After a week-long test drive of the Kia pro_cee’d GT, here are some of my experiences with the car.
Day 1 – Kia pro_cee’d GT First Impressions
Waiting for the Kia to arrive, I was excited to get behind the wheel of the car. I think most car enthusiasts really enjoy and appreciate the basic thrills that hot hatches provide.
Once the car arrived I had a few moments to wander around the car to take in all the details; the car that we had on test was yellow and actually looked pretty good in my opinion. The car has lots of sporty accents including a low front splitter with red highlight, red brake calipers, 18″ alloy wheels and a large rear spoiler.
Straight away I took the car out for a spin and I was really impressed with it. The pro_cee’d creates a nice induction noise from the 1.6-litre engine, which I wasn’t expecting, and I was also impressed with how alive the car feels. My first impressions were very good of this little car, and I was looking forward to spending the rest of the week with it.
Day 2 – Night Time Photo Shoot
We arranged to take the car to a location that we thought would suit this bright yellow car. We took the car to the centre of Birmingham next to Grand Central Station, the car park had lots of bright yellow features to match the vivid yellow.
Once we got the car in place the surroundings certainly suited it well. Taking a step back and looking at the car for over an hour while we shot it was a great time to study some of the finer details. There was lots to like, one of the most surprising things, for me anyway, was just how low the car was. The 18″ alloy wheels fill the arches nicely and there is actually a very small amount of space between the tyre and the paint work. To expand on this further, getting into the car feels low and the ride height over some of the bumps in the UK’s roads is noticeably low also. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. It looks great and it helps provide that sporty hot hatch feel that we all love.
Other elements of the design I like include the ice cube running lights, honeycomb front grille and the carefully sculpted side panels of the car. Each of these elements are just gentle little touches which go a long way in creating a fresh looking and exciting hot hatch.
Day 3 – Town Driving
I took the car on a mid-day trip through the busy city centre of Birmingham to meet up with some friends. It appears that the energetic driving characteristics of this car are very capable of changing how you drive. The pro_cee’d GT encourages you to make the most out of any trip and any bit of road. I found myself opening the car up a little more than expected just to hear that induction noise and to get a quick feel of the car’s impressive acceleration. When things got busy in town the car was still fun to drive. You have lots of opportunities to take off from the lights, switch lanes, and fly around tight corners. Even driving the car around a multi-storey was pretty fun in the pro_cee’d.
Day 4 – Wet Driving
The Kia is fitted with a set of Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres which stick to the road pretty well in the dry. Thursday was the first day that I got to test putting the power down in the wet. It was really wet, but in straight lines from a standing start the car could still move off pretty well. In first gear there was a certain amount of wheel spin, but it was managed pretty well by the traction control. The traction control works well, it doesn’t limit the power output as you expect, but it feels as if it catches a spinning wheel with the brakes instead. This still allows a bit of slip, but gets great traction from a standing start.
The cornering in the wet on the Pilot Sport 3 tyres also felt pretty good, you could get the car to understeer and slip as with any tyre, but I felt in control and well aware of the level of grip that was available from these tyres.
Day 5 – Stand Out Design
I took the car to visit a friend one evening and left the car parked on the road. In the still of the night the Kia pro_cee’d really stood out from everything else parked around it. The exterior design and appeal of this car is exceptional, and many people commented on this during my time with the car.
Day 6 – Sunrise Photo Shoot
Wanting to get the best pictures of the car we took an early start ready to catch the sunrise. We took the car to a rural environment, set the car up in the road and waited for the sun to rise. Once the sun came up the car looked great, the yellow contrasting with the surrounding green rural scenes. It was great to enjoy its beauty.
That morning we took some time capturing both photography and video of the car. We wanted to capture the hot hatch-ness elements of the car that I have loved from the moment I saw it. To do this, we put particular effort into the rolling shots hoping to articulate the raw fun element that the GT offers. For me this was a fun morning shifting gears in the car, but for photographer, Ross, and videographer, Dan, this meant standing out in strong winds trying to get the perfect shot. Here is where I mention that the Kia pro_cee’d GT has a great set of heated sports seats and super hot heated steering wheel to keep you warm during the winter.
Day 7 – In Summary
On my last day with the car I took the car on a trip from Birmingham to Oxford, and back. I was excited to spend a bit of time with the car and was looking forward to testing it out on the motorway. From a power perspective the GT was perfectly capable on the motorway. The car averaged about 44mpg, which is fantastic – I can’t argue with that at all. The power was loads of fun on the slip roads, and very useful whilst overtaking too.
I did find that on a long journey, once I’d got a bit tired, the suspension was a little bit too stiff. The suspension needs to be firm to be great in the corners and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but some people might find it just a tad too much.
Day 7 – Highlights Video
Supplied by: Kia