I love a hot hatch and I seem to get my hands on red ones on a regular basis. For some reason, to me, Kia seems like an unlikely brand to make a hot hatch but I’d heard good things. As it turns out, this is a very rapid all-rounder (despite its very silly name).

Exterior style

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There’s a lot to like about this car. I love the way the line of the lights runs towards the roof and those 18 inch alloys look great. It’s a fairly big car and some might say it looks cumbersome but the sleek lines, pointed lights and angled windows make it very attractive to look at. Bravo Kia designers, bravo.

Interior style

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I like the feel of this car. Considering it’s so affordable, I thought the interior would be cheap with lots of buttons to make up for poor materials but that s not the case.

The sports seats are comfortable and all the buttons are within easy reach of your driving position. This allows you to focus on the road. Being able to adjust things like seat height, lumbar support and steering wheel angle also makes it really easy to get comfortable on a long drive. I think this is very important when it comes to driving quickly, as a perfect driving position can not only help you find time but you’ll be safer too – good news for your day-to-day driving but also if you take this car on track too!

The display behind the steering wheel shows you your turbo pressure and torque, great for any petrol heads that want to know exactly what their car is doing (it’s really pretty too).

The red stitching around the leather and the embroidered GT badges just add a delicious, sporty feel to the interior of this car.

Driving

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The only grumble I had with this car was its lack of noise, engine noise, that is. I want my hot hatch to have presence and I want people to know I’m approaching so they’ll get out of my way. With the Cee’d, you have to rev the hell out of it to get any satisfying sound.

Despite the lack of noise, this is a proper hot hatch with 200 bhp coming from the 1.6 turbo engine, this means it can do 0-60 in 7.4 seconds. It’s fun to drive and when you hit a country road, the thing flies. You can put your faith in that grip and while it doesn’t always feel steady and is a little twitchy under heavy braking, it certainly makes you smile.

It’s a bit more refined that it’s competitors and I found myself easing off on corners where I’d normally grit my teeth and push through with the Abarth or the Fiesta ST.

In short, this is a good hot hatch but it doesn’t quite elicit the same level of excitement as other hot hatches of this stature.

When it comes to economy, I achieved 30mpg in the Cee’d GT — with official stats saying it’ll do 38. That’s a bit less than its rivals but I was pushing hard so I’ve got no doubt that with some sensible driving and a thought to your fuel, you could easily get that 38mpg figure out of this car.

Comfort and practicality

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You could easily fit a snowboard in the boot with the seats down and I managed to fit half of Nell’s life in here when we moved her to Norfolk so, if size matters to you, you’re onto a winner with the Pro_cee’d GT. If you want a bit more space, go for the five-door Cee’d GT as it makes loading items, family and friends just that little bit easier.

I guess the reason you’d buy a hot hatch over a sports car is so you can have performance and space so the Pro_cee’d GT works well in this respect with 362 litres of boot space, ample leg room in the back and a very comfortable ride up front.

The suspension on the car is good enough to absorb little bumps and pot holes in the road without sacrificing handling too much but you really do know it when you hit a speed bump a little quickly or don’t notice the sink hole that’s carved it’s way into the tarmac of your favourite country lane.

Overall

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I liked this car but not as much as I like its competitors. As good a hot hatch as it is, I can’t see why you’d buy this over a Fiesta ST, sure the ride is more comfortable but if you’re looking for comfort, surely you don’t want a sports set up… I love how this car looks and the trim level is very high and if you don’t like Fords or want that extra practicality, go for the Kia.

Priced from £20,000. As driven (with tech pack) £22,500