Kia Cee’d GT 2014 review

3 Jul, 2014 11:20am Jack Rix

The five-door version of Kia's Cee'd hot hatch is more practical but just as much fun

Verdict

4
With zero penalty over the Pro_cee’d GT in terms of weight, performance, handling or economy, the five-door Cee’d GT makes a strong case for itself. It looks almost as good and makes life easier for rear passengers, too. So while the GT isn’t as ‘hot’ as some of its hot hatch rivals, it’s an excellent all-round package.

We're already familiar with the three- door Pro_cee’d GT, but now there’s a more practical five-door version to go with it. And although it costs £505 more there’s no sacrifice in terms of weight, performance or fuel economy.

The Cee’d GT is powered by the same 201bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, hits 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds and returns claimed economy figures of 38.2mpg and 171g/km of CO2. All those numbers lag behind the facelifted 247bhp, 41.5mpg Ford Focus ST, but Kia’s intention was always to build an affordable ‘warm’ hatch, and in that respect the GT is a roaring success.

Kia Cee'd GT rear

The engine starts to pull hard from as little as 1,750rpm and keeps going all the way to 7,000rpm. At no point does the GT feel particularly fast, but it means you can use all of the throttle travel more often and have fun without necessarily breaking the law. Where the Cee'd GT falls short of the Focus ST and VW Golf GTI is in steering feel, which is a touch artificial and lacks feedback.

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However, with stiffer springs and dampers, bigger brakes, a thicker anti-roll bar and stickier tyres it handles very neatly indeed – the trade-off is a jittery ride at low speeds, although things smooth out as you up the pace.

Considering the £20,500 starting price (£6,485 less than the cheapest five-door Golf) interior quality is impressive, and a sign of how far Kia has come, with plenty of soft-touch surfaces and gloss black trim. There’s loads of space in the back, while the rear doors improve access and make it a lot less gloomy than the three-door. And while the Pro_cee’d has the edge when it comes to styling, the five-door looks fantastic with its ‘ice-cube’ LEDs, GTI-style pinstripes and 18-inch wheels. 

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An almost positive review

Rhetorically speaking - a lot of car for the money - a great first offering in this highly competitive segment - good looking (I've seen one in metal) - eye-catching interior - industry leading warranty. So to speak - what's not to like?
Having said that there's indeed room for improvement. At best it's power out-put and 0-62mph times can be described as warm hatch-like instead of a pedigree hot hatch. Talking about pedigree - badge could be issue for some. The only area that fails to impress is the high emissions.

The Aussie-tuned one is even better.
Too bad Kia doesn't just let their Aussie division tune their cars across markets.

test

200bhp is more than enough to have fun but 38mpg is a little disappointing.

A nice looking car but doesn't have the premium luxury of the VAG group. The golf GTI is obviously much better, unless you drive a bmw 135i,

Australia doesn't get the 5 door (yet). I'm sure Graeme Gambold's mods to to the Aussie spec Pro_cee'd GT would be freely avialable to other Kia markets?

Yeah, I know.

Would the 5-door would sell better than the Cerato just as the i30 sells better than the Elantra in Australia.

At a glance

Price: £23,000
Engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl turbo
Power/torque: 201bhp/265Nm
Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
0-60mph: 7.4 seconds
Top speed: 143mph
Economy: 38.2mpg
CO2: 171g/km
On sale: now