As a FWD man, I have owned many hot hatchbacks from the 1970s onwards. All have their quirks, but none has been as sorted as this Kia. The Australian version has suspension settings that differ from Europe, and it had to be this way. The fact they now use them in Europe says a lot.
I like the way this car handles – not too firm, and just enough oversteer when playing. Although, since the addition of Michelin Sport 4s this has almost entirely vanished. Also, another three demerits has got me using the speed limiter more often.
I miss the level of tech my old 2008 Fiat had: auto window shutting on the remote, adjustable BiXenon headlamps that turned night into day, the armrest being a fantastic cool box for bottles of water. The Kia has a glovebox attempt but it's not great. These do not really change my love for the Kia, though it's just a shame the set-up is slightly lacking.
The economy is amazing. My last car was a turbocharged 1.4-litre and got nowhere near the pretend figures it published. The Kia can easily return 8L/100km and even better.
I have upset a few V8 owners on many occasions, especially through the tight twisty bends of the national park areas. I even kept up with a Ferrari, much to the wife's dismay.
I have had a few issues with the car mechanically, but nothing the warranty hasn't sorted out. I have done 20,000km in the car so far and actually love driving it – and staring at it parked as it is a good-looking car. I am still shocked I had never seen one until I glanced at a comparison review about it. The price is just ridiculous for what it is. Nothing compares on value for money.
My two kids love it. Getting them in and out of a three-door is easier than my Lancer I owned for a year. In fact, there is more leg room than most four-doors, and that's with kiddie seats fitted. A totally impractical family car, but I couldn't help it, and my usually sensible wife agreed when we bought it. I offered to sell it to buy a bigger, slower, more Australian vehicle and she said no way! I knew she would say no, but I had to pretend.
The boot space is too small, so I got a roof box for the camping trips. It fits the push chairs and shopping easily, but isn't as big as I pretended it was when we bought it.
Try one out before you spend far too much on your German engineering – spend the change on another car even. As I have said, nothing compares to the Pro’ GT for value and enjoyment.