Leading UK car magazine Autocar has given Kia Motors Europe its ´Idea of the Year´ award for the industry-leading seven-year warranty cover for the new Ceed model line that goes on sale next month.

Kia, whose parent company Hyundai already offers a limited five-year warranty on cars sold here in the UK, announced the pan-Europe seven-year warranty when it unveiled the production version of the Ceed at the Paris motor show last September.

The Ceed is a crucial new model for the fast-growing Korean automaker. Designed specifically for Europe, it is built in a brand-new factory in Slovakia and will only be sold across Europe, at least initially. The lengthy seven-year/150,000-kilometre guarantee will give the car a  'unique selling point' when it takes on the dominant VW Golf, Opel Astra and Ford Focus in the hard-fought European C-segment where five-door hatchback body styles dominate.

The Kia warranty covers the entire car ('bumper to bumper' is the US term) and there is an additional two years' cover for the powertrain. The warranty will be free and transferable to subsequent owners, provided the vehicle is regularly maintained in accordance with the servicing schedule, though not necessarily at Kia dealers.

Annoucing the award, Autocar said: "Kia is telling [Ceed] owners, and subsequent owners between now and 2014, that their new car is guaranteed reliable until is has done well over 80,000 miles (150,000 kms). Kia is confident its new [Ceed] is set on matching or beating rivals in every aspect that matters to customers."

Kia claims its warranty is the best new vehicle warranty ever offered by any car manufacturer in Europe.

Jean-Charles Lievens, senior vice president at Kia Motors Europe, accepted the award at an event in London.