The new ED will make its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show in September, when its name will be revealed.
Kia's new hatchback, code-named ED, is due to go on sale here in 2007
Although it will be marketed exclusively in Europe, it will find its way to South Africa too.
Later on the the five-door launch models will be joined by a range of station wagons and sporty three-door hatchback models from September and December 2007, respectively.
Created especially for European consumers, the new model will be Kia's strongest-yet contender in the C-segment challenging hatchbacks suchs as the VW Golf, Opel Astra and Renault Megane.
According to Kia the 4.2-metre long ED's long wheelbase of 2 650 mm results in "class-leading interior space".
From launch, a range of four engines will be available, including 1.4, 1.6 and 2.0-litre CVVT petrol engines and an all-new 1.6-litre VGT diesel engine.
The ED will be produced at Kia's first European manufacturing facility at Zilina in Slovakia.