Kia Pro_Cee'd - details
Kia joins the hot hatch party with a GT version of the new Pro_Cee'd
Even in standard form the new Cee'd is a handsome thing, Schreyer's now trademark 'Tiger's nose' (we think this probably should be in the Viz Profanisaurous somewhere but can't quite think why) heading up a confident, sculpted body with great visual strength and balance. Aforementioned red calipers, Recaro seats and a host of other 'sporty' baubles tick all the boxes too. Will we look beyond the badge though? As ever, that's going to be big question but, on paper at least, the GT has enough oomph to live up to the name. And, if nothing else, promise some significantly reduced times on Top Gear celebs' leaderboard. Still reasonably priced though? We'll see about that.
Rather Kia has taken aim at some (slightly) softer targets like the Scirocco and Astra GTC, the VW available with a 210hp 2.0-litre while the most potent non-VXR Astra packs 180hp from a turbo 1.6. The Scirocco costs - at a bare minimum - £27.5K while the Astra in SRI trim starts from a rather more reasonable £22K. 204hp driving through a six-speed manual Kia is promising 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds, which doesn't tell us a whole lot but it should at least be what we'd consider 'brisk' if not actually fast.
UK sales of the three-door Pro_Cee'd GT start in the summer, the five-door Cee'd GT to follow later in the year. Expect more pricing and spec details around Geneva.
Among a plethora of basic Euro-boxes, Kia seem to be doing pretty well but it remains to be seen if their attempt at a hot/warm hatch will tempt their target audience away from the established segment leaders. Fingers crossed for them, it would be nice to see it succeed.
The number does seem rather high, though. I suppose it implies that it needs two gear changes to get to 60, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
His only continuing gripes have been an issue with the iPod control function (apparently Kia are releasing a firmware update sometime this year), and the fuel consumption being poorer than expected; we went on a 600-mile road trip last October and, even after 10k miles of 'run-in' time, and the steadiest of driving on A-roads and motorways, the car won't creep over 50mpg.
Overall though it seems a nice motor and a nice overall package (finance, warranty, etc). I think, with the likely step-up in quality for the newer models - and with a good suite of finance deals - the car could do really well.
As for the higher prices - unfortunately with better materials and engineering (read: higher development costs) comes higher sticker prices. You can't have your cake and all that.
Oh, and driven the new Golf - very impressed, a very good car.