According to the Fraud prevention agency Cifas, the number of victims rose by 31% to 32,058 in the first three months of 2015, compared to the same period in 2014.
To be honest, we all need to do things better when securing our data. I am terrible at this sort of thing. I have often been caught out by my wife throwing out credit card receipts into the bin. If it is true that criminals are heading to online “fraud forums” to swap tips as well as buy and sell credit cards, passports and email addresses, then we all need to be aware – and get tough on keeping our data secure.
Moving onto this month’s review of the Kia Pro Cee’d GT, a car that really is a breath of fresh air.
Inside & Out
The Pro_Cee’d is a good looking beast that is not only a pleasure to drive, but a pleasure to look at too. It has a very bold front bumper which is flanked on either side by high-gloss black inserts along with some very nice uniquely styled ‘ice-cube shape’ LED daytime running lamps and foglights. From the rear, it has a very broad stance that’s is evident in its bold shoulders and steeply angled tailgate glass, but for the Pro Cee’d, this is further emphasised by a diffuser section in the lower edge of the rear bumper, separating the dual sports exhaust outlets, while combination lamp units are LEDs which give the car a unique signature at night, which is very appealing if you are into that kind of look.
Adding to that already sporty look, is the addition of the special graphite grey ground-effect 18-inch alloy wheels, which look awesome when flanked with the red brake calipers front and rear. This for me is a clear sign of the GT’s performance credentials and of course this will worry owners of the latest Focus ST who I am sure will be doing some soul searching of their very own. To be honest, this car is as good as the Focus, if not that tiny bit better.
Inside, you and the passenger are gripped by the fantastic Recaro sports seats – which come with power-adjustable lumbar support to both. The cabin is trimmed in part leather and part suede, and there is more of the GT inspired look, with the added benefit of red contrast stitching on the seats, steering wheel, gear shifter and door trims, which makes for a nice touch to an already very good interior.
The GT is also not without modern in car technology either, because it’s fitted with a very neat TFT LCD multi-function high-definition display which allows the driver to switch between analogue-type or GT performance digital information.
There are a host of standard items, including air conditioning, cruise control and speed limiter, automatic lights, cornering lights, reversing sensors, Bluetooth phone connectivity with music streaming and voice recognition, a six speaker radio/CD player with iPod connectivity, electric windows, electrically operated and heated folding mirrors.
As with all Kia’s, the comprehensive safety specification is second to none, which includes Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BAS), and six airbags.
If you go for the ‘GT Tech’ version which was the car I had on test, this will add a seven-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, reversing camera display integrated into the navigation screen, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, rain-sensing front wipers, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, adaptive headlights with headlight washers and automatic levelling, in place of the cornering lights on the GT. Not bad eh!!
Engine & Efficiency
The T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct injection) engine develops 201bhp at 6,000rpm, but what really gives the GT its instantaneous response and rapid acceleration is the 265Nm of torque available without interruption from 1,750rpm to 4,500rpm. This thing goes like a dose of salts, even if you put your foot down in 6th gear. The GT will also accelerate from 37 to 60mph in fourth gear in only 5.4 seconds and from 50 to 75mph in fifth gear in 7.3 seconds – indicators of the supreme flexibility. Top Speed is 143mph and it has a respectable 0-60mph acceleration time of 7.4 seconds.
On the road
The GT comes with retuned springs and dampers and a thicker rear anti-roll bar. There are also stiffer front suspension bushes to sharpen steering response and longer bump stops to reduce body roll. The result of this detailed engineering is a more agile car indeed.
Along with the rest of the Cee’d range, the Pro_Cee’d GT is still one of the few cars in its class with independent rear suspension in place of a more common and less expensive simple twist beam. This brings in some serious advantages when it comes to ride and handling.
To sum up
So, do I think it is better than a Focus ST? Yes I think it is… Do yourself a favour, go out and test the Pro Cee’d GT. Trust me on this – it’s amazing.
Price: £19,995 OTR
Top speed: 143mph
Economy: 38.2mpg (Average) emissions g/km (171)
Engine: 1.6 Petrol
Power: 201bhp at 6,000rpm
Torque: 265Nm @ 1,750 – 4,500
Gearbox: 6-speed By Anthony Yates