It’s not very often that a manufacturer braves the Bear pit that is the ‘Hot Hatch’ market. Toward the end of last year Kia done just that.
With 201 BHP and 260 Nm of torque from a 1.6 litre turbocharged engine, the Pro Ceed GT hits 60 in 7.4 seconds.
We tested the base spec GT model, with no options it comes in at £19,999.
We loved the styling of the Kia Pro Ceed, the GT cranks the looks up to 11.
Lower skirts all round, larger alloys, and a deep rear spoiler make the GT look even lower and sleeker.
A very unique addition are the ice cube style daytime running lights, four in each corner that are lit day or night. Below them sit the fog lights.
A red lower lip finishes off the mean looking front, our test car sat on the standard 18” graphite alloys wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 3 rubber.
White is ultimately the best colour for the GT, but it also comes in Red and Black if you fancy it.
Now the Ceed is a C segment car, so this pits the GT against the formidable Golf GTi…thankfully it doesn’t disappoint!
Kia developed the GT over 480 laps of the Nordschleife, that’s over 5,000 miles worth of track action. It was worth it though…
Pin the throttle and you are pushed back in your seat by that 260 Nm of torque. At any speed it pulls superbly, once into those higher gears the torque grows slower, so if you really want blistering pace for an overtake its worth knocking it down a gear. But if you have the time, be lazy and keep it where it is.
When you do put your foot flat to the floor you are met with an aural delight, a throaty roar that builds along with the revs.
Over the engine you can hear a fairly muted exhaust note, it would be nice if this was a little more visceral and engaging. At lower revs it doesn’t sound half bad though, see the video below.
Handling is very sharp for such a large hatch. Steering is direct and instantaneous, it’s still lacking any sense of feeling which is a shame, but you can forgive it that.
Ride is firm, you will feel the road through the chassis but then that’s what a hot hatch is all about. It’s not crashy or harsh, just stiff. The custom GT suspension setup includes stiffer dampers, harder springs and uprated bushes all round.
Corners are handled with aplomb, it stays flat but powering out in the damp or wet can cause wheelspin.
In fact that can even happen in a straight line up to second gear when the pedal hits the floor. In that respect the Pro Ceed could do with a limited slip diff…It’s best to ease the power on gently in those less grippy conditions!
Over 200 miles of town driving we managed 27.1 MPG, not great but it’s also not far off Kia’s Urban MPG of 29.1. With a lighter foot you should expect about 33 around town.
As soon as you open the door on the GT you noticed the Recaro front seats, these are proper performance jobbies. Deep and hugging, they hold you perfectly and are oh so comfortable on longer journeys.
As well as those seats you get some red stitching, black headlining and GT badging, but apart from that it’s pretty standard Ceed inside. Our base model GT had enough creature comforts, it lacked the heated seats, sat nav and rear view camera that the GT Tech has, but to be honest we prefer a back to basics hot hatch!
Boot space is the Ceed’s normal 380 litres, with 60:40 split rear seating if you need extra luggage space.
So at a snip under £20k how does this C segment hot hatch compare to its main rival?
Well the Golf GTi marginally has the upper hand in regards to handling, it just feels lighter and more nimble. That’s not to say the Pro Ceed has bad handling, for a first go its bloody superb.
The Pro Ceed GT is .6 seconds off of the Golfs 0-60 time and has 15 less BHP, but to be honest with a saving of just over £6k I know what car I’d choose; especially with that tasty 7 year warranty!
Oh, and the Pro Ceed GT easily bests that plain, boring, stayed Germanic design the Golf GTi sports!
Kia Pro Ceed GT – Jaw dropping looks, lots of power, superb first attempt, better than a Golf GTi?
Owner / Editor of Carwitter – French car fiend, hot hatch lover. Follow @car_witter