language common to many crossovers. Elsewhere, you frequently see volumes with marked visual strength and sharp sheet metal treatments, designed to communicate the idea of a solid vehicle ready for virtually anything. But the XCeed plays more on soft sections – and on just a little bit of dynamism.

“The reason is simple,” explains Grégory Guillaume, Kia design director: “While we were drawing, we were also looking for a replacement for the previous Proceed. Subsequently, we filled this need with the “shooting brake” that is currently in the range, but the sporty and sensual inspiration remained in the air. That’s why the shapes are not typical of the off-road world, but closer to certain high-performance, five-door models”.

Nevertheless, the project remains skilfully balanced, since it does not indulge in an excessive rear window inclination or in other aggressive details. Instead, it focuses even greater attention on the finishes that are appropriate for the growing importance of higher-on-ground compact cars. It could be a winning formula.