Calling Kia's Pro_ceed GT a ‘hot hatch’ might be overselling it, but it’s certainly the Korean maker’s most sporting offering to date and well worth considering.
It’s not exactly a VW Golf GTi, but then it’s significantly cheaper, selling for about the same money as the smaller Polo GTi.
But the Kia, available as a three-door hatch only, is more akin to the Golf in size.
The turbo four’s performance is strong and responsive, thanks to a nice spread of torque and well-chosen ratios in the slick, six-speed manual box (there’s no auto).
It’s not super sprightly off the line, but quickly musters enthusiasm for the task. With suspension locally tuned, it impressed us dynamically, feeling responsive and securely planted on the road with plenty of grip from the standard 40 series Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres.
It changes direction with fluidity, has a nice balance and good mid-corner stability.
Inside the cabin, the controls are well laid out, while the Recaro front seats with their red contrast stitching and embroidered GT logo do a good job of supporting the occupants.
Visibility through the smallish rear window is restricted, though the park sensors and rear-view camera help compensate.
An integrated navigation system won’t be available until around the third-quarter of this year. Kia told us it won’t be able to be retro-fitted to earlier cars.