Kia pro_cee'd GT Review

The pro_ceed GT is, according to Kia, the most eagerly anticipated model in its history. The company has, it claims, transformed its image, public perception and sales performance and the GT adds performance to the range, an element that has been missing until now.
So I took one across the roads of North Wales and onto the island of Anglesey to see if the GT really is a rival to the (albeit much more expensive) Golf GTI, the car at the very top of the hot hatch league.
Kia proceed side


The pro_ceed GT is a lovely looking thing; bold, fresh, and absolutely bang on target. The thin red line at the base of the front grille echoes hot-hatches of old and the four square LED lights on either side (mirrored at the rear by two vertical light strips on the bumpers) ensure that you wont mistake this for anything else on the road today.
kia proceed closeup
The three-door body-shell has a pugilists pose, a stance that the scowling headlights reinforce; if you spilt the pro_ceeds pint, youd be more concerned with replacing it promptly than with the temporary fiscal discomfort you are experiencing
kia proceed rear on
Awkward notes? Well, the rear lights look a bit insect-y for my liking and the front number plate positioning looks like a bit of an afterthought but other than that its a terrific job.
Kia proceed interior dash


The first thing you notice as you settle into the GT is the seats, which are terrific; wide enough to accommodate an expenses-lunch-inflated journos backside but snug enough to give great lateral support around bends. The rest is standard hot-hatch fare and if I have previously said that contrasting red stitching is a bit pass I now need (not for the first time in my life) to rapidly backtrack because it looks brilliant in here.
kia proceed interior dash
Premium feel is industry speak for aping Audi and BMW at reduced cost, and while the Kia isnt Germanic in its tactility it is certainly better than the equivalent Ford or Vauxhall.
kia proceed white boot
Rear-seat legroom is acceptable as is the boot space. Neither is commodious enough to delight but both are good enough to pass muster.

kia proceed white boot
And passing muster is what the pro_ceed does very well. Being good enough is often, well, good enough, and Kia has nailed the essentials inside and out.
kia proceed gearstick


The whole purpose of the GT-version of the pro_ceed is to give the driver a bit more than he or she is expecting: speed is essential, of course, as is decent handling and braking but finesse and excitement must be engineered in too.
And they are.
kia proceed rear
The GT is a delightful thing to hurl around twisty roads when good visibility allows you to use every inch of the road and every ounce of performance. It flows like the very best of the new breed of hatchbacks (and some of them are very good indeed), maintaining its poise even when you are clumsy. Understeer is the predominant handling characteristic in extremis but it isnt sufficiently intrusive to be problematic or strong enough to spoil the fun.
It rides well with none of the jarring over potholes and imperfect surfaces that marks the hastily (and cheaply) conceived performance variants of some manufacturers hatchbacks. Keeping a cars price low is easy, as it making it feel special. Combining the two is less common, yet Kia has managed it with aplomb.
kia proceed engine


The engine, a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol, produces 201bhp and 195lb/ft of torque. In days of old this would have qualified it as a pukka supercar (remember the original Audi Quattro, which boasted only 200bhp?). Now this only gets you an entry ticket to the lukewarm paddock, which might be odd but is a sign of the times we live in; eco-angst be damned, we want power and we want lots of it.
Performance is, then, adequate rather than startling when measured against its rivals. Seven-point-four seconds to 60mph and a top speed of 143mph is still a decent performance though and should be enough for anyone other than the terminally inept who rely on sheer power alone to post decent A-B journey times.
Its not a legendary engine, sounding a bit coarse above 4,000-or-so rpm and it never feels like its joining the party the chassis has thrown but its willing enough and fuel consumption should average out in the middle thirties.
kia proceed front on

Value for Money

The pro_ceed GT (a name that requires far too much digital dexterity on the keyboard) starts at 19,995. Throw in a seven-year transferrable warranty and youve got a very tempting package indeed


The GT is not a Golf GTI rival. The German car is more polished, more fun to drive, and more refined. It is also considerably more expensive than the Kia. But in the cost-free, rarefied world of the motoring journalist the differences between the two are too great for them to be discussed in the same breath.
So, the pro_ceed GT is not a Golf GTI rival.
But it is very, very good, nonetheless. Think of it has a bigger, faster, and better-equipped Suzuki Swift GTI and it makes a lot more sense. For the sporting family on a budget it might be unbeatable: twenty grand gets you into a hot-ish hatchback with a guaranteed seven years of trouble-free motoring. And that makes it better than the Golf GTI for an awful lot of people. For that Kia, and the pro_ceed GT in particular, deserve to succeed.

For more information check out our Kia Pro_cee'd page, alongside reviews, stats, photos and videos.
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