A Qur'an - most comes to mind at first thinking of a Kia a cheap price. Cheap everyday food that is rather boring, than to enthuse with sportsmanship. But the Kia Ceed GT is different: Not only does it look more dynamic than the tamer brothers, it also has 204 PS under its bonnet. These are values with which the Golf V GTI made a stir at the time. But this Kia is a GT and not a GTI. We once checked his teeth and wanted to see how much sport there was in him.
Design - Sporty, not intrusive
Outwardly, the Kia Ceed GT clearly distances itself from its weaker brothers. The most striking feature on the front are certainly the four LED daytime running lights spots per side. They create a new brand identity that can be found on the newer models, such as the Sportage. Otherwise, the Ceed GT trusts in the usual stylistic devices, which are also found in other sporty compacts. For example, the air intakes grew and now carry honeycomb lattices, which is good for the brand grill, especially since the "tiger nose", as it is called, is still emphasized. If you choose the GT in red, the other stylistic elements are of little use. But if the choice falls on white or black, the red decorative trim strikes the eye: It forms the front of the lower air intake and thus evokes associations with a sporting Wolfsburg.
At the back there is nothing to be seen of the red trim; a diffuser is used instead. Whether it really has a function is debatable, but that it enhances the look of the rear is beyond question. The Ceed GT also has two tailpipes to the left and right of it, which further round off the sporty look. They are not too big and give off a pleasant sound. Another style element of the GT: The two indicated air outlets next to the license plate. Of course, they do not have the function of channeling waste heat, but they take on the reflectors and are conducive to the sporty appearance. In connection with the enlarged roof spoiler, the designers around Peter Schreyer - who was a great success at Volkswagen at the time - did a good job.
Interior - high on the yellow car ...
Well, the Kia Ceed GT on the photos is not yellow. But it is still high on the stalls for that. What may not bother small people, tall people will notice all the more. The seats simply can not be driven far enough down to find a truly sporty seating position. Too bad, after all, the front stalls know how to please. Not only the look convinces with its mix as leather and Alcantara, but also the grip. Neatly formed on the lower back and on the thighs, you can look forward to brisk cornering. Even the space is right: Once the chair adjusted, you can hardly complain about too little freedom of movement - apart from the too small adjustment range in height. The steering wheel can be locked in two levels, the center armrest fits instantly and even long-legged people can comfortably accommodate their feet.
A similar picture emerges in row two: the freedom of movement is on par with the competition and does not have to hide. Added to this is the optically and haptically attractive partial leather interior, which contributes a lot to the feeling of wellbeing. That can also be said about the optional panoramic roof. It not only lets a lot of light into the otherwise sporty and dark interior, but also creates around two centimeters more space above the heads, provided the headliner has been retracted electrically. A nice feature of our five-door Kia Ceed GT. The sound of the sound system is also nice: rich basses undermine the sounds of the digital radio stations. Unfortunately, that comes at the cost of a loss of space and practicality in the trunk. If the cargo space with its 380 liters base volume is otherwise in a class-standard, easily usable format, the subwoofer installed directly behind the rear seats noticeably restricts the volume. In the meantime, however, Kia wants to have a variant on offer that disappears into the spare wheel well to save space - problem solved.
The operation of the Korean is also easy. Everything can be found on the spot and poses little puzzles. The nice thing: Once you've sat in a Kia - whether it's Sportage, Optima, Rio or Ceed, you'll find your way around. This is similar to the Volkswagen approach. Of course, the Asians hold on to the turn signal lever, which also includes the control of the light. But this is no longer to be criticized in times of light sensors.
Criticism is more for the electric parking brake - something has not lost in a car with a sporting claim. At least I like the mix of analogue and digital displays. Basically, the speedometer is shown as an analog instrument, but uses a screen. Pressing the "GT" button on the steering wheel turns the speedometer into a purely digital display and gets a dark, sporty theme. Otherwise, the gas intake is still pointed, but you hardly notice.
Otherwise, the interior is not much to say - apart from the infotainment. The days when an Asian vehicle came with a retrofit solution are fortunately over. So the radio navigation combination is neatly integrated and can be operated intuitively. The corresponding menu is preselected via fixed station buttons, the rest is controlled via touchscreen - everything is logical and simple. Particularly praiseworthy to mention: The clear layout of the navigation. If you have entered your destination and are on the road, not only the map is displayed, but also a clear arrow display. When not in use, it quickly switches to the media selection display or a reduced arrow display. In general, the navigation system with clear maps and a quick way of working. That wiping gestures are not available - sponge over it. After all, everything is round, easy and catchy. Many French systems can cut off a thick slice of it.
Driving impressions - part GT, part GTI
204 hp, that sounds pretty decent for a compact class vehicle. Especially since the 1.6 Turbo growls sonorous when you give it the spurs. When the vehicle is warm and you take off the gas from full throttle, it even spurts out a little from its tailpipes - nicely done. The growling may be a bit exhausting on a long journey, but that remains to be seen. On the other hand, the power delivery is a bit tough. The sprint to country road speed takes 7,7 seconds, but the turbo takes a little to get going - a classic turbo lag. Once this has been overcome, the GT pushes comfortably, at least in the lower speed ranges. But the turbo lag is not the kind that you get a real punch in the pit of the stomach once the charger has full thrust. It's more like in a S-Bahn: slowly but emphatically you roll off and then gently add more. A relaxed interpretation that fits the character of a GT.
Too bad that this effect wears off at higher tempos. From about 160 km / h, the Kia Ceed GT runs out of steam. The 204 PS seem a bit tired. The top speed of 230 km / h can only be achieved with a lot of start-up.
So, get off the highway, up the country road. The sporty Korean obviously feels at home here. Here he can play his torque of 265 Nm comfortably, here his chassis can shine. If there is a little unguided here and there in city traffic - for example when driving over recessed tram rails - it shows a really nice tightness when cornering. The side tilt of the body is kept in a manageable frame, while the driving pleasure is great. The crisp gearshift also contributes to this: the connections fit, the gear changes are short and crisp - that's a pleasure. Especially when the 1.6er growls rough. When a warm summer wind blows through the glass roof over the top of your head and your favorite music is well received in the ear canal, you really don't miss anything.
Not even the GT mode, which can be selected on the steering wheel. Only the throttle response tightens slightly, while steering, suspension and exhaust sound remain the same. In itself, you could leave the switch and design the vehicle from the outset so. Here we have perhaps found the only small downside that can be found on the Kia Ceed GT: the steering. In general, she is too easy. If you can adjust with other Kias on a steering wheel button, this feature is missing in the GT. She could, given the great chassis with GTI ambitions - quite tighter respond and require more restoring forces.
Conclusion - The Gran Turismo in the compact class.
He does not want to be the sportiest representative of the compact class, he does not want to convince at the last groove in amateur rides on the racetrack and tickle out hundredths. No, the Kia Ceed GT is not a top athlete. But do you want that in everyday life anyway? Do you want to be limited by exaggerated chassis hardness and airs? At least the Ceed GT does not want that - and that makes it likable. He is sporty, if you want it, invites you to brisk country road games, spoiled with a rich equipment and convinces with a more than decent interior quality. In addition, the optics, as it is pleasant, but not exaggerated by the standard Ceed and the rest of the compact sports class stands out. Only the steering should be a little sharper spiced. Otherwise: Homework done, Kia!