The Road Ahead : August 2014
MOTORING | NEW CAR ROAD TEST ^MANUFACTURER'S LIST PRICE. REVIEWS BY BARRY GREEN AND JOHN EWING. ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 52 THE ROAD AHEAD AUG/SEP 2014 THE LATEST MODELS PUT TO THE TEST kia pro_ceed gt KEY STATS MLP: $29,990^ SAFETY: ABS, BA, DFSCA, DRL, EBD, ESC, TC, HSA, SBPT. MAIN FEATURES: ACCD, AL, AW 18", CC, LT (leather and suede), PS (rear), RC, RSW, Recaro front seats, front/rear fog lights, static cornering lamps, alloy sports pedals, auto- dim interior mirror, CD with media inputs, bluetooth. ENGINE: 1.6-litre, turbo-petrol, 4-cyl. MAX. POWER: 150kW @ 6000rpm. MAX. TORQUE: 265Nm @ 1750-4500rpm. 0-100KM/H: 7.7 seconds (claimed). FUEL (ADR COMBINED FIGURE): 7.4 litres/100km. ANCAP CRASH RATING: EMISSIONS RATING: FOR: Price, dynamics, performance, long warranty. AGAINST: Navigation still coming, rear visibility, road noise. JE infiniti q50 s premium 2.2d JE KEY STATS MLP: $61,900^ SAFETY: ABS, BA, EBD, DFSCA, DRL, ESC, TC, SBPT (front), DRL, active lane control, lane departure warning, blind spot warning/intervention, forward collision alert/braking. MAIN FEATURES: ACCD, AL, ASS, AW 19" with runflats, CCI, HFS, HSA, KE, LT, NAV, TPMS, PBS, PFS, PS (front/ rear), PSR, RC, RSW, high-beam assist, Bose premium audio with CD/DVD/ DAB+/media compatibility, Infiniti In-Touch apps, bluetooth. ENGINE: 2.2-litre, turbo-diesel, 4-cyl, MAX. POWER: 90kW @ 5000-6000rpm. MAX. TORQUE: 200Nm @ 1400-6000rpm. 0-100KM/H: 8.5 seconds (claimed). 80KM/H-STOP: N/A. FUEL (ADR COMBINED FIGURE): 5.2 litres/100km. ANCAP CRASH RATING: N/A. EMISSIONS RATING: FOR: Equipment and safety features, price, performance and road holding. AGAINST: Engine noise and vibration, steering lacks road feel, foot-operated park brake. THE RECENTLY-RELEASED Q50 is the first, all-new model in the brand's local range. Arguably, it takes the fight to its rivals, but is also found wanting in some areas. So time will tell if buyers have their heads turned away from well-established and better recognised prestige makes by the newcomer. The attractively-priced, mid-range S Premium diesel model features plenty of creature comforts, plus numerous advanced safety and driver assistance systems. Infiniti's In-Touch multi- media and communications system with easy-to-use dual touch-screens and custom apps is standard, too. The Daimler-Benz-sourced turbo-diesel exhibits a little initial turbo-lag but otherwise is responsive, providing solid performance. The seven-speed auto works smoothly, but disappointingly, the diesel is rather clattery and, at idle, vibration can be felt through the steering wheel and seat. Handling and road-holding are sophisticated and its electronic steer-by-wire system is a 'first' in a production car. Without a direct mechanical connection between steering wheel and steering rack, there's no road shock transmitted to the driver's hands. It's quite 'quick' and responsive, but the system dials out real road feel, the electronic 'smarts' left to artificially compensate. The interior is well laid out and, generally, features are very easy to use. 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.
June July 2014