After spending six months looking for a modern midlife-crisis car, I settled on a 2014 Kia Pro_cee'd GT-Tech in what I’ve found to be a rare silver one.
Before making my choice, I drove a Toyota 86 and a Hyundai Veloster Turbo prior to the Pro_cee'd. All were manual transmission. The 86 was a typical Toyota (Boring) and not a real four-seater. The Veloster was quite fun, but I’m not a fan of the angles-everywhere dashboard.
With the Kia Pro_cee'd it’s a unique look on the outside, with the 'ice cube' LED daytime running lights and 'tiger grille' that got me interested. The interior was a fresh surprise for a Korean/European car. It’s very subtle and easy on the eye, with chrome accents in the right places and soft-touch dash. The Recaro seats feel great, hugging you in the right places. The suede and leather added to the quality feel of the interior.
It’s a two-door hatch and the back is as comfy as the front seats, but can be difficult for some adults to get in and out of – even with the front seat fully forward and the large doors open wide. Although, the door size isn’t an issue in car parks thankfully.
I’ve had the car 18 months now and have enjoyed the driving dynamics and also the ownership. It’s a quick car, but not that quick, so you can have fun behind the wheel without being frightened when you push hard on the throttle and get the twin-scroll turbo on song. You watch the speedo numbers quickly increase on the TFT centre screen on the instruments and the torque/turbo boost coloured bars go up, which adds to the driving experience – it’s not just a gimmick.
The ride is firm, but not too firm or bouncy to be annoying. Bumps and rough surfaces are easily absorbed by the great suspension set-up – multi-link rear compared to a Veloster.
Even with spirited driving, fuel economy is around 8L/100km. Plus, it takes normal 91RON fuel, unlike many European cars that demand 95RON fuel. The range is around 600km for a tank, and even more on a recent trip from Melbourne to Sydney getting over 700km on a 53L tank.
I must say on the trip up to Sydney, the car was a pleasure to be in. Cruise set and in sixth gear, the car took all the hills and gradients in its stride, not needing any gear changes to ascend or descend on the whole trip. Plus, overtaking was quick and safe with the 1.6-litre turbo engine showing how driveable it is in everyday use.
When it comes to services, it’s every six months or 7500km, and the fixed-price services don’t seem overpriced, plus it’s easy to get warranty work addressed too. In 18 months I’ve had seat foam issues, which is a common problem fixed without hassle. Mechanically, there have been no issues in the near 30,000km I’ve driven. Confidence in the Kia warranty and dealerships takes the stress out of the ownership too.
There are, to me, some very upmarket features on the Tech model I have: the panoramic sunroof, the HID headlights that turn as you turn the steering wheel, and the puddle lamps on the door mirrors would be found only on German cars and not a Kia.
This car is quite unique in Australia, and I have found it has a bit of a cult following, which adds to the ownership. With the addition of the Optima GT and Stinger GT, it’s looking great to be a Kia GT owner.
I’m not sure I’d find a better package in a car, and I’m going to struggle to find a replacement – not that I’m looking to change my car for a long while. As Kia uses as its tag line, the Pro_cee'd GT has 'The Power To Surprise'.