Monday, 21 May 2012 11:10 AM
We don't blame Jeremy Clarkson for referring to this one as the Kia Cee-apostrophe-d – after all, we are wordsmiths and car lovers and, as such, we like good punctuation. But we are also liking that Kia has really upped its game with the latest version of this Reasonably Priced Car. With a European design team, it certainly looks the part with a nice blend of angles and curves.
And the price is indeed reasonable, starting at £14,395 OTR for the 1.4-litre, six-speed manual. The model range has 16 choices with the top-of-the-line version coming in at £23,795 for the 1.6-litre version with six-speed dual clutch and £23,595 for a six-speed manual 1.6-litre variant. All gearboxes across the range are six-speed and this includes Kia's first Dual Clutch Transmission – will it be as good as Volkswagen's DSG transmission? If so, and if it offers just the right blend of automatic convenience and the fun factor of shifting it yourself, we may have a genuine Golf baiter on our hands.
For the eco-conscious, there's the £16,295 1.6-litre six-speed manual with CO2 emissions of just 97g/km and a stellar combined fuel economy of 76.3mpg. All the manual models are equipped with a stop-start function as standard.
There are five levels of spec on offer and the torsional body strength has been increased by 51%, which will certainly improve Kia's reputation for safety and quality in the marketplace. The standard safety equipment is pretty impressive for the price range with electronic Stability Control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), six airbags and Emergency Stop Signalling (ESS) which causes the rear brake lamps to flash in an emergency stop. Safety options include static and active cornering lights, a colour reversing camera, parking assist and Lane Departure Warning System.
As you move up the range, the alloys grow up to 17 inches, there's the option of black leather front seats, panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel and xenon adaptive headlights – all the sorts of thing you'd expect to find in something pricier and German. There are a few more toys on offer in the communications and connectivity department with upgrade audio systems, Bluetooth with voice recognition in 10 languages and music streaming, iPod connectivity and the Audio plus Navigation system which features voice recognition in 13 languages and full UK postcode entry when setting navigation instructions. There is also a Traffic Messaging Channel information function and full phone number download from the owner’s phone.
This one goes on sale on June 1 and two new versions, the SW and pro_cee'd will follow at the end of the year.
By Georgia Lewis
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