Review Of Kia Pro Cee'd GT - Facelifts can be hard to spot, but not in this case, because the three-door Pro_Cee’d has been given an even sleeker look, thanks mainly to its redesigned nose and LED rear lights. There are also significant changes under the skin, including the arrival of an all-new 1.0-litre turbo petrol and a new GT Line trim level. Or, if you go for this GT performance version, there’s a new set of wheels, bigger brakes, an updated interior, and the addition of this very striking ‘Yellow Flame’ paint. Of course, styling is subjective, but we think the Pro_Cee’d looks great and can even upstage some much more expensive machinery. The cabin is a pleasant place to be, with a good driving position, and while rear visibility is poor, reversing sensors come as standard, while a rear view camera is fitted to GT-Line and GT trims. In those cars you also get this attractive seven-inch touch-screen, which is logical to use and quick to respond.
In typical Kia tradition the Pro_Cee’d is well-equipped, with DAB radio, USB ports and Bluetooth standard in the entry-level ‘SR7’ and ‘2’ trim levels. The GT-Line trim gets a leather steering wheel, alloy pedals and some upmarket gloss trim. In the GT model you also get this TFT central dial, which switches from a conventional speedometer, to a unique view with torque and turbo gauges and a digital speedo, which is actually very easy to read on the move. I also really like how the GT button is on the steering wheel, so you don’t have to go hunting for it if the road suddenly gets more interesting. And, of course, there are these figure-hugging Recaro sports seats. Once sat in the front of the Pro_cee’d there’s loads of room and plenty of seat adjustment, but the main issue is the front doors. They are very long, so it’s difficult to open them wide enough in car parks, and you end up squeezing out of them. But, reaching the seatbelt isn’t too bad, thanks to this arm which flips up. Those long doors make getting in the back a bit easier, but you still need to be fairly agile, particularly in the GT model with its racey seats. Once back there the tiny windows make it a bit gloomy, but there is space for two adults if you need it. Amazingly though, there’s exactly the same 380-litres of boot space as the five-door, the only disadvantage being the slightly smaller boot opening and higher loading lip.
It beats the 312-litre Scirocco and matches the Astra GTC for luggage space. The standard Pro_Cee’d looks great, but you shouldn’t expect sports car handling, because sharing so much with the standard Cee’d, it has a reasonable amount of grip, but its main asset is comfort and its supple suspension does a great job of smoothing out bumps. A new addition for 2016 is torque vectoring across the range, which can brake an inside front wheel in corners to help minimise understeer. The steering has also been retuned and, while you no longer have Flex Steer with three settings, the standard setup feels far more natural. The newest engine is a 1.0-litre ecoTurbo petrol with 98bhp or 118bhp and when we tested it at the car’s launch, it was great fun and felt very spritely, while returning around 57mpg. The 1.6-litre diesel has a power bump from 126 to 134bhp and it can now come with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, which is far more efficient than the old auto. But, we’re in the 1.6-litre turbo petrol GT model, with the same 201bhp as before, and it can get from 0-60mpg in 7.3 seconds.
It’s a bit of an ‘inbetweener’ car then, because it’s faster than a standard model, but not quite a hot hatch like a Focus ST or Megane Renaultsport. And actually, this really suits the car. In fact weirdly it reminds me of the Polo GTI in some ways, because like that car it’s quick, but in a mature way, with lots of grip but suspension which won’t beat you up. Like that car it’s very useable day-to-day. In GT mode there’s a synthetic engine sound, which is actually quite unobtrusive and nowhere near as noticeable as the one augmented V8 rumble in the 308 GT. The Pro_Cee’d starts from £15,250 in SR7 trim, but this comes with a dated 1.4-litre petrol, so we’d recommend the £17k 1.0-litre turbo as a starting point, while £19k will bag you a desirable GT-Line model. The 201bhp GT performance trim costs £23k, a similar amount to a Focus ST. Kia has taken the opportunity to introduce some meaningful changes to the Pro_Cee’d, particularly with the 1.0-litre petrol and attractive new GT-Line trim level. It’s a stylish car, with plenty of equipment and a comfortable ride. The 1.0-litre injects some fun lower down the range, while the GT model remains good fun to drive. It can’t quite compete with more serious hot hatches for driver involvement, but it actually comes into its own on a longer trip or tedious commute. Thanks for read Review Of Kia Pro Cee'd GT.