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Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review: Kia Proceed

Overall verdict
A refreshing niche that ain’t a crossover, but not as sporty as billed


Looks purposeful and interesting. Well equipped, and that warranty…


Extra weight blunts the GT’s drive. Rubbish rear visibility


What is it?

It’s a badge you’ve met before, the Kia Proceed, fitted to a totally different sort of car. Instead of taking the shape of a chopped down three-door hatch, coupe-style, the new Proceed is a ‘shooting brake’ – modern shorthand for a sleek estate car.

Kia said it noticed sales of coupes dropping, but didn’t want to lose the Proceed’s more sporty, lifestyle-y edge from its range. So, it’s instead built an alternative to the hordes of mini-SUV crossovers. You get five doors and a big boot, but it’s wrapped up in a mini Porsche Panamera suit. On large wheels especially – 18s are the biggest available – it looks tremendous in the flesh. Cleverly detailed and well proportioned. Don‘t be fooled by some of the dumpy angles in the photos – this is a(nother) very handsome Kia.

If you’re the clever clogs reading this with mirth and thinking ‘but Kia already does the Ceed Sportswagon estate’, you’re spot on. But even its maker admits that fleet market-targeting box is hardly turning heads and magnetising punters. That’s why the Proceed is a deliberately less practical version of a practical car. Got it?

As you’d expect, engine choices mirror the Ceed hatchback. You can have a 1.4-litre turbo petrol, a 1.6-litre diesel, or the 1.6-litre Proceed GT with 201bhp and cosmetic raciness. Whereas Kia’s most popular Ceeds are the mid-range Ceed 2 and Ceed 3, the Proceed only comes in various stages of GT-line trim, matching the styling with more assertive looks. Equipment levels are typically high across the board.

While the Proceed is more practical than you might expect, it’s heavier than a normal Ceed and not the sporty, driver-pleasing solution Kia might have you believe. But it’s competent, and most likeable in 201bhp Proceed GT form, which comes as standard with a seven-speed automatic gearbox. Paddleshifters ahoy.

There’s no hybrid version – yet – Kia says it will introduce 48-volt mild-hybrid tech to the Ceed line-up during its life cycle. Prices start at £23,835 for a 138bhp petrol GT-line, and top out not with the go-faster GT, but the fully kitted-out GT S with the lesser 1.4-litre engine, at £28,685.

So, it fills a hole in Kia’s range, and despite not being remarkable to drive, it’s a likeable left-field choice. Sound like your sort of thing? Read on…

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
1.6T GDi ISG GT 5dr DCT
7.2s 142g/km 45.6 201 £28,020
The cheapest
1.4T GDi ISG GT-Line 5dr
8.8s 130g/km 49.6 138 £24,065
The greenest
1.6 CRDi ISG GT-Line 5dr DCT
9.8s 110g/km 67.3 134 £26,015