KIA KOUP REVIEW
VEHICLE STYLE: Coupe / Sports Car
PRICE: $23,690 (plus On Road Costs)
Engine: 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol
Outputs: 115kW / 194Nm
Transmission: Five-speed manual
Official fuel efficiency: 7.7 l/100km
On test fuel efficiency: 8.3 l/100km
CO2 emissions: 183g/km
Distance Travelled: 3612km
And so, TMR’s long-term review of the Kia Cerato Koup comes to a close. We put the Koup through the grinder, clocking up over 3500km around town and on the highway.
We came across a few niggly issues but, overall, the Koup proved itself to be a good drive - one we certainly warmed to. We even came to like the day-glow green paint of our tester... almost.
- Quality: Stylish looks (although now ageing) and good fit, with few to no rattles and creaks. Low-grade plastics, but appropriate for the price range and not unappealing.
- Comfort: Although trimmed in a pleasing suede-like material, the basic bolstering and limited thigh support of the seats are a disappointment. There is adequate leg and head-room for rear seat occupants.
- Equipment: The Koup offers cruise and climate control, a multi-function trip computer, auto-on headlights and rear-parking sensors. Auxiliary and iPod/USB connectivity is featured, although iPod integration is limited to volume control and skipping tracks.
- Storage: Boot space is an ample 358 litres, losing only 57 litres from the sedan's 415 litres of storage space.
ON THE ROAD
- Driveability: In keeping with the Koup’s sporting pretensions, Kia has firmed up the Koup’s suspension. It remains well-suited to the daily commute, but not quite as comfortable as the Cerato sedan.
The engine is willing if not powerful, and works well through the rev range, coming ‘on song’ above 4500rpm. Steering is a little ‘woolly’ in the ten or so degrees off the straight ahead, but the weight and feel improves as forces rise. Rear visibility is good despite the high rear deck and thick C-pillars.
- Refinement: The engine is quiet at low to medium revs, but gets noisy in the upper reaches of the rev-range. The clutch can be touchy and frustrating to operate in stop-start traffic.
- Suspension: Independent suspension is fitted up front, with a semi-independent torsion beam arrangement at the rear. The Koup has a firmer suspension tune than the Cerato sedan, making for a less comfortable, but more composed, balanced and purposeful drive.
- Braking: Disc brakes are fitted all-round. An overly sensitive pedal makes stop-start city driving a bigger challenge than it should be, but regular driving will see you adapt.
- ANCAP Rating: Not yet tested
- Six airbags, ABS, EBD, brake assist, traction control and stability control are standard, along with three-point seatbelts all-round. Pretensioners are fitted to the front row belts.
WARRANTY AND SERVICING
- The Koup is offered with Kia’s five-year unlimited-kilometre warranty as standard.
- Servicing (indicative pricing only): Initial 15,000km service costs $220 and each subsequent service costs no more than $450.
HOW IT COMPARES | VALUE FOR MONEY
The Koup is one of those rare models that really has no natural competitor in its price segment. The nearest two-door personal coupe is Honda’s Civic Type R, adding a $15k premium over the Koup. (Click for Civic Type R reviews)
TMR VERDICT | OVERALL
During our time at the wheel, the Koup attracted a lot of positive attention, and that is what this handsomely styled, yet very inexpensive two-door is all about.
It’s in no way a performance car, but the Koup’s arresting looks, commuter friendly manners, and surprising sub-$25,000 value make it a compelling choice for people who want to get from A to B with more than a little style.
With just over 1000 Koups sold in Australia this year, Kia appears to have found a nice niche for its good-value Koup.