Mighty Personality

by Gazette Reporter

Attempting to shift balance back towards petrol engines, Kia’s new 1-litre C’eed GT line promises to deliver a measure of practical performance and personality in a nifty hatchback package.
It’s personality is evident from first glance – very distinctive ice-cube LEDs and a set of clean 17” alloys give a far more aggressive look to the GT line when placed next to the regular (already fairly beefy) C’eed. A set of twin oval exhausts at the rear add to that sense of muscular sturdiness. Some extra bits of exterior dazzle – like the kerbside lights that come on underneath the mirrors as you unlock with the fob – may provide more psychological than practical benefit, but that’s no complaint. It just adds to the fact that the C’eed GT is something you look forward to getting into.
While the C’eed GT looks well from the outside, the interior really shines – and quite literally too. Alloy pedals, and a chrome trim along the dash, doors, and gearstick surround sets a nice tone against the matt black and muted greys of the upholstery. A heavy grey stitch along the wheel and seats adds to the overall sporty feel.
There are some great touches in here, like the angled dash, that sets all of the instrument panels and audio controls to subtly face toward the driver. Aside from that mildly annoying Kia trait of having the volume and phone controls on the left side of the wheel, this has to be one of the Korean manufacturer’s classiest cabins.
What really earns the tidy GT Line badge on the rear is Kia’s new Ecoboost 1 litre engine. The three cylinder petrol engine provides a surprising amount of power, while keeping emissions (and road tax) relatively low. There has been a move over the past year back to 1 litre turbo engines, with the Focus and Corsa both showing how they can be used effectively. Here, Kia adds more weight to the argument – proving that the small petrol engine can provide plenty of power for most road users.
It works well coupled with Kia’s nicely tuned gearbox – there is the sense that there’s always enough for an extra push, so you’ll rarely need to shift down gears to overtake. Even cruising along the motorway with a full load, in sixth gear, the C’eed GT feels like it still has plenty to give.
With an ample amount of boot space, and plenty of room in the back seats, the C’eed GT can easily undertake most of the day to day chores you’d expect a hatchback to handle. While the C’eed was never the strongest branch of the Kia tree in terms of sales, there is certainly a niche for this new GT line. Starting at around €22,000, and offering a solid blend of good looks and effective performance, the C’eed GT might make sense for young families who are looking for a very dependable, yet stylish and fun, solution.

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