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Kia Proceed

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6/10

Overall
verdict

It won't trouble the cream of the three-door hatch brigade, but it's a mighty good effort, and looks fantastic.

Additional Info

What is it?

Kia's three-door hatch wants to rival the Focus and the Golf, and it's great to look at, but those wanting a chassis to match the design will be left wanting - it's merely good to drive.

Driving

Exactly like the five-door car. It's not sporty, and doesn't pretend to be, so it seems almost unfair to have a go at it for not delivering on the thrills front. It actually copes reasonably well: good front end grip, reasonable steering accuracy, good chassis balance. It's a well engineered car, but not an entertaining one.

The ride is well padded, motorway wind noise confined to a rustle from the A-pillars. If you're one of the vast majority who just want a hatchback to use for your life, then this is a very nice one. Kia knows its audience, knows what pleases them.

The new direct injection 1.6 (no baby turbo engines for Kia yet - that surely is the next stage) is fine when surfing in the shallows, but becomes slightly boomy and harsh towards the top end. There's now a twin clutch gearbox too, and like the rest of the car, it does the everyday stuff unobtrusively. But you can tell this is a first effort - its reactions aren't that sharp.

On the inside

Forget Kia of old and embrace Kia of the next century. Millimetric precision abounds on the pro_cee'd – even if nearly everything (including the materials) are just tracing-paper perfect clones of the Toyota Corolla. Feels so well put together that the seven-year warranty won’t get troubled much.

The pro_cee'd looks better and rides lower, but it’s less practical than the five-door. Saying that, there's enough room in the back for two, and the doors are longer to allow better entry.

Owning

The pro_cee'd makes good financial sense. Residuals won't be mental, but that passable warranty should buoy things up a bit.

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Latest road tests

6/10 Kia Proceed 1.6 GDI S driven
April 2013

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