What is it?
Now having established a solid model range in Europe, Kia is venturing into previously unexplored territory by launching a halo model for keener drivers. Obviously learning to walk before it runs, it has decided not to rival established class favourites the Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen Golf GTI. Instead, it is targeting the ‘warm’ hatchback market.
What’s under The bonnet?
There’s just the one engine option: A turbocharged version of the 1.6-litre petrol with 201bhp. The engine feels almost naturally aspirated, with little lag and a willingness to be extended. It serves up useful surge everywhere in the rev-range, but push the motor to the red line and a thrashy cacophony percolates into the cabin.
What’s the spec like?
Base £19,995 ‘GT’ cars come with nearly every creature comfort – Bluetooth, reverse parking sensors and cruise control. ‘GT Tech’ models at £22,495 get a touchscreen sat-nav, keyless ignition, xenon lights and heated seats and steering wheel. All models are available in just three colours: black, white and red. There’s also a £23,995 GT 1st Edition model. Limited to 50 UK examples, it’s further equipped with an electric sunroof, gloss black exterior trim detailing and illuminated door scuff plates.
What’s it like to drive?
The Pro Cee’d GT is an entertaining steer when the road gets twisty. From the well-insulated confines of its cabin, there is a lot of fun to be had developing a rhythm with both it and the road, and it is this, more than outright performance figures, which is the mark of a good driver’s car.
What do the press think of it?
The Telegraph said: ‘Quick, stylish and affordable, but not as much fun as a hot (or even ‘sporting’) hatch should be and the engine is characterless and thirsty.’
What do we think of it?
This is a credible lukewarm hatchback, which does not sacrifice any of its qualities in the pursuit of greater performance. Those wanting the last word in hot-hatch dynamics and power are better off looking elsewhere, but for drivers simply looking for an added dash of entertainment to their everyday car, the handsome, well-equipped and good value Pro Cee’d GT should definitely be on the shortlist.