First drive: Kia Pro cee’d GT
Kia launches their first high performance model in the French sun
It’s rare you drive a car that actually makes people stop and stare unless it’s a supercar. Kia have managed to produce a car that does exactly that and match its good looks with something great to drive. The car is the Pro_cee’d GT. Memorable for making sure you spell it correctly, Kia have produced a hatch, not a hot one, more a warm one that ticks all the boxes in terms of performance.
Kia Pro_cee’d GT Exterior looksYou can’t help but feel mesmerised by the ‘ice-cube’ daytime running lights, the black grille and lower air intake with a red trim line, which against the Fusion White metallic car we drove all make it look visually exciting. Its profile does make it look slightly Mercedes-Benz A-Class but going to the rear the dual sports exhausts and vertical reversing light and reflectors give it back a uniqueness. Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres give it added sportiness with red brake callipers.
Kia Pro_cee’d GT InteriorIt is all kept very simple, a mixture of plastics and high-gloss black piano adorn the cabin. Leather and suede Recaro sports seats with red stitching give it a high quality feel. The red stitching also features on the steering wheel with a GT badge, gear shifter and door trims, although it’s a shame the red wasn’t used on the handbrake. Driving position is extremely comfortable and although the windows in the rear are quite small, visibility is fine. There is plenty of storage in the front, back, cup holders, glasses holder and USB and AUX points too for linking up your media. A date and time display is also useful, as after spending the weekend at the Le Mans 24 Hour race, and being up for most of it, I had no idea what day it was! The TFT LCD instrument display is a bit fussy with too much information to look at. Do we really need distracting by engine torque and turbo boost pressure figures?
Kia Pro_cee’d GT Performance and DrivingThe 1.6-litre turbo engine is pretty impressive and goes from 0-60 mph in 7.4 seconds and has a top speed of 143mph. It produces 201 bhp and pulls off well when overtaking with 265Nm of torque available, especially on the windy rounds around Provence when we got stuck behind the wannabe Tour de France cyclists. Steering does need to be a bit more responsive, as although it was fun to drive along the tiny mountainous roads used in the Monte Carlo Rally testing out the tight hairpins, you didn’t always feel at one with the car. That being said it cruises well on the autoroutes and is at home both around town or on the long sweeping roads in the countryside. Fuel consumption on the GT is 38.2mpg with 171g/km of CO2 emissions, which will cost £200 in car tax.
Kia Pro_cee’d GT Trim EquipmentGT, GT Tech and the limited production version, the GT 1st Edition are the trim levels available. The pro_cee’d GT comes with many options, which are normallly extra on other cars as standard, which is great if you don’t want to have to spend extra. Reversing sensors are on the car, air-conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, electrically operated and heated folding mirrors are just a few items available. GT Tech adds extras such as a reversing camera, seven-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, exterior door handle illumination and heated front seats and steering wheel. An electric sunroof, red ambient lighting, GT illuminated scuff plates all come with the GT 1st Edition, but this will be limited to just 50 for the UK. Airbags, Hill-Start Assist Control, Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Control are just a few safety aspects on the GT.
Kia Pro_cee’d GT PricingOne of the great things about the Kia brand is their seven year warranty, which is also available on the Pro_cee’d GT. Add the fact it costs from £19,995 makes it such an affordable, high-performance car. If you prefer it, then a five-door version will be available early next year. I think Kia are underestimating how popular the Kia Pro_cee’d GT will be. It is seven years since the Kia Cee’d was launched, and the brand has gone from strength to strength. The Kia Pro_cee’d GT has everything you want in a car; looks, good driveability, ideal price and that seven year warranty. It might not be a hot hatch, but it sure comes close.
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