2015 Kia Cerato Koup Turbo review
Isaac Bober’s first drive 2015 Kia Cerato Koup Turbo review with pricing, specs, ride and handling, safety and verdict.
In a nutshell The Cerato Koup Turbo was Kia’s first turbocharged petrol car – it offers traditional sports car good looks.
Practical Motoring Says The Kia Cerato Koup Turbo might be a two-door but it doesn’t require you to compromise with a cavernous back seat. The turbocharged engine offers plenty of grunt and the chassis is flexible enough to make the Koup a properly comfortable car with enough agility to have a bit of fun on a twisting road.
ARRIVING IN 2013, the Cerato Koup was the South Korean company’s toe in the water of warmed up motoring. Not an out and out hot hatch, the two-door Cerato Koup shares the bulk of its mechanical bits and pieces with its sibling the Hyundai Veloster.
And while the shouty-looking three-door Veloster begs to be looked at, the Cerato Koup cuts a more traditional coupe shape. I’m a fan of the Veloster’s looks, but for me, the Koup is a better looker (in profile it reminds me of an inflated Honda Integra Type R – anyone else see that?). It’s also a more practical vehicle, but we’ll come back to that.
The Cerato Koup is available with the choice of two engines, either a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol (129kW and 209Nm) or the 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine fitted to our test car. This smaller capacity, higher output engine produces 150kW (at 6000rpm) and 265Nm (between 1750-4500rpm) it’s mated to either a six-speed manual (as standard) or a six-speed automatic (our test car was fitted with an automatic). Fuel consumption ranges from 7.3L/100km – 8.0L/100km depending on the transmission.
As mentioned, our test car came fitted with the six-speed automatic which offers manual control should you so wish via steering wheel mounted paddles but, if I’m honest, paddles in anything this side of a BMW M3 are a bit of a gimmick. Thanks to its wide torque band (1750-4500rpm) the Koup makes short work of hills and highway cruising, and the auto is clever and quick enough to always be in the right gear at the right time.
And, because the boffins worked on things like throttle calibration, meaning power arrives progressively, there’s absolutely no torque steer even if you do mash the throttle from a standing start. The suspension has been tuned locally with the Koup and Kia’s local engineers deserve a pat on the back because they’ve managed to blend comfort with control and while the Cerato Koup isn’t a hot hatch in the same vein as the Ford Focus ST, it’ll still put a smile on the dial of enthusiastic drivers. The brakes are nice and progressive in their action, with the turbo model getting 300mm ventilated discs at the front while the non-turbo gets 26mm ventilated discs, both get 262mm solid discs at the rear.
What lets the car down is its steering. The electric power assist is available in three modes: Comfort, Normal and Sport. For me, Normal was the best mode; Comfort was too slack, while Sport was a little too artificially heavy – but all three modes need more road feel.
As I mentioned, the Cerato Koup is more practical than a Hyundai Veloster and that’s despite the Koup having one less door. There’s 378 litres of bootspace, and miles more room in the back seat of the Koup than there is in the Veloster. Indeed, I was able to fit two childseats in the back (one’s a booster and the other a childseat proper) and both small humans had plenty of legroom. With the kid’s seats out, I was able to climb over the folded forward front seat and into the back easily and then, once in the back, had plenty of leg, shoulder and head room.
Back in the front, the seats are nice and comfortable for long haul journeys and the general fit and finish and quality of the materials used is first-class. Kia really has come ahead in leaps and bounds in recent years. Priced from $30,290 (+ORC) the 2015 Koup Turbo we’ve tested as seen a $100 price rise over the 2014 model. Our test car was painted in Racing Red (metallic paint is a $520 cost option). The Koup Turbo gets LED daytime running lights, dusk-sensing headlights, smart key with push button start, Bluetooth with audio streaming and more. What it misses out on as standard, though, are things like sat-nav, leather, and dual-zone climate control; these are part of the cost optional Touring Pack which bumps the list price up to $32,790 (+ORC) for the auto-equipped Koup Turbo.
In terms of safety, the Cerato Koup gets a five-star ANACP crash safety rating, reversing camera, front corner and rear parking sensors, as well as hill-start assist, traction and stability control.