The Kia brand has come of age in recent years and is increasingly popular on the UK and European roads thanks to keen pricing and improved performance.
The Kia Pro Cee’d GT is the Korean’s attempt at something of a hot hatch, so how does it fair?
One first impression is that the Kia is not a bad looking car. The car is not super aggressive in its looks like some of its competitors, but in a lot of ways that’s a good thing. It’s quite a striking auto and the 18 inch wheels and reworked bumpers work well for it. It’s quite similar to a Scirocco; Sleek would be the description if we only had one word to choose from.
It starts at a fiver under twenty grand and comes with plenty of gadgets and gizmos, as you’d expect. The 204bhp engine and plush interior do strike a chord, but let’s get deeper into the belly of this wannabe beast.
Of course, the performance is the first thing with a car like this. The 1.6L engine comes with a turbocharger and a rise in power output on the standard engine of 51 per cent. Torque has also gotten a lift too and the Kia comes with 195lb of it. This arrives at 1,750rpm and doesn’t fall until 4,500rpm, making it a noteworthy feature.
This of course means that the car is almost constantly in turbo and so the car powers forward in almost any scenario. It’s eager we’ll give it that. Peak horsepower hits in at 6,000 RPM so you’ve the choice to surge at low to medium range or at the top of the rev range. Not a bad complaint.
Ride and Handling
In respect of handling, the Kia Pro Cee’d is a mixed bag. The car’s more than comfortable proceeding around sweeping corners, but downhill around sharper bends tends to test it. Under-steer is also a problem when pushing hard and traction can lack. In essence, the limit is quite easily reached on the Kia and that’s not the sort of feeling you want when pounding down a mountain side. Ride quality is good however; bumps pose no issue.
The inside of your Kia comes in two specs – GT or GT Tech. There’s plenty of leather and red stitching, as well as cluster of digital information. Space is good, the boot is quite large and the radio has blue tooth. There’s also reversing sensors and an iPod connection.
The GT Tech package, for an additional £2,500, adds sat nav, keyless go, better air con and headlights. Up from this, at an additional £3,995 is the GT 1st edition, pitching itself in a similar league to the Ford Focus ST range.
The car is not the most efficient and manages 38.2mpg, around ten less than the latest and more powerful Golf GTI. That’s not astounding. It’s got a five star NCAP rating.
Overall, the Kia Pro Cee’d is a quite decent car; it’s well priced, has a good engine and looks great. However, its handling lets it down and it’s still not a true competitor to the Focus ST or Golf GTI.
About the author: Cormac Reynolds is a journalist and lover of cars and driving. He also enjoys the great outdoors.