I’ve bought my Koup Turbo Touring a little over a month ago and am just about to get the 3,000km service done. What I think so far? To be honest, I love it.
I’ve had an eye on this car since it hit the showrooms back in 2013. Its mix of understated sportyness and style caught my eye and to be honest was a major factor in my decision to buy one. It isn’t a Toyota Corolla/Mazda 3/Hyundai i30 you see everywhere. It looks familiar yet different. While looks can be deceiving, a test drive had me sold. I looked at other very good cars in the same price range and above but at the end, the heart in combination with a good deal and 7 years warranty won over the head which suggested to go elsewhere.
The Koup is not a sports car like the Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ and doesn’t say “look at me” like the Veloster. It’s a comfortable grand tourer which is very much at home on the open road but very tame around town. It handles peak hour traffic well but is great for a spirited drive up windy mountain roads at the same time. I’ve taken her on a 1,500km round trip on a recent long weekend and was impressed. Whether it was windy mountain roads, dead straight highways or poorly surfaced inland roads, the local suspension tune works a treat. While the lowered ride and the 18″ wheels with their low profile tyres make the ride fairly hard, it is never uncomfortable. I have a bad back but it never complained. There is some tyre roar over coarse surfaces but besides that, noise levels are great. The leather seats are pretty comfortable and offer good support. Lumbar support is OK but not adjustable unfortunately. I can get out of the car after 500km without stiff bones despite the afore mentioned back.
The engine is a feisty little bugger. It certainly offers the grunt to back up the loks of the car. There is no turbo lag to speak off and peak torque is available from 1,750rpm all the way to 4,500rpm. This means there is plenty of shove all the time. The 6 speed auto does its best to keep the engine in its sweet spot but has no hesitation to drop 2 gears when more power is requested. Optional, the auto offers a gear lever operated “manual” mode or can be overridden at any time with the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. If you don’t use the paddles in a while, the auto will take over again.
There is ample if space in the front and for a coupe there is plenty of leg and decent head room in the back. A 6 footer Ike me can sit in the back without touching the roof or feeling cramped. The boot is alright for a coupe but don’t expect miracles. It is fairly shaliow and the wheel arches protrude a fair bit. It’s certainly good for a fortnight’s worth of shopping or a few travel bags. The interior is mostly standard Cerato with the exception of the aluminium pedals, the faux carbon fibre inserts in the dash and the black roof lining.
The 7″ infotainment system is adequatefor the class. Touch screen only, not a nifty dial like in the Mazda 3. Phone connection is a breeze and Bluetooth audio works a treat. The satnav works fine and is mostly easy to use and accurate. The iPod mode works well too but keeps forgetting that it is shuffling and plys continuously when continuing after the car was shut down. The only real niggles I have with the system is that it is fairly slow to start, defaults back to radio when the car is powered up again and that I have to download my phone contacts every time the phone connects.
Fuel consumption is, certainly not class leading, adequate. It ranges from 6.2l cruising with no traffic and the cruise control set to 100, to 9.5l in peak hour traffic. So the 8l average Kia states is fairly accurate. It’s happy with regular unleaded.
Over all, the Koup is a fun car with all the things this human needs in a car. It looks good and has the grunt to back it up. It’s great as a daily drive through the peak hour grind and amazingly fun on the open road. Knowi g what I know now, I’d certainly buy another one.