Kia Proceed

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Kia Proceed

Road Test

Kia Proceed 1.6 GDI S driven

Driven April 2013

Additional Info

We're assuming you're on this website because you enjoy shouting "poweeeeer!" at your better half repeatedly while making oversteer gestures. On first impressions, then, you'll be looking at this new Kia Pro_Cee'd with glee.

After all, just take a moment to look at it: really look at it. Handsome, smart, little thing, isn't it? It's the second generation of Kia's three-door hatch, styled by Peter Schreyer. He's the same chap who styled the Audi TT, you'll remember, and he's brought a little sexiness back to the Cee'd.

So, this Pro_Cee'd sits on the same chassis as the hatch, and the dimensions all but mirror its five-door sibling - it's just 40mm lower. Elsewhere, Kia's signature tiger nose grille is slightly narrower, the single pair of doors are a massive 270mm longer and the rear has been obviously tapered, replete with steeply angled rear windows to give it sporting pretence.

But it's a sporting pretence the drive can't back up. That's not to say it's a bad car. It rides well, the damping erring on the side of comfort rather than competizione, the steering is accurate (though not hugely quick), the grip is decent and the overall quality of the drive is good. Seriously. In fact, the only thing betraying this car's budget roots is the drivetrain. There are just two engines on offer: a 1.6-litre petrol offering 133bhp and a 0-62mph time of 9.8 seconds, alongside a 1.6-litre diesel engine with 126bhp, 192lb ft and a 62mph dash of 11.5secs. Both remain competent, but they do feel a tad sluggish; the diesel is rattly, and the petrol feels lazy.

We'd recommend you opt for the petrol, as it's a smoother unit to live with on a daily basis, and that's kind of the point with the Pro_Cee'd: it hasn't been built to set Le Mans on fire. It's simply an attractive, well-sorted car for those of you above badge snobbery, with decent equipment and a competitive pricetag. Put it this way, the entry-level petrol Pro_Cee'd S is around £1,500 less than an entry-level Astra GTC 1.4 Turbo, is quicker to 62mph, has a higher top speed and emits less CO2.

And anyway, if you do hanker after some poweeeeer, may we suggest your inner Stig waits until summer? Kia has announced its most powerful production model in history: the 200bhp, turbocharged Pro_Cee'd GT. It probably won't be very Reasonably Priced, but it will - hopefully - be a cracking thing....

Vijay Pattni

The numbers
1597cc, 4cyl, FWD, 133bhp, 164lb ft, 52.3mpg, 124g/km CO2, 0-62mph in 9.8secs, 122mph, 1267kg

The verdict
Great to look at, but those wanting a chassis to match the design will be left wanting - it's merely good to drive.

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