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Kia Cerato Koup Turbo 2014 Review

EXPERT RATING
7
As the name suggests the Koup is a coupe, a two-door version that's based on the Cerato four-door sedan.

As the name suggests the Koup is a coupe, a two-door version that's based on the Cerato four-door sedan. We find the name Koup a little gimmicky and would prefer Cerato Coupe, but others love the name. And it's certainly easier to communicate than Kia's next performance model will be: the pro_cee'd GT (complete with the underscore and apostrophe) that will arrive here later this year.

The second-generation Koup arrived here in November 2013 adding some performance substance to its already sporty style in the form of an optional turbocharged petrol engine.

Exterior changes from the gen-one Koup are most noticeable at the front where the grille is narrower than before but offset by a wider, 'open-mouth' lower air intake. The headlights have been reshaped to meet the smaller grille and sit above new round foglights. The all-new Kia Koup is larger in all exterior dimensions, both length and wheelbase increased by 50 mm, height up by 10 mm and width by 15 mm.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS

A first for Kia, the 1.6-litre direct-injection, turbo generates up to 150 kW of power, and torque of 265 Nm with a useful spread between 1750 and 4500 rpm.

The standard Koup engine is a naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre unit that is carried over from the first-generation Koup. It has been upgraded to 129kW of power (from 115kW) and 209Nm of torque (from 194Nm) and will suit those looking for a sporty cruiser that shares the same stylish looks but don't want to pay extra for performance.

Transmission options on both models are six-speed manual and automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters fitted to the Koup Turbo. Fuel consumption on the combined cycle is listed at 7.7 litres per 100 kilometres from the manual Turbo and 8.0 L/100 km from the auto. We used 8.4 L/100 km during our test of the automatic Koup Turbo.

INTERIOR

Despite its sleek styling there a surprising amount of space inside the Kia Koup. It does have five seats but can realistically only cope with three children or two adults in the rear. Rear headroom is borderline and any passenger over 1.7 metres in height should make sure they get the front seat. Small side windows won't be appreciated by rear seat passengers and could lead to the dreaded boredom with kids back there.

Access to the rear seats is helped by the wide frameless doors although they do need caution when opening them in cramped parking areas. One criticism from the previous model has been addressed with the addition of a handle at the top of the front seats that both folds and slides the front seat forward at the same time. The

Maximum boot capacity space is 433 litres with a full-size spare wheel under the floor raising the boot floor although there are small storage compartments wrapping around the spare. A 60/40 split for the rear seat can provide extra luggage room if needed.

Entry into the Koup is easier than for most sporty cars and an extender that holds the seat belt overcomes the typical problem of having to stretch well back to reach the belts. The extender also folds down to keep the seat belt out of the way when getting into the rear seats.

The instrument cluster is neat and the dials are easy to read. An information centre at the bottom of the cluster gives details of trips, fuel usage, engine temperature, distance to empty and doors open. The steering wheel is tilt and telescopic adjustable and vision is good all-round thanks to the frameless door glass.

FEATURES

As we've come to expect from Kia, the Cerato Koup comes well-equipped, with much of the equipment you find in a more expensive model as standard. As well as the basic safety gear (ESP, multiple airbags, enhanced) this includes hill-start assist; emergency stop signal; front and rear parking sensors; reversing camera with in-dash display; and front and rear fog lamps

The Koup Turbo adds LED daytime running lights and rear combination lamps; projection type front fog lamps with LED surrounds; push button start; side skirt; alloy sports pedals; cooling glovebox; puddle lamps on the side mirrors; and 18-inch alloy wheels (17-inch on the Si).

INFOTAINMENT

Bluetooth telephone and audio streaming that, unlike many others, is simple and logical to pair and operate helped by a colour touch screen. At just 4.3 inches the standard screen is a bit tricky to use – a 7.0-inch screen is available with the optional ($2200) Touring Pack that also includes satellite navigation, DVD player, dual-zone climate control air conditioning, clean air module and auto defog system.

DRIVING

There's minimal lag from the turbo engine its wide torque range gives it a strong feeling. We were impressed with the willingness of the automatic to change down a gear of two the moment the driver gives the message with their right foot pressure.

There was just a hint of understeer. Handling is excellent and Koup coped well on the section of rural roads on our test route. We're rapidly becoming fans of paddle shifts and used them to move through the gears on tight, hilly terrain.

Kia Koup cruises comfortably at motorway speeds supporting Kia's suggestion that Koup is more a grand tourer than a sports car. It certainly feels like the sort of car that you could travel long distances in comfort.

VERDICT

Affordable coupes are on the comeback trail in Australia with Toyota and Subaru leading the way with their 86 and BRZ models. While lacking the performance of the Toyota/Subaru twins the Kia Cerato Koup Turbo provides plenty of driving fun or comfortable cruising at a sub-$30,000 starting price.
 

The complete Kia Koup range is:
Si 2.0-litre petrol three-door coupe: from $23,990 (manual), $26,190 (automatic)
Turbo 1.6-litre turbo-petrol three-door coupe: from $27,990 (manual), $30,190 (automatic)
Turbo Touring 1.6-litre turbo-petrol three-door coupe: from $30,190 (manual), $32,390 (automatic)

Kia Cerato Koup Turbo
Price: from $27,990 
Engine: 1.6 litre four-cyl turbo; 150kW/265Nm
Transmission: 6-speed manual or auto; FWD
Thirst: 7.7L/100km

Pricing Guides

$12,990
Based on 148 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$9,990
Highest Price
$17,995

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Koup Si 2.0L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $12,760 – 17,050 2014 Kia Cerato 2014 Koup Si Pricing and Specs
Koup SLS 2.0L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $12,430 – 16,610 2014 Kia Cerato 2014 Koup SLS Pricing and Specs
Koup Touring 1.6L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $13,888 – 15,977 2014 Kia Cerato 2014 Koup Touring Pricing and Specs
Koup Turbo 1.6L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $13,420 – 17,600 2014 Kia Cerato 2014 Koup Turbo Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Pricing Guide

$11,000

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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