Make / Model Search

Car reviews - Kia - Koup - coupe

Launch Story

4 Dec 2009

KIA IS leading the charge back into the budget coupe market with the Cerato Koup.

We were less than impressed with the left-hand-drive 2.0-litre four-speed auto sample we drove recently in Korea, but this first Australian drive of a 2.0-litre manual version proves the two-door Kia deserves a closer look.

Seated low in the Koup, the driver is faced with a neat array of instruments with red backlighting – very Audi-like.

The front seats are not the enveloping buckets you might expect to keep you planted in a corner-carving sports coupe, but they are sufficiently supportive and comfortable for the daily urban grind or freeway run.

The cabin is scattered with plenty of convenient storage trays and pockets, and door pockets and centre console have ample drink bottle holders.

The front passenger seats tilt and slide forward in one easy movement to provide access to the rear seat area, which is surprisingly roomy. Once tucked in the back, there is a surprising amount of leg and shoulder room for adults, although head room is tight. Three child restraint hooks are provided for family duties, too.

In other Kia products, such as Sportage and Soul, the Theta II 2.0-litre engine feels raucous and rough when revved, yet it suits the Koup’s ‘sports’ character.

A stutter just off idle in the manual test car we drove was eventually overcome with smooth driving (after a few embarrassing bunny-hops), but the engine’s want to hold revs for a second or two when lifting off the accelerator was plain annoying.

While its responds to throttle input well enough at lower revs, it only begins to sing as the revs rise. Revving to the 6500rpm red line gets the Koup along nicely, but it is no fireball. It sounds the part, but don’t expect it to keep up with a six-cylinder family sedan, let alone a half-decent hot hatch.

The Koup’s ride and handling combination is an interesting mix. Steering feel is among the best of Korean cars – direct, well weighted and a surprisingly good degree of feedback.

The suspension is well tied down, but it is much firmer than the Cerato sedan, especially in the rear suspension. Every bump and thump is felt around town.

Carry a little too much speed over a speed hump, and the rear suspension will almost knock the wind out of you. Hit a big enough pothole and the rear end does a brief sideways dance, too.

So while it’s not a superb example of suspension engineering, the Koup corners with a fair degree of precision, and while the chassis doesn’t offer a whole lot of mid-corner adjustability, it has little body roll and hunkers down on smooth corners.

Perhaps the Koup is not the most polished coupe in dynamics, performance or interior fit and finish, but it deserves marks for trying.

It is an attractive design overall and a better than average effort dynamically that is an enjoyable and reasonably entertaining drive, provided you are willing to accept its lack of power.

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

GoAuto can help you buy a new Koup

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires


This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here