If the name Pro_Ceed’d GT, which is far too long and too contrived, doesn’t put you off buying a hot Kia, then the model’s recently acquired price tag of £19,995 for the UK market positions it in a market sector which it has for itself, only fighting off Renault’s GT Line and the odd higher-spec VW Scirocco.
The model has been developed to be a kind of sub-hot-hatch vehicle, so there’s less outright power than any of its apparent direct rivals, but the car itself looks just as sporty, and it matches the sexy two-door Vauxhall/Opel GTC and Renault’s Megane RS for presence – it’s still a bit faster than what are called warm hatches, though.
However, it is much cheaper than either of the two, and probably doesn’t have the same depth of engineering that of the Megane (or the Ford Focus), as this is, after all, the first car of its kind for the Korean automaker and not designed as a direct rival. They will, in time, definitely find room for improvements in many areas for future models. It will be a competent car, as it has definitely been benchmarked against the establishment, embodying the qualities Kia Cee’d buyers already like, with a bit of extra zing.
For UK customers, two trim levels are offered, called GT and GT Tech, as well as a limited launch edition called GT 1st Edition, not too dissimilar name-wise from the Mercedes A45 AMG, or the limited launch edition of the Alfa Romeo 4C. Kia doesn’t specify how many of these special edition cars it plans to sell, but it is the top of the range model, and will set you back £23,995. Equipment is also very good, with standard sports seats, suspension and unique sporty touches both inside and out – other Pro_Cee’d owners will immediately spot you.
Power is provided by a 1.6-liter T-GDi engine, which pumps out 201 hp at 6,000 rpm and 265 Nm (195 lb-ft) at 4,500 rpm. Performance numbers are not particularly impressive for a modern hot hatch, with 60 mph (96 km/h) coming up in 7.4 seconds and featuring a top speed of 143 mph (229 km/h) – the 276 hp GTC from Vauxhall/Opel has a claimed time to reach 60 mph of 5.9 seconds, while the Renault Megane RS 265 does it one tenth slower. However, both are considerably more expensive than the Kia, at £27,010 and £25,255 (in Cup trim) respectively.
By Andrei Nedelea