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Kia Koup 2013 Review

Kia is rapidly gaining recognition in Australia as a designer of stylish cars built to a high standard.

Kia is rapidly gaining recognition in Australia as a designer of stylish cars built to a high standard. Now the Korean giant is taking another major step with the introduction of its first turbo-petrol engine.

And what better body to be powered by the new engine than the three-door Cerato coupe model called Koup? The Cerato sedan and hatch variants were launched in Australia earlier this year, now the Koup coupe joins the lineup.


Using the latest direct gasoline injection technology the Kia Koup’s GDi new 1.6-litre twin-scroll turbo engine puts out 150 kilowatts of power and 265 Nm of torque, the latter with a handy spread all the way from 1750 revs to 4500.

For those who aren’t looking for big power from their engines Kia also imports Koup with the same 2.0-litre engine as is fitted to the standard cars. With 129 kW of power and 209 Nm of torque it may well please a large number of buyers.

The Koup range begins at just $23,990 if this engine is specified, compared with $27,990 for the turbo model. That’s not an apple-vs-apple comparison as the more powerful car has added gear, including bigger wheels and tyres.

Both of these Kia engines are happy to run on 91 octane unleaded petrol. A smart move as the better 95 octane unleaded is sold at a far higher price than can be justified in Australia. Six-speed manual or automatic transmissions are offered with both engines. With paddle shifters being part of the auto package.


A full range of audio inputs is supplied. Satellite navigation is only offered as part of a Touring Pack and we haven’t yet had a chance to drive a car with this package.


Six airbags are there to help you stay injury free if the electronic vehicle stability and management systems, and brake assist aren’t able to prevent a crash. Kia Koup is yet to be crash tested in this country but Tony Barlow, the boss of the Australian branch of Kia, is confident it will receive five stars.


The Kia GDi turbo engine has a minimum of lag and its wide torque range gives it a strong feeling. The power and torque outputs are not quite into hot-hatch territory, but come pretty close to it and the Kia Koup is an excellent entry level into that arena.

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.

Though it has a low-slung appearance the Kia Koup is a genuine four-seater. I can fit my 182-cm frame behind itself with decent knee-room and a few centimetres of space above my head. The boot is impressive in its volume, but could be better if its depth wasn’t reduced by the fitment of a full-size spare wheel.

Handling has been sorted out by Australian and South Korean engineers who put in many thousands of test kilometres both here and in the Koup’s home country. The result is excellent with the car coping very well with our country roads, even managing to minimise noise on coarse-chip surfaces. It’s hard to pick the fact that this is a front-wheel-drive car unless you corner at the sort of speeds that should not be attempted on public roads.


You get a lot of style and good performance for a modest price from these all-new Kia Koups. Indeed, Kia Australia tells us its GDi engine is the highest powered unit selling for under $30,000 in this country.

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

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Range and Specs

Koup Si 2.0L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $8,250 – 11,550 2013 Kia Cerato 2013 Koup Si Pricing and Specs
Koup SLS 2.0L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $10,230 – 14,080 2013 Kia Cerato 2013 Koup SLS Pricing and Specs
Koup Touring 1.6L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $11,950 – 12,880 2013 Kia Cerato 2013 Koup Touring Pricing and Specs
Koup Turbo 1.6L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $8,800 – 12,430 2013 Kia Cerato 2013 Koup Turbo Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


Lowest price, based on 8 car listings in the last 6 months

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