Kia pro_cee'd GT

Line

Kia pro_cee'd GT Line 2015, front
Kia pro_cee'd GT Line 2015, side
Kia pro_cee'd GT Line 2015, rear
Kia pro_cee'd GT Line 2015, DRL cluster
Kia pro_cee'd GT Line 2015, interior
Kia pro_cee'd GT Line 2015, 1.0-litre turbo engine

NOT everyone wants - or can afford - the top-of-the-range high performance cars that manufacturers offer.

But most people do want to drive a model that looks just as good, for less money.

And that's where Kia has scored with its new GT Line pro_cee'd.

Visually it looks just like the 143 miles-per-hour, high-powered 1.6-litre GT model but under the bonnet there is an engine of just 998cc.

So it's all show but not as much go.

Kia is following the current trend towards smaller, more powerful engines which lower the initial price of the vehicle and also keep running costs down.

But by cleverly producing a car which looks almost identical to its range leader it is appealing to a huge market.

The new GT Line with its swept back headlights narrowing side windows, sporty side skirts and deep front cowling is certainly eye catching.

And despite the small, three-cylinder engine there are even two exhaust outlets.

Performance for such a small engine is impressively brisk, with a 0-60 miles hour time of 10.7 seconds - it's just over seven for the GT - and a top speed of 118mph.

The power delivery is remarkably smooth and the car is very quiet, with the typical three-cylinder sound not evident until high up the rev range.

Kia has tweaked the handling of the new model and it feels sharper and more responsive although the ride is still more biased towards comfort rather than sport.

But even with four people in the car there is no real feeling of it being underpowered although you do have to work the six-speed manual gearbox more than with a more powerful engine to get the best performance out of it. Do that and it delivers.

The only real disappointing feature was the fuel consumption, bearing in mind this is one of the main aspects that will appeal to anyone buying a car with a small engine.

Kia says the car will average more than 57 miles per gallon but the most I managed was around 42 and that was trying desperately hard and even coasting on occasions.

That said it's an enjoyable car to drive and there is a nice sporting rasp from the twin exhausts when you put your right foot down hard.

The interior of the pro_cee'd is just as appealing as the outside. Sporting seats with a quilted finish look great are extremely comfortable and hold you in place well. There is even an electric lumbar support on each of the two front seats.

The dashboard is stylish with three main dials right in front of the driver and a very comprehensively equipped multi-function steering wheel.

In the centre section of the dashboard is a touch screen for the satellite navigation system and other on-board functions and the car has a liberal scattering of smart piano black trim on the doors, steering wheel, dashboard and around the centre screen.

Equipment levels are high, with features like cruise control, climate control, colour reversing camera and Bluetooth.

So the new pro_cee'd GT Line delivers a nice little package with plenty of kit and the appearance of a hot hatch but with low insurance premiums and budget priced road tax.

FAST FACTS

Kia pro_cee'd GT Line

Price: £19,720

Mechanical:118bhp,998cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 118mph

0-62mph: 10.7 seconds

Combined MPG:57.6

Insurance Group: 12

C02 emissions: 115g/km

Bik rating: 18%

Warranty: 7yrs/100,000 miles

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