The Kia Proceed does an admirable job blending estate-car practicality with rakish coupe looks. It’s reasonably roomy inside and comes with lots of kit, but conventional hatchbacks are cheaper
If you’re looking for something more practical than a family hatchback but don’t fancy a big, boxy estate car, the Kia Proceed could be for you. This slinky five-door is a roomier alternative to the likes of the Hyundai i30 Fastback and Honda Civic Saloon and comes with plenty of sporty features – especially in GT guise.
Firstly, you get plenty of eye-catching red details on the bumpers, doors and peeking out through the grille. Big wheels also come as standard and you get some trims pieces inspired by Kia’s big Stinger sports saloon.
Even entry-level GT Line models look pretty dashing. Especially the neat chrome fins on the back doors and the sloping roofline that looks a bit like Kia’s designers photocopied a picture of a Porsche Panamera.
The Kia Proceed’s interior looks pretty smart, too. You get a lovely leather steering wheel as standard and loads of nice metal-effect trims. There are plenty of soft, squidgy plastics and GT cars come with red contrasting stitching and some more supportive leather seats as standard.
You also get an 8-inch touchscreen in every Kia Proceed. It’s not quite as slick as the touchscreens you get in some more mundane-looking German hatchbacks, but it’s easy to read and programming the sat-nav won’t drive you up the wall.
You might think that the Proceed’s slinky styling would make its back seats rather cramped, but you’d be wrong. There’s enough space in the back for two adults to get comfy and fitting a child seat’s a doddle. Six footers could do with a bit more headroom and three adults will find things a bit tight – especially in GT Line S cars with their panoramic glass roof – but you’ll have plenty of space to carry three kids without them complaining.
You can also pack an impressive amount of luggage in the boot. There’s room for a few sets of golf clubs or you can squeeze in some large suitcases and a baby buggy – perfect for a family weekend away.
You won’t buy the Kia Proceed for the way to drives or for its so-so infotainment system, but you might be persuaded to part with your cash for its slinky body and massive boot
If you’ll be using your Kia Proceed for regular family road trips, get the 1.6-litre diesel engine. There’s also a 1.4-litre petrol engine that’s better suited to driving around town. Both models can be had with a manual or an automatic gearbox. The range-topping Kia Proceed GT comes with the auto as standard, along with a more powerful 1.6-litre petrol engine. It’s good fun to drive on a twisty country road but isn’t particularly economical.
You’ll find the Kia Proceed is fairly easy to drive and reasonably quiet, but you don’t get a particularly good view out and its lowered sports suspension and large wheels mean other small family hatchbacks are more comfortable. It does come with plenty of safety features as standard to help prevent avoidable accidents, but the VW Golf still leads the field in terms of high-tech kit.
That being said, the VW Golf won’t turn heads like the stylish Kia Proceed. So, if you’re looking for an eye-catching small car that’s more fun to drive and roomier than your average family runabout, it’s well worth a look.