The Pro_cee’d GT is Kia’s ticket to the sports-hatch party and is continuing to prove it deserves to be on the invite list. Its competitive pricing and balance between practicality and ‘hot-hatch’ appeal make it a vehicle that cannot be ignored.
From the exterior, the GT doesn’t exactly scream sporty hot-hatch – which I actually think is a good thing. There is something to be said about understated elegance as opposed to trashy flamboyance. More often than not, hotted up sports style vehicles that turn heads, turn them for the wrong reasons. The GT has maintained fluidic lines throughout the body that soften the exterior and left the aggressive lines to the chrome ‘Schreyer’ radiator grille and HID type headlights. Keeping choices to a minimum the GT is available in 4 colours – standard being a bright red and black, white and silver being offered as premium colours.
Once inside the sport styling is evident with the black leather and suede Recaro seats with red stitching, which is also featured on the steering wheel, chrome look interior highlights and alloy sports pedals. While it’s comfortable once you’re in, it is a very low-lying car and can prove to be a bit of a long way down! A huge panoramic sunroof bathes the interior in light and there is plenty of storage including a cooling glovebox. The steering wheel houses audio and Bluetooth controls, cruise control and navigation buttons for the information dash. The instrument cluster has two display modes – normal and GT – with the later providing a digital speedometer, torque and turbo boost as well as engine temperature.
The centre dash features dual zone air-conditioning and Kia’s traditional easy to navigate infotainment system with clearly laid-out functional buttons and a 7” colour touchscreen. The touchscreen houses satellite navigation with information updates, reverse camera, AM/FM radio, MP3 and Bluetooth connectivity and CD player. Music is heard throughout the small car with 6 speakers and of course there are USB and AUX ports.
Powered by a turbocharged 1.6L petrol engine and coupled with a very competent 6-speed manual transmission (automatic driver’s – sorry you miss out), the GT produces a very respectable 150kW of power and 265Nm of torque. With over 80% of its maximum torque kicking in below 1500rpm, the pro-cee’d is no slug off the mark, however remains lively and responsive when sitting in a higher rev band. I am not exactly sure I would call it a ‘hot-hatch’ in terms of performance, there’s no turbo kick that pushes you into the seat – however in its defence there isn’t a noticeable lag either. Perhaps the best sports-like quality is the marriage between the engine and the gearbox, whose smooth shifts really make the most of the drivetrain. Overall, the Pro_cee’d GT provides a spirited, comfortable and energetic drive. Our fuel consumption for the week was 8.3L/100km and had a good mix of city and freeway driving – however it is important to note that I am not the most fuel efficient driver.
Two major draw cards for the Pro-cee’d GT are Kia’s 7 year, unlimited km warranty and the 5 star ANCAP safety rating it received. No surprises there as it features parking sensors, dusk sensing auto-headlights, front and rear fog lights and the long list of three-letter acronyms including HAC (Hill-Start Assist Control). Now we had the GT Tech for the week which has the bonus of keyless entry with push button start and also has a few added features over the GT including door handle lamps, the HID headlights, privacy glass, the sunroof, a power outlet in the luggage area and a luggage net.
The Pro_cee’d GT Tech is priced at $34,990* (our text vehicle has the premium black paint: an additional $595). When comparing the Pro_cee’d GT range to its competitors – it’s important to note just how new this vehicle is to the Kia line up while many of its competitors have years of experience and multiple generations behind them. Keeping this in mind, the Pro_cee’d becomes even more impressive and holds lots of promise for future generations.
*drive away price for postcode 2000 and is subject to change