ROAD TEST: Kia pro-cee’d GT
Car Dealer magazine has selected Kia’s well-established warranty scheme to top its list and praised the brand for showing such confidence in its used products, that it tops up the normal Seven Year Warranty – even on cars up to 18 months old with up to 18,000 miles on the clock.
Judges singled out the warranty top-up along with the provision of one year’s roadside assistance, first-year MoT cover and a 60-day exchange plan.
James Batchelor, editor of Car Dealer, said: “This was a closely fought battle and came down to the really small details – but ones that matter. Kia Approved has a 60-day or 1,000-miles exchange policy showing they really have the customer at heart. They’re a worthy winner of this special award.”
And Kia’s slogan, “the power to surprise”, proved true during my recent road test of the pro-cee’d GT. The high-performance model is Kia’s first venture into the world of performance cars and since its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show this year, performance-minded drivers have been keen to get their hands on the sporty model.
The three-door model is a quality, good-looking hot hatch, which is powered by a turbocharged version of the 1.6 litre direct injection petrol engine. It can accelerate from 0-60mph in 7.4 seconds and has a top speed of 143mph. But the environment is not forgotten and there is an engine start-stop button which reacts imperceptibly.
The suspension has been re-tuned for improved handling of impressive power and torque and it is as expected, stiffer, so on country lanes can be a bit teeth rattling. The steering has been tuned for a more direct feel and the brakes are the largest of any fitted to the cee’d range.
There are two trim lines, the GT and GT Tech and both are extensively equipped to upper market luxury levels. The interior has GT branded Recaro sports seats with long thigh squabs. Power adjustable lumbar support is fitted to both front seats, which are very comfortable and supportive for hard cornering.
To distinguish the GT version, the stylish exterior has additional sporty and athletic lines at the front, rear and sides, which enhance its sporty credentials.
There is a host of standard equipment and a comprehensive safety specification. Luxury details include lights which enhance the door opening and in the interior, a very clear and full colour seven-inch touchscreen which gives an excellent view for reverse parking. The seat belt protrudes from the rear of the front seat so it is easy to grab, but does not get in the way of accessing the rear seats.
Start the ignition and a picture of the car appears on the screen i and announces a welcome. It is the small details like this which make it worthwhile paying the £22,495 otr price. Luxury and performance combined.
Kia is planning to introduce a five -door cee’d GT to the UK in early 2014 and there are hints that the range will shortly encompass a stand-alone sports car.
Facts at a Glance
Model: Kia pro-cee’d GT.
Price: £22,495 otr.
Engine: 1.6 litre T-GDi GT Tech.
Performance: 0-60mph in 7.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 143mph.
CO2 emissions: 171g/km.
Combined fuel consumption: 38.2 mpg.