Upgrades from the facelift saw the GT gain larger brakes, new 18in alloy wheels, a new grille and the same redesigned front bumper you’ll find on the five-door Cee’d GT. The suspension has been revised in an effort to deliver a keener, more engaging drive.
It all sounds good until you get to the reference in the brochure to the GT’s new ‘electric sound generator’, designed to enhance the engine’s natural sound inside the cabin.
This type of generator is more commonly called a sound symposer – and it’s something of a poisoned chalice. While it can fill a car’s cabin with a ‘sportier’ noise, it can also sound unpleasant and artificial. Often, you’re left thinking the engine’s natural note isn’t sporty enough without it.
On looks alone, the Procee’d GT is a winner. Its larger wheels and unique light clusters set it apart from the rest of the Cee’d range, while inside there are all of the usual hot hatchback features you’d expect. These include all the trimmings found on the GT-Line trimmed Procee'd, including Kia's 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system with TomTom's sat nav and reversing camera, dual-zone climate control, and keyless start and entry, but minus the spare wheel and flex steer system.
The additions include adaptive xenon headlights, heated front Recaro seats and steering wheel, red brake calipers, dual exhaust and an aggressive bodykit. While the GT’s looks have been upgraded, the power from its turbocharged 1.6-litre engine remains the same as before, at 201bhp and 195lb ft of torque.
When we first drove the Procee’d GT in 2013, we praised its road manners and handling but found it to be more of a warmed-up version of the regular Cee’d than a true hot hatchback. That much remains true, because while this updated GT does offer an engaging and fun drive, it’s never quite on the same level as class champions such as the Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen Golf GTI.
Helped by its twin-scroll turbocharger, the 201bhp petrol engine provides a decent surge of power, but acceleration feels simply rapid rather than rocketship fast. Kia says the GT can reach 60mph in 7.3sec before powering on to its maximum speed of 143mph. That’s fine, but the Golf GTI takes 6.5sec and has a higher top speed.