The Cerato Koup is the first Kia to come to Australia with turbo power

The Cerato Koup is the first Kia to come to Australia with turbo power

The Kia Koup, or Kia Cerato Koup to give it its full title, has been on sale in Australia since 2009. As the name suggests the Koup is a coupe, a two-door version that’s based on the Cerato four-door sedan.

We find the name Koup a little gimmicky and would prefer Cerato Coupe, but others love the name. And it’s certainly easier to communicate than Kia’s next performance model will be: the pro_cee’d GT (complete with the underscore and apostrophe) that will arrive here later this year.

The second-generation Koup arrived here in November 2013 adding some performance substance to its already sporty style in the form of an optional turbocharged petrol engine.

MY14 Kia Koup Turbo
Exterior changes from the gen-one Koup are most noticeable at the front where the grille is narrower than before but offset by a wider, ‘open-mouth’ lower air intake. The headlights have been reshaped to meet the smaller grille and sit above new round foglights.

The all-new Kia Koup is larger in all exterior dimensions, both length and wheelbase increased by 50 mm, height up by 10 mm and width by 15 mm.

A first for Kia the 1.6-litre direct-injection, turbo generates up to 150 kW of power, and torque of 265 Nm with a useful spread between 1750 and 4500 rpm.

MY14 Kia Koup Turbo
The standard Koup engine is a naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre unit that is carried over from the first-generation Koup. It has been upgraded to 129 kW of power (from 115 kW) and 209 Nm of torque (from 194 Nm) and will suit those looking for a sporty cruiser that shares the same stylish looks but don’t want to pay extra for performance.

Transmission options on both models are six-speed manual and automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters fitted to the Koup Turbo.

Fuel consumption on the combined cycle is listed at 7.7 litres per 100 kilometres from the manual Turbo and 8.0 L/100 km from the auto. We used 8.4 L/100 km during our test of the automatic Koup Turbo.

Despite its sleek styling there a surprising amount of space inside the Kia Koup. It does have five seats but can realistically only cope with three children or two adults in the rear. Rear headroom is borderline and any passenger over 1.7 metres in height should make sure they get the front seat. Small side windows won’t be appreciated by rear seat passengers and could lead to the dreaded boredom with kids back there.

Access to the rear seats is helped by the wide frameless doors although they do need caution when opening them in cramped parking areas.

One criticism from the previous model has been addressed with the addition of a handle at the top of the front seats that both folds and slides the front seat forward at the same time. The

Maximum boot capacity space is 433 litres with a full-size spare wheel under the floor raising the boot floor although there are small storage compartments wrapping around the spare. A 60/40 split for the rear seat can provide extra luggage room if needed.

As we’ve come to expect from Kia, the Cerato Koup comes well-equipped, with much of the equipment you find in a more expensive model as standard. As well as the basic safety gear (ESP, multiple airbags, enhanced) this includes hill-start assist; emergency stop signal; front and rear parking sensors; reversing camera with in-dash display; and front and rear fog lamps

The Koup Turbo adds LED daytime running lights and rear combination lamps; projection type front fog lamps with LED surrounds; push button start; side skirt; alloy sports pedals; cooling glovebox; puddle lamps on the side mirrors; and 18-inch alloy wheels (17-inch on the Si).

Bluetooth telephone and audio streaming that, unlike many others, is simple and logical to pair and operate helped by a colour touch screen. At just 4.3 inches the standard screen is a bit tricky to use – a 7.0-inch screen is available with the optional ($2200) Touring Pack that also includes satellite navigation, DVD player, dual-zone climate control air conditioning, clean air module and auto defog system.

Entry into the Koup is easier than for most sporty cars and an extender that holds the seat belt overcomes the typical problem of having to stretch well back to reach the belts. The extender also folds down to keep the seat belt out of the way when getting into the rear seats.

The instrument cluster is neat and the dials are easy to read. An information centre at the bottom of the cluster gives details of trips, fuel usage, engine temperature, distance to empty and doors open. The steering wheel is tilt and telescopic adjustable and vision is good all-round thanks to the frameless door glass.

There’s minimal lag from the turbo engine its wide torque range gives it a strong feeling.

We were impressed with the willingness of the automatic to change down a gear of two the moment the driver gives the message with their right foot pressure.

There was just a hint of understeer. Handling is excellent and Koup coped well on the section of rural roads on our test route. We’re rapidly becoming fans of paddle shifts and used them to move through the gears on tight, hilly terrain.

Kia Koup cruises comfortably at motorway speeds supporting Kia’s suggestion that Koup is more a grand tourer than a sports car. It certainly feels like the sort of car that you could travel long distances in comfort.

Affordable coupes are on the comeback trail in Australia with Toyota and Subaru leading the way with their 86 and BRZ models. While lacking the performance of the Toyota/Subaru twins the Kia Cerato Koup Turbo provides plenty of driving fun or comfortable cruising at a sub-$30,000 starting price.

Like all Kia passenger cars the new Koup gets a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty.

Si 2.0-litre petrol three-door coupe: $23,990 (manual), $26,190 (automatic)
Turbo 1.6-litre turbo-petrol two-door coupe: $27,990 (manual), $30,190 (automatic)
Turbo Touring 1.6-litre turbo-petrol two-door coupe: $30,190 (manual), $32,390 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Kia dealer for driveaway prices.

ABS Brakes: Standard in all models
Automatic Transmission: $2200 option on all models
Cruise Control: Standard in all models
Dual Front Airbags: Standard in all models
Front Side Airbags: Standard in all models
Electronic Stability Program: Standard in all models
Rear Parking Sensors: Standard in all models
Reversing Camera: Standard in all models
USB/Auxiliary Audio Inputs: Standard in all models
Bluetooth: Standard in all models (telephone and audio streaming)
Steering Wheel Mounted Controls: Standard in all models

SPECIFICATIONS (Kia Cerato Koup Turbo 1.6-litre turbo-petrol two-door coupe)

Capacity: 1.591 litres
Configuration: Transverse, four cylinders in line
Head Design: DOHC, four valves per cylinder
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Bore/Stroke: 77.0 mm x 85.0 mm
Maximum Power: 150 kW @ 6000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 265 Nm @ 1750-4500 rpm

Driven Wheels: Front
Manual Transmission: Six-speed
Automatic Transmission: Six-speed
Final Drive Ratio: 4.467:1

Length: 4530 mm
Wheelbase: 2700 mm
Width: 1780 mm
Height: 1410 mm
Turning Circle: 10.6 metres
Kerb Mass: 1364 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 50 litres
Towing Ability: Not supplied
Boot Capacity: 433 litres

Front Suspension: MacPherson struts
Rear Suspension: Coupled torsion beam axle
Front Brakes: Ventilated disc
Rear Brakes: Disc

Type: Petrol 91RON
Combined Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.7 L/100km

Greenhouse Rating: 6.5/10
Air Pollution Rating: 6.5/10

Five years/unlimited km

About Alistair Kennedy

Alistair Kennedy is Automotive News Service and Marque Publishing's business manager and the company's jack-of-all-trades. An accountant by profession, he designs the Marque range of motoring book titles, operates the company's motoring bookshop on the NSW Central Coast and the associated web site, as well as its huge digital and hard copy database. Whenever we can escape from the office he does so to cover new vehicle releases and contributes news stories. Alistair's other interests include cricket and family history on which he has written three books.
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