We all know how the lifecycle of a butterfly works… From its infancy as a caterpillar, to its adjusting time within a chrysalis, finally emerges a butterfly. This metamorphosis is astonishing when you think where this majestic creature started its life. A similarity can be drawn with the car manufacturer Kia. From humble beginnings the Korean brand now has a range of cars that is unrecognisable from initial incarnations. Design work that rivals the best in their respective classes, rising efficiency, and an industry leading 7 year warranty. For 2015 the Kia Pro_Cee’d GT receives some updates that further suggest that Kia has left its cocoon and is now spreading its wings.
It is a looker isn’t it? Stylish, modern, and proportionally correct, this 2015 Kia Pro_Cee’d GT certainly has key rivals looking in its direction as well as the general public. Steeply angled headlights and Kia’s signature grill gives the car a wide aggressive stance whilst funky “ice cube” daytime running lights, surrounded by glossy black trim, add a unique aesthetic. Creases along its body create a dynamic characteristic even when the car is stationary. Large alloy wheels and chrome trim find a home on the three door hatchback. Curvaceous rear lights encompass the rear corners and illuminate with a distinctive signature at night. I don’t really have anything bad to say about the exterior, I even liked the yellow flame metallic paint. Not many cars can flaunt such vibrant colours, but our test car positively radiated in this shade.
Beauty is more than skin deep with the new Cee’d as the interior is not only pleasing to the eye, but also logically laid out. A large digital instrument panel is customisable and the dual zone air conditioning does not require a degree in computer physics to operate. Whilst on the subject of computers, the touchscreen infotainment system has to be one of the best in ANY car on sale today. It is so simple to use, yet its design looks premium. It is very image based and you won’t find yourself lost within menus like on some other cars. There is now only one trim level for 2015 meaning that all cars get a set of excellent Recaro heated leather and alcantara seats. Another new addition is the D shaped steering wheel. In the back there is a surprising amount of space for rear passengers with two adults fitting neatly on the rear bench. In the boot you will find plenty of usable space as well as a handy cargo net. My only real issue with the interior is the lack of rear visibility, that said all cars now come with a reversing camera.
Several key things have changed for the 2015 Kia Pro_Cee’d GT and one of them is that its 265Nm of torque is now available lower down in the rev range. This means that its 1.6 litre turbocharged engine feels more responsive both on the motorway and exiting a busy junction. With 201BHP and a 0-60MPH time of 7.3 seconds this Kia is more of a “warm hatchback” than a full blooded hot hatch, and that is ok. Not everyone is asking for an ASBO and to be fair it has got a reasonable turn of pace and top speed of 143MPH. Put your foot down and a pleasing but altered noise is piped into the cabin. Whilst not authentic, it is by no means as artificial as some cars. Peugeot 308 GT Line we are looking at you! Finding some entertaining roads reveals the Kia Pro_Cee’d GT to be an enjoyable experience. Good grip levels and direct steering means that you have the confidence to place the car exactly where you want it. Reassuring braking performance from larger discs is another plus point. However, the steering is still a bit too light for my liking and lacks the visceral feel of the very best drivers cars in the class. That is a shame because this package is otherwise great fun to play with. About town the Pro_Cee’d with its sharp looks turns heads. 38.2MPG is claimed by Kia on the combined cycle. At low speed the ride can be a tad firm, but that is a small price to pay for good body control when driving at a pace.
Whilst not an out-and-out hot hatchback, the 2015 Kia Pro_Cee’d GT still makes a compelling argument for itself. Changes for this model year, especially with all of the standard equipment, justify its price increase with the total coming to £23,105. It might be close to the entry level Focus ST with that figure, but for an equally specified car the Ford becomes much more costly.
Either way, don’t go thinking that this Kia is a near-miss for its rivals. It is a direct hit and now everyone is taking notice.