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MotorBar - New Car Reviews
Kia ProCeed 1.6 CRDi GT-Line

Click to view picture gallery“Shooting brake: ‘a wagon with
  coupe styling and sports-car
  panache that makes superior use
  of its road space with the added
  benefit of decent rear headroom

 
a description that perfectly sums
  up Kia
s swish new ProCeed”


THE BIG QUESTION IS, can this suave new Kia lifestyle wagon free British motorists from the death grip of the SUV craze? Jacked up to show plenty of air between their floorpans and terra firma, SUVs currently pull in heaps of likes. However, if boxy 'n' bulky aren't for you but space 'n' style are, then this all-new ProCeed should be just the ticket.

Despite its sexy raked-back looks it still manages to be decidedly spacious; there's room for five and its accommodating boot is only a smidgen smaller (594 litres versus 625 litres) than its cavernous in-house stablemate estate, the Ceed SW. No surprise then that the ProCeed out-cargo-spaces some visually bigger estate cars such as the Mazda6 Tourer and Mercedes-Benz's CLA Shooting Brake.

Cabin highlights include
a ‘free-standing’

touchscreen centred in
the fascia, where it
s
flanked to the right by a
smart, flat-bottomed,
multifunction wheel
whose perforated and heated leather rim is as
satisfying to use as it
is good to look at.
Also vying for your
attention are smartly-
upholstered sports-style
‘chairs’ with plush
diamond-pleated, black
cloth centre panels and
contrasting light grey
faux leather bolstering...”
When we mentioned 'style' we weren't joshing: while it looks pretty damn good in the photos, the ProCeed is one of those cars that's infinitely better in the metal. It's handsome 'shooting brake' lines blended with eye-catching coupe-esque design and crescent-shaped glasshouse make it a genuine attention-grabber.

Open the driver's door and the cabin is immediately welcoming; highlights include the 'free-standing' touchscreen centred in the fascia, where it's flanked to the right by a smart, flat-bottomed, multifunction steering wheel whose perforated and heated leather rim is as satisfying to use as it is good to look at. Also vying for your attention are the smartly-upholstered sports-style 'chairs' with their plush-looking, diamond-pleated, black cloth centre panels and contrasting light grey faux leather bolstering.

As you'd hope, there's also a fist of headroom and three-stage heating. Trim and finishings are upscale, with detailed switchgear filleting, soft-touch surfaces and metallic accents and there's an appealing ambiance that makes the ProCeed's cabin a great place to be however far you're going. Happily, in-cabin storage space is plentiful and family-sized: large bottles welcome!

The seats are comfortable and supportive — both with height adjustment and power lumbar support — and the driving position is first-rate. On the move the cabin is well-cocooned from external sounds, be they road- or wind-noise, making for relaxed journeys whether you're driving in the metropolis or sweeping along Continental motorways. Visibility down the bonnet is reassuringly good and despite the swoopy tail treatment you can see more of the following traffic than you might be expecting; plus, the door mirrors provide clear visuals on what's happening in your rear three-quarters.

Comms are logical and up to the mark with an easy-peasy infotainment and navigation system (courtesy of Kia's Connected Services with TomTom Live) fronted by an eight-inch touchscreen that's a breeze to use — the 3D mapping, eye-friendly colour palette and timely spoken directions make for hassle-free navigating. Better still, the display is positioned high to sync easily with your eye-line. You can also use voice requests instead of finger-tapping for core navigation commands, radio selections, and for managing phone calls.

ProCeed buyers are
likely to have a taste for
the better things in life
which is why Kia are only
offering it in their top-end
trims: you can, should
you wish, go ‘sportier’ in
the looks department
with the GT-Line S, or
‘sportier’ in the vroom-
vroom department with
the hotter, petrol-
drinking, 201bhp turboed
GT. Otherwise it’s a
138bhp 1.4-litre petrol or
134bhp 1.6 turbodiesel
powering the GT-Line
model specced with
either a six-speed manual
or a dual-clutch auto

with paddle-shifters...”
Ahead of the driver is a legible instrument panel with white-on-black dials sandwiching a 4.2-inch driver's digital display that imparts information clearly day and night — naturally there's a large road speed readout. The audio system includes a digital radio with MP3 compatibility, USB and Aux ports (with a fast-charger USB port up front), and Bluetooth with voice recognition and music streaming. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, both with voice control, are on hand for smartphone mirroring and incorporated into the main display is a reversing camera with dynamic guidelines.

ProCeed buyers are likely to have a taste for the better things in life which is why Kia are only offering it in their top-end trims: you can, should you wish, go 'sportier' in the looks department with the GT-Line S, or 'sportier' in the vroom-vroom department with the hotter, petrol-drinking, 201bhp turboed GT. Otherwise it's a 138bhp 1.4-litre petrol or 134bhp 1.6-litre turbodiesel powering the GT-Line model; both can be specced with either a six-speed manual 'box or a dual-clutch auto with paddleshifters

Whichever fuel you decide on, you can be sure that equipment levels will be generous. The GT-Line's standard tally includes, in addition to all the kit mentioned elsewhere in relevant sections of this review, keyless smart entry with keyless Stop-Start engine button, dual-zone climate control, privacy glass, powerfolding heated door mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, electronic parking brake, four electric windows (with one-shot up/down operation on the front doors), stainless steel-finish pedals, and a set of sharp-looking 17-inch alloys wearing 225/45 Michelin treads. auto lights, cruise,

In addition there's loads of safety stuff. Forward collision mitigation with autonomous emergency braking and pedestrian detection is part of a comprehensive suite of safety kit that's standard-fit on all ProCeed models. The GT-Line also comes with Lane Keeping Assist, Driver Attention Warning, hill-start assist, electronic stability control and vehicle stability management systems, LED daytime running lights, LED rear lights, front wiper de-icer, auto lights and rain sensing wipes, automatic dip/main beam switching, tyre pressure monitoring, cruise and speed limiter, rear parking sensors, height-adjustable front belts, speed-sensing automatic door locking, tyre pressure monitoring, a full set of airbags and, for when you're carrying a baby in a car seat, a front passenger airbag cut-off and Isofix child seats fittings front and back.

A week’s hard driving
over a wide mix of
highways and byways
saw a real-life average of
55.3mpg — close enough
to the official number
to make 55-60mpg
something the average
driver should be seeing
regularly (for the record
the official ‘best’ is
65.7mpg). Commendably,
the diesel’s emissions
are more Greta Thunberg
than Jeremy Clarkson —
at 114g/km, they’re clean
enough to appease
most eco-warriors...”
The ProCeed's rear cabin is far better than simply 'fit for purpose': relaxing backrest angles, ample legroom (without a hint of knee rubbing on the front seatbacks!) and, despite the rakish roofline, adequate headroom for two grown-ups to chill in perfect harmony with dedicated air-vents, seatback pouches, and cupholders in the wide, padded drop-down central armrest.

Three also can be accommodated comfortably although given the ProCeed's 'lifestyle' appeal it's more than likely that a fair proportion of buyers will be making full use of its loadbay for mountain bikes and the like rather than for carting their offspring around — nevertheless, it's good to know you can if you want. More importantly, all passengers will be content with the mile-eating ride that maintains a reassuring demeanour over even raggedy blacktop.

The 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel revs willingly and puts out a useful 134bhp backed-up by a flexible 178lb ft on call from 1,500 through to 3,200rpm; it's easy to apportion too, thanks to the six-speed manual gearbox's slick shift action. And more than enough, to be sure, for lugging whatever mix of passengers and cargo you want. It's also sufficient to take you to an autobahn-appropriate 124mph; plus it feels quicker off the mark than its ten-second zero to 60mph time suggests. On the move Kia's oil-burner rarely snags your attention; long-haul drivers will be sure to appreciate not just its laid-back motorway cruising but its gallon-stretching frugality.

Officially rated at 56.5mpg in the combined cycle, we came as close as makes no difference; our week's hard driving over a wide mix of highways and byways recorded a real-life average of 55.3mpg — close enough to the official number to make 55-60mpg something the average driver should be seeing regularly (for the record the official 'best' is 65.7mpg). Commendably, the diesel's emissions are more Greta Thunberg than Jeremy Clarkson — at 114g/km, they're clean enough to appease most eco-warriors.

The front-wheel driven
handling feels as safe as
houses. However, that’s
not to say that you
can’t have some fun
pressing-on along
B-roads — fully
independent suspension
and crisp steering helps
the nose feel eager to go
where you point it so
you can engage on
winding country lanes
where the ProCeed
holds its line without
flinching...”
Like nearly every other car on the road, the ProCeed is a 'front driver' — its front-wheel driven handling feels as safe as houses. However, that's not to say that you can't have some fun pressing-on along B-roads: sophisticated fully independent suspension and crisp, pleasingly communicative steering (electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion) helps the nose feel eager to go where you point it so you can engage on winding country lanes where the ProCeed holds its line without flinching. Braking is strong and traction is resolute, and combined with the taut ride and well-managed body control keeps it nicely composed and enjoyable to drive.

A shapely derriere might look sexy but oftentimes it comes at the expense of cargo space. Fortunately Kia have got the trade-off well judged, as is quickly confirmed by swinging up the tailgate — it's light and opens high to present a wide boot with 594 litres of space for stashing just about anything you please. In reality that's exceedingly accommodating and, impressively, only a few litres shy of the full-blown Ceed SW estate's impressive 625 litres.

Given that this pretty vast boot is shoehorned into a body that, while measuring 4.6-metres nose-to-tail, also seats five, it's even more surprising that dropping the rear seatbacks (and yes, they do fold properly flat) creates a seamless 1,465-litre loadbay. And no traipsing around to the back doors every time you need the full loadbay either — you'll find release handles located conveniently in the boot. Out of sight beneath the dual-height luggage area floor lurk eight various-sized and very handy storage compartments. And full marks to Kia for also including a dedicated out-of-the-way place to store the rollerblind luggage cover.

Should you need even more cargo capacity then you can always tow: a braked 1,410kg is the maximum braked weight, which makes for a useful back-up. Oh yes… the roof's good for a further 80kg! Should you want additional versatility, the GT-Line S version comes with 40:20:40-split rear seatbacks along with a powered, handsfree tailgate as well as a luggage floor rail system.

Externally the pleasingly handsome ProCeed offers something that's aesthetically different but without any penalties in the practicality department. And all while delivering a comfortable, competent and rewarding drive. The icing on the cake has to be the peace of mind underscoring the ownership experience courtesy of Kia's class-leading seven-year warranty, and a price tag comfortably under £25K. ~ MotorBar
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Kia ProCeed 1.6 CRDi GT-Line | £24,690
Maximum speed: 124mph | 0-60mph: 10 seconds | Test Average: 55.3mpg
Power: 134bhp | Torque: 178lb ft | CO2: 114g/km

.