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Kia Cerato Koup Turbo 2013 Review

EXPERT RATING
7
It's nice when a car company responds to feedback. Kia's Cerato Koup has always been a good looking thing but has needed some go to justify the show.

It's nice when a car company responds to feedback. Kia's Cerato Koup has always been a good looking thing but has needed some go to justify the show. This week Kia obliged with the launch of a more performance-focused, turbocharged version of the second generation coupe that won't disappoint.

VALUE

There are two models. Prices kick off at $23,990; the same price as the superseded model and undercutting the base Hyundai Veloster (by $500) that the Koup shares its platform and tubocharged engine option with. 

This figure increases to $27,990 for the Turbo model or $30,190 for the Turbo with the addition of the touring pack. Premium paint is $520 and an automatic adds another $2200 to any of the above prices.

To an already long equipment list the Turbo adds larger 18-inch alloys, enhanced 16-inch brake package, LED rear combination lamps, LED daytime running lamps, alloy sports pedals, cooled glovebox, auto dim mirror, cloth seats with faux leather bolsters, smart key with push button start and welcome lights.

The touring pack adds leather, satnav, DVD player, 7-inch touch screen, dual-zone air, clean air module and auto defog system. But even a fully kitted out Koup misses out on the Veloster's premium sound system.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS

You can have the Koup with one of two engines. There's the 129kW 2.0-litre direct injection unit that powers the top of the line Cerato sedan and hatch, or there's the hot 150kW 1.6-litre direct injection turbo, the same engine that powers Hyundai's Veloster Turbo.

Either engine can be paired with a six-speed manual or traditional style six speed automatic, complete with gear change paddles. Fuel consumption ranges from 7.3 litres/100km for the 2.0-litre manual up to 8.0 litres/100km for the turbocharged auto.

DESIGN

It's a Schreyer design, sitting long and low, with a neat lip style spoiler, twin exhausts and business like air diffuser at the rear. Except for the hood and front fenders, every exterior panel is unique to this model.

Turbo models feature body coloured side skirts, a dark chrome front grille, carbon-look bumper garnish and front fog lamps with added LEDs. The profile is enhanced by the adoption of frameless doors, with flush fitting side windows.

While it is a good 30cm longer than the Veloster with a 50mm longer wheelbase, the Koup sits at virtually the same height. Rear legroom is good but like the Veloster rear headroom is similarly restricted. The dash and instrumentation is familiar from other Ceratos, with large easy to use controls.

SAFETY

Expected to get five stars like the sedan and hatch with a full range of safety features including six airbags, a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, electronic traction and stability control and ABS anti-lock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake force distribution.

DRIVING

Our test car was the Turbo model with an automatic and -- as it happens -- also the quickest Koup in the range. The big difference between this car and the Veloster with which it shares a chassis and powertrain is in the ride and handling, with different springs and dampers fitted to the Koup along with a suspension tune that is unique to the car, and brakes that have been beefed up for the job.

The Turbo with the six-speed auto sprints from 0-100km/h time of 7.4 seconds. Designed as a GT style tourer it looks great and is fun to drive, with strong mid-range acceleration.

On well-formed roads the ride is smooth and refined and it is impressively quiet inside the cabin. Country roads are another matter however where the car tends to move around quite a bit, but we didn't encounter any lift off oversteer.

Best performance is extracted in manual mode, with gear changes via the shifter or steering wheel mounted change paddles. The transmission occasionally changes up or down unexpectedly in full auto mode as turbo boost cuts in and out  irritating but not a deal breaker.

Also of note the steering feel can be adjusted courtesy of the Flexsteer button, but we feel it needs a chunkier wheel that would be easier to hang onto. We're told the exhaust note in the turbo model has been tuned to produce a sporty note and louder than naturally aspirated models  but it's still way too quiet. Can't wait to see one that has been slammed.

VERDICT

Nice looking car, with performance that finally matches its looks. We're told the forthcoming Pro_cee'd GT will be harder edged and better again.

Kia Cerato Koup 
Price: from $23,990 
Engine: 2.0 litre four-cyl petrol; 129kW/209Nm
Transmission: 6-speed manual or auto; FWD
Thirst: 7.3L/100km

 

Pricing Guides

$11,990
Based on 117 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$5,990
Highest Price
$16,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Koup Si 2.0L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $10,990 – 13,990 2013 Kia Cerato 2013 Koup Si Pricing and Specs
Koup SLS 2.0L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $10,670 – 14,630 2013 Kia Cerato 2013 Koup SLS Pricing and Specs
Koup Touring 1.6L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $13,980 – 14,999 2013 Kia Cerato 2013 Koup Touring Pricing and Specs
Koup Turbo 1.6L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $12,818 – 14,990 2013 Kia Cerato 2013 Koup Turbo Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Pricing Guide

$9,990

Lowest price, based on 7 car listings in the last 6 months

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