Kia ProCeed review
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
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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. You can think of the Proceed as a Ceed that’s ditched its dull 9-5 wardrobe for something a bit more alluring for Friday night.
The Kia Proceed’s interior looks pretty striking, 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 and Lunar Edition 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.
The Kia Proceed is much more practical than its sleek looks might suggest. The boot’s massive and there’s space to carry tall adults in the back but its dark interior still feels a bit claustrophobic
The Kia Proceed lets you have eye-catching coupe-inspired looks with the enormous boot you’d usually associate with a boxy estate car
Despite its sleek shape, the Kia Proceed is pretty roomy inside. There’s ample space in the front seats for you to get comfy if you’re tall and there’s plenty of adjustment to help you find the perfect seating position. Both front seats come with height adjustment as standard and you get adjustable lumbar support to help reduce the risk of backache on long drives.
The seats themselves are nice and supportive – especially in GT Line S and GT cars which get more padding than the standard GT Line models. Top-spec GT Line S models come with electric seat adjustment, too. Whichever model you pick, you get heated front seats as standard and a heated steering wheel to ward off numb fingers on cold winter mornings.
There isn’t quite as much headroom as you get in the standard Ceed – you can thank the Proceed’s slinky sloping roofline for that – but there’s still enough space for tall adults to get comfy. Kneeroom’s generous enough for them to sit behind an equally lofty driver and there’s just enough space under the front seats for them to slide their feet.
GT Line S and Lunar Edition models come with a panoramic glass roof as standard, but it doesn’t make the back seats feel any more airy or spacious. In fact, the mechanism for retracting the roof blind cuts into back-seat headroom and tall drivers will need to lower their seat to avoid brushing their hair on the roof.
There isn’t a great deal of support for back-seat passengers’ legs either, and the black roof lining and small rear windows mean the Kia Proceed feels more claustrophobic than the standard Ceed. There isn’t quite enough shoulder room for three adults to sit side-by-side comfortably and the central seat is raised uncomfortably above the outer two, but three kids will have plenty of space to stretch out.
Speaking of kids, you’ll find it relatively easy to fit a child seat in the back of the Kia Proceed. The back doors open nearly perpendicularly to the rest of the car so there’s loads of space to lift in a large child seat and the Isofix anchor points are easy to access behind some handy folding covers. You will have to stoop down quite low to strap in a child if you’re tall, however.
The Kia Proceed comes with a decent number of handy storage spaces to help you keep its cabin looking neat and tidy. There’s room to squeeze a one-litre bottle in each of the four doors and there’s space under the central armrest for a few drinks cans.
The glovebox isn’t huge, but you get a large storage tray under the dashboard that’ll easily hold a few phones – handy because it’s just above two USB ports and a 12V socket. You’ll find another phone-sized tray underneath these which can be had with a wireless charging pad in GT Line S models.
You also get a pair of large cupholders in the centre console and two more built into the folding rear armrest.
The Kia Proceed’s 594-litre boot is more than 30% larger than the loadbay you get in the standard Ceed and a quarter more spacious than the Hyundai i30 Fastback’s boot.
Unlike the Honda Civic Saloon, the Kia Proceed’s boot opens like a conventional hatchback so it’s easier to load large items. There’s a slight load lip over which you’ll have to lift your luggage but the Kia Proceed’s wide, square load bay means there’s room for plenty of oddly shaped items. The opening is lower than in the Kia Ceed Sportswagon’s too, so it’s easier to lift in particularly heavy boxes.
A baby buggy will fit under the load cover and there’s space left over for two large suitcases. There’s masses of underfloor storage, too – all separated into neat individual trays with their own easy-to-lift covers. There’s also a dedicated space to store the load cover out of the way if you need to remove it and you can lift out the central storage section to access the spare wheel without the need to remove all the other trays.
The Kia Proceed’s sloping windscreen limits the height of luggage you can carry, but you can fold the back seats down in a two-way (60:40) split if you need to carry lots of very bulky items. Pick a GT Line S car and you get a three-way 40:20:40 split that lets you carry two passengers in the back and some long luggage poking through from the boot at once. These high-spec cars also come with handy levers in the boot that automatically flip the back seats down without you having to reach forward to pull the latches by the headrests.
The back seats fold completely flat whichever model you pick, so it’s dead easy to slide very heavy luggage right up behind the front seats. There’s space to carry a bike without removing its wheels too, and you get a range of shopping hooks and tether points to keep everything nice and secure.
The Kia Proceed is impressively economical in diesel guise and fairly sporty as a top-spec GT petrol model, but it doesn’t quite have the pace to match its aggressive looks
There’s a Kia Proceed to suit most drivers. The entry-level petrol is ideal for town driving, the diesel perfect for long motorway jaunts and the most powerful petrol is pretty good fun to drive
You can get the Proceed with one diesel and two petrol engines. The most affordable cars come with a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s ideal if you do lots of city driving and occasionally head out into the country. This 140hp engine’s perky enough when you accelerate hard and won’t have any trouble sprinting down a motorway slip road or overtaking slow-moving traffic. Kia claims Proceeds with this engine will return 46mpg, but you can expect to see around 40mpg in normal driving conditions.
If you do lots of long motorway journeys, you’ll be better off with the 136hp 1.6-litre diesel model. These versions don’t feel quite as quick as the petrol-powered alternatives, but they’re quieter when you’re cruising along and more economical – you shouldn’t have any trouble achieving close to Kia’s claimed 57mpg figure.
If you fancy something a bit sportier, The Kia Proceed GT comes with a 204hp 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine. These models will accelerate from 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds and produce a particularly fruity exhaust note – especially in sport mode.
They aren’t particularly cheap to run – you’ll struggle to get more than 35mpg – but they come with a seven-speed automatic gearbox as standard. This unit is smooth at low speeds – such as when you’re parking – and changes gear rapidly without lurching at speed. It responds quickly to the shift paddles on the steering wheel in manual mode and changes down quickly when you accelerate suddenly in automatic mode. You can pay extra to have this gearbox fitted to the 1.4-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel models and it’s certainly worth considering if you find yourself regularly stuck in traffic – if only to give your left leg a rest.
The Kia Proceed’s low roofline and small side windows mean it isn’t as easy to see out of as most small cars, including the standard Ceed and Ceed Sportswagon. That being said, the pillars between the windscreen and the front doors don’t produce any particularly large blind spots at junctions and you get a reversing camera and rear parking sensors as standard to help you avoid bumps and scrapes when parking.
The Kia Proceed’s fairly light steering means it’s reasonably easy to drive in town but its suspension is lower than the standard Ceed’s and you get larger alloy wheels as standard so it doesn’t do quite as good a job ironing out potholes. You don’t hear a great deal of wind or tyre noise at motorway speeds, though. If you do lots of long journeys, you might want to avoid the top-spec GT Line S model – its even bigger alloy wheels and standard panoramic glass roof mean it’s a little noisier than the standard GT Line car at motorway speeds.
Whichever model you pick, you get lots of features designed to make long trips as relaxing as possible. Cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, automatic emergency braking and a driver tiredness detection system all work together to help prevent avoidable collisions and make the Kia Proceed an impressively safe small car. Pick a top-spec GT Line S car and you get adaptive cruise control as standard that’ll help maintain a safe distance to other cars.
If you fancy something that’s fun as well as safe, the Proceed GT is worth a look. These cars come with the most powerful 1.6-litre petrol engine and a Sports driving mode that sharpens the throttle response and changes the exhaust note. Sadly, some of the delicious pops and burbles you hear emanating from the Kia’s bonnet are actually synthesised sounds being piped through the stereo.
Despite this fakery, it’s still good fun to throw the Proceed GT from corner to corner on a twisty country road. The relatively stiff suspension means its body doesn’t lean much in tight turns and it has plenty of grip when you accelerate hard mid-corner. It doesn’t feel as agile as a VW Golf GTI or Hyundai i30N Fastback, but it’ll still put a decent grin on your face at every opportunity.
The Kia Proceed’s interior has plenty of sporty touches and loads of standard equipment that costs extra in most alternatives but there are more intuitive infotainment systems out there
Kia ProCeed colours
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