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The swoopy new Kia Proceed starts from £23,835

And the hot hatch Kia Ceed GT will start from just under £25k

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Because Kia has done the honourable thing and removed underscores and apostrophes from the name of its new car, we can write it with abandon. Yep, the new Proceed now wants to be a shooting brake, and it’ll start from just under £24,000.

From £23,835 to be precise, and it’s not technically a shooting brake, because it has five doors not three, so more of a small estate. But still. Merc calls its CLA a shooting brake too. We’ll come back to why that matters…

The new Proceed is indeed a significant departure from the old car who’s name we shall not repeat, here available in three trim levels – GT-Line, GT-Line S, GT – and three turbo engines.

There’s a 134bhp 1.6-litre diesel that’ll do 0-62mph in 9.8secs, a 1.4-litre turbo petrol with 138bhp that does 0-62mph in 8.8secs, and a range-topping 1.6-litre petrol with 201bhp.

First drive: the Kia Proceed

That car will do 0-62mph in 7.2secs before topping out at 140mph. Interestingly, the Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake – which this car wants to tempt you away from – posts similar sprint numbers across the board. Apart from the mad 45 AMG version. Which is just mad.

The Proceed predictably undercuts that car’s price, because the Benz CLA starts at £28k for the slowest 180 petrol – that money gets you into the fastest 201bhp Proceed GT. Plus, there’s more boot space here (594 litres), it sits 60mm lower than either of the Focus or Golf estates, and is a good steer.

But can Kia really compete with Merc’s peerless new small hatch cabin architecture, or is the practicality and price a safer bet? Let us know below.

In other news, the Kia Ceed GT – a 201bhp ‘warm’ hatch – will start from £25,535 too. A VW Golf GTE with around the same power starts from nearly six grand more, though a peek across at Kia’s Hyundai relative will find you a base i30N hot hatch with 247bhp - and a whole lot more focus - for just £460 more.

First drive: the Kia Ceed GT

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