site search by freefind
MotorBar: 1200+ unique in-depth car reviews. Plus travel & destinations, and 1000 DVD and CD reviews. Online for 14 years. Written by experts.
Kia pro_cee’d 4 1.6 CRDi

Click to view picture galleryKia’s pro_ceed might not have
  an emotive name that rolls off
  the tongue but it more than makes
  up for it by being a sporty-looking
  number with some well-judged
  road presence
...”

AND WHILE IT MIGHT SHARE the 'cee'd' part of its name with the five-door Kia cee'd, the only panels shared with its sister models are the front wings and bonnet. Everything else about the three-door pro-cee'd's coupe-ish body is unique.

Before you get in and go, it's worth spending a few moments savouring the looks — follow the high, gently rising lower window line, underscored by a sculpted crease running the full length of the long side door, up to the tailgate's lip spoiler. From nose to tail the pro_cee'd is cleanly and refreshingly styled.

Fitted with the range's most powerful CRDi diesel, the sporty looking pro-cee'd serves up a fairly sporty 126bhp — if not quick enough to set your head on fire, it's more than enough to get off the line in a crisp 10.6 seconds and keep going until the speedo clocks 122mph. Accelerating through the gears is no hardship — the six-speed manual is a pretty slick change-artist.

“For motorway driving,
the engine is unobtrusive
(70mph in top calls for
just 2,000rpm) and, along
with well-suppressed
wind and road noise,
contributes to a refined
cabin atmosphere
...”
As usual with an oil-burner, it's the torque that counts and the 1,582cc comes up trumps with a decent 188lb ft between 1,900 and 2,750rpm. Exactly where it does the most good; and ensuring strong, flexible performance for heavy town traffic along with sweet progress on motorways where there's easy pick-up in top gear around 60mph.

All that and very good economy too — officially 54.4mpg in town, 62.8 combined and 67.3mpg extra-urban (or 'touring' as it used to be called). Over the course of a week's driving, we averaged 51.4mpg. A figure that we'd expect most owners to better.

As well as being a good-looker, the pro_cee'd is also a good mover. Handling is of the 'assured' grade, helped out by sharp responses from the nicely weighted electronic power steering. Yes, the suspension is on the firm side and it adds a sporty feel but it's not so firm that it spoils the fairly absorbent and generally comfortable ride. There's also plenty of grip available that, backed up by minimal body lean and no-nonsense brakes, means keener drivers can safely indulge in some spirited driving.

Both clutch and accelerator pedal are positive to use and in combination with the foolproof gearchange make smooth progress easy over demanding roads. For motorway driving, the engine is unobtrusive (70mph in top calls for just 2,000rpm) and, along with well-suppressed wind and road noise, contributes to a refined cabin atmosphere.

Despite the sporty appearance, there's unexpectedly good headroom, (as well as elbow and leg room) for both the driver and the front passenger. The pro_cee'd's 2,650mm wheelbase provides ample front and rear legroom and even in the back cabin, two adults will travel comfortably or three youngsters can sit side-by-side.

The front seats are comfortably supportive — particularly so for the upper back and shoulders — with well-judged bolstering. The driver's personal needs are also well-addressed; between the height-adjustable seat base and height and reach-adjustable leather-wrapped steering wheel it's easy to find a fine driving position. Enhancing that, both front seats offer quick three-stage heating and manually-adjustable lumbar support.

“SatNav is standard-fit
and comes with a
3D touchscreen display;
and it works a treat.
Large vents in the fascia
guarantee a strong flow
of hot or cold air to
wherever you want it.
And during the
summer months you
ll
be glad of the cooled
glovebox
...”
The pro_cee'd's cabin exudes a sporting air enhanced by good fit and finish. The fascia features a smart, silky-textured finish that's matched on the doors. A neat three-dial instrument arrangement is dominated by a larger speedometer in the middle with figures that can be read at a quick glance on the move, with an easy-to-register 70mph at the twelve-o-clock position.

Miles-per-gallon and the essential range-to-empty figures are displayed on a driver's information screen inset into the lower section of the speedo. Cruise control, speed limiter and infotainment (phone, voice, audio) remote controls are mounted on the grippy leather-wrapped steering wheel's spokes as too, helpfully, is the button for cycling through the trip data.

More good news: there's a sufficiency of bins and cubbies for odds and ends with the large open tray ahead of the gear lever sited conveniently close to AUX, iPod, USB and 12v sockets. A secondary display screen in the top of the centre stack shows the external temperature, time, and radio/CD info.

SatNav is standard-fit and comes with a 3D touchscreen display; and it works a treat. Large vents in the fascia guarantee a strong flow of hot or cold air to wherever you want it. And during the summer months you'll be glad of the cooled glovebox. Powerfold door mirrors operate on demand and automatically on locking and leaving, while one-shot electric front windows (the rears are fixed) add to the convenience score.

Visibility to the front and side is fine, while good-sized door mirrors prove useful when reversing. Slightly restricted rear-quarter visibility — due to the shape of the rear screen and wraparound C-pillars — is not really a problem because a rear-view camera provides a clear picture of what's going on behind you on the touchscreen when you reverse.

The front seats tilt and slide forward a long way for easy entry and exit to the rear cabin, with grab handles should you need them. Once there, passengers benefit from plenty of leg and knee room and loads of room for their feet under the front seats. And despite long but not so deep side windows, those travelling in the rear enjoy quite good views out.

“As well as being
a good-looker,
the pro_cee’d is also
a good mover.
Handling is of the
‘assured’ grade,
helped out by sharp
responses from the
nicely weighted steering
...”
While near six-footers will find their heads just touch the roof-lining, the middle rear spot is usable but, as in just about any car no matter how big, two (sharing the centre rear armrest) will travel far more comfortably than three. Handy, too, are the big deep side pockets for storing personal items.

The pro_cee'd's boot swallows a reasonable 340 litres of luggage but fold down the 60:40 split/fold seats and you'll have an accommodating 1,130 litres to fill.

Although you won't squeeze a washing machine in through the narrowish hatch, most cargo can be fitted in and, to be fair, most owners are unlikely to put in anything other than individual luggage or the weekly shop. Beneath the boot floor is a handy multi-compartment storage tray and, below that, a space saver spare wheel.

Kia has a well-earned reputation of piling on the kit, as confirmed by the range-topping '4' model which, to recall an old TV ad, 'has the Jewson lot' — black leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone auto climate control with a cooled glovebox, SatNav with 7-inch touchscreen, six-speaker RDS radio/CD with MP3 compatibility, cruise control, tinted glass plus rear privacy glass, reversing camera system (integrated into the SatNav screen), Bluetooth with iPod connectivity and iPod lead, AUX and USB ports, powerfold heated door mirrors, follow-me-home headlamps, electric windows with one-shot up/down, eco-shift indicator, drive-away automatic door locking, and 17-inch alloys.

Safety is well taken care of by active front head restraints, six airbags (including curtain), a stability management system and Hill-Start Assist.

If you think three doors are better than five (and you like the peace of mind that comes from Kia's reassuring seven-year/100,000-mile warranty) now could be a very good time to proceed to a Kia showroom near you. — MotorBar

Kia pro_cee'd 4 1.6 CRDi | 18,995
Maximum speed: 122mph | 0-62mph: 10.6 seconds | Overall test MPG: 51.4mpg
Power: 126bhp | Torque: 188lb ft | CO2 119g/km