Kia is a marque that not so long ago, were known for their uninspiring but reliable cars that appealed largely to the grey army.
Certainly not a brand you would have considered when looking for a hot hatch…….until now.
10 years ago, if your hot hatch had 150bhp you were doing well. Turn the clock forward and these days it’s not uncommon to see 300bhp or even 350bhp.
These modern hot hatches, although ridiculously fast, are an uncompromising breed. All of that power and performance means they often a handful and demanding to drive, borderline too extreme for everyday use. It also come at a cost. The modern crop of seriously hot hatches are typically well over £30k.
So what if you want your cake and eat it. What if you want to have fun but you don’t want to be holding back a monster or fearing every bone jarring journey will end with a trip to the chiropractor?
That’s where Kia pull out their ace card……the Ceed GT.
Kia’s Ceed GT is hot hatch, make no mistake. It has a revvy 201bhp / 195lb ft of torque 1.6L turbocharged petrol engine, a brilliant fwd chassis, 6 speed gearbox, supportive leather Recaro sports seats, fully independent front and rear suspension and brilliant brakes behind 18” wheels.
It’ll crack 0-60 in 7.4sec while the top speed is 143mph. The all important CO2 emissions are 171g/km and the brochure says you can get 38.2mpg combined fuel consumption.
The engine is revvy and eager but not overpowering, with enough power to be fast and fun but can easily pull off the day job duties.
For example, the Cee’d GT can do the school run in the morning with all 5 seats full, jump on the motorway and eat up hundreds of miles in comfort and actually pretty efficiently, and if you want to let your hair down, pull off onto a B road for some serious fun. This car can take all that in its stride. That’s impressive.
On that B road the Cee’d won’t disappoint. In sport mode the dials show boost and torque which is fun and there’s a deeper, more sporty synthesised engine tone pumped into the car.
Changing down through the manual gearbox with a blip of the throttle, the 1.6L engine it lovely and responsive and reminded me in character and in sound of a tuned xflow on carbs.
The leather Recaro seats are just . Comfortable, they look great and they do a fantastic job of supporting you.
Modern car interiors seem to be dull, dreary an unimaginative places. Kia have done a cracking job inside the Cee’d. Sporty but classy. The materials are high quality and look and feel great. A 7in touch screen with sat nav was easy to use, there’s a surprisingly high resolution reversing camera and the heated seats and steering wheel were very welcome on these winter mornings.
Headlights are Xenon adaptive with automatic levelling. It’s like turning daylight back on, and the GT has the Ice cube LED daytime running lights which look odd and out of place in our opinion.
To sum up, the Cee’d is great fun. We had it for a week and had a blast. It’s a great fun, fast, excellent handling car with a very high quality interior for around £25k new.
You can expect more hot versions from the Kia stable