Kia Proceed Driving, Engines & Performance | Top Gear
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

Kia replaced its 1.4-litre petrol engine with a new 1.5-litre petrol in early 2021 and it’s pretty good – it’s appreciably quieter and more refined than the unit it replaced in the line-up and is pretty economical. The Korean manufacturer claims 48.7mpg with the manual, a little less with the auto. Said manual takes a bit of getting used to because there isn’t much feel to the clutch pedal.

Still, it’s swift enough – 158bhp and 187lb ft of torque means it does 0-62mph in 8.6 seconds. It’s not that much slower than the GT, with its 201bhp, 195lb ft 1.6-litre turbo engine and 0-62mph time of a modest 7.5secs.

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You mentioned a Sport mode...

Yep. Prod the GT’s Sport button – located down by the gearshifter – and you get improved throttle response, a burbly exhaust note and heavier steering, though the steering is actually pleasingly communicative, so far as modern mainstream car steering goes. 

You get a decent picture of how much grip is left from the standard Michelin Pilot Sport 4s, which is usually ‘plenty’ because said tyres are particularly grippy. Traction is strong with no wheelspin to manage, but the gearbox isn’t the crispest DCT (the GT is auto only) out there. Annoyingly, the gearbox auto-upshifts as the redline approaches regardless of what you do with the paddles, which removes you from the action.

How does it compare to the hatchback Ceed GT?

The Proceed GT is 52kg heavier than the Ceed GT, on account of its longer swoopy body, and with only 201bhp on tap, you notice the more lethargic acceleration if you’ve stepped from the hatchback twin. It’s a brisk car, but not a true hot hatch, and for £30,280, there are rivals from Hyundai and Renault which are better at being everyday sports cars.

On the motorway the Proceed produces noticeably more tyre roar than its more humble stablemates – it’s positively deafening at times. Ride comfort is assured, and though the body control can feel a tad floaty if you’re really pressing on, back at the Proceed’s 6/10ths comfort zone it’s a comfortable everyday car – perhaps targeted at an older buyer alienated by ever more hardcore hot hatches.

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Suitable for visiting the grandkids, then.

Yep, though it’s not particularly frugal – we averaged low 30s to the gallon in the Proceed GT when driven hard, but high 30s on a 250-mile round trip from London to the south coast, mainly spent on motorways, versus an official claim of 41.5mpg.

As already mentioned, the normal 1.5 GT Line and GT Line S are slightly more economical, so if you’re thinking of your wallet – and looking to minimise the amount of time spent on petrol station forecourts – these are your best bets.

Highlights from the range

the fastest

Kia Pro Ceed 1.6T GDi ISG GT 5dr DCT
  • 0-627.2s
  • CO2142.0g/km
  • BHP201
  • MPG45.6
  • Price£28,020

the cheapest

Kia Pro Ceed 1.4T GDi ISG GT-Line 5dr
  • 0-628.8s
  • CO2130.0g/km
  • BHP138
  • MPG49.6
  • Price£24,065

the greenest

Kia Pro Ceed 1.6 CRDi ISG GT-Line 5dr DCT
  • 0-629.8s
  • CO2110.0g/km
  • BHP134
  • MPG67.3
  • Price£26,015

Variants We Have Tested

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