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Car Review

Kia Proceed review

£24,065 - £29,955
Published: 04 Nov 2021


What is it like on the inside?

Let’s start at the front, where it’s familiar and a bit dull, and work backwards to where things get clever.

We like the general air of simplicity – of logically laid out knobs and buttons for heated this and cooled that – but it feels less 2021 iPhone and more 1980s Sony hi-fi stack. And the materials are solid, but nothing special. You’ve not seen this much silver plastic doing a bad impression of brushed aluminium since you had that kitchen playset with all the toy cutlery when you were five years old.

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Sitting proud and loud is a 10.25-inch touchscreen (fitted as standard), which is a doddle to navigate and mounted nice and lofty, in your eyeline. The satnav works as well as any other we’ve tried, too – we especially like the fact it zooms out when you come to a standstill so you can see how far you’ve still got to go. And – hurrah – the climate controls are still physical buttons.

Directly in front of the driver on mid-spec upwards is a 12.3-inch instrument cluster, complete with conventional dials and a small digital screen showing speed, satnav info, media and the like. It’s again clear, smart-looking and a breeze to operate. Kudos to Kia for not trying to copy Tesla and others when there’s really no need.

The seats are good: supportive and comfortable, even on longer drives. In the GT, red stitching loops across every surface with merry abandon, though there’s not many other sporty touches to get lathered up about. In the rear, you do sacrifice some headroom, but not enough to warrant any complaints from our six-foot-plus backseat passengers, while legroom was more than adequate.

The tailgate opens (without electric assistance, it’s a lightweight and much faster job as a result) to reveal a boot only six pesky litres short of a full 600-litres. That’s not much smaller than ‘proper’ estates from the likes of VW and Ford, nor the Sportswagon’s 625-litres. Flip the rear seats down, and once laid almost flat, there’s 1,545 litres to roam around in, which plays 1,694 litres in the Sportswagon. You can have luggage dividing guards, lashing points, and there’s a cellar’s worth of underfloor stowage to explore. Mountain bikers, potted plant enthusiasts and pet cemetery owners will find little to fault.

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That rear boot space alone makes the Proceed a compelling proposition, because unless you’re desperate for the (limited) extra space of the Sportswagon, why not have the stylish shooting brake instead? Worth noting that the Sportswagon is available with a 1.0-litre petrol, however, which starts from a tempting £20k. But fitted with the same 1.5-litre petrol there’s around £1k difference – the Sportswagon starts from £24.5k, the Proceed £25.5k. We’d know which we choose.

The one caveat of having such a shapely rump is the letterbox rear window, which also means it’s rather dark for rear seat passengers. Good for napping, though. Cameras help when parking, but are of no use when you’re on a dark motorway and need to triple-check that middle-lane hogger isn’t lurking in a blind spot – though blind spot collision warning comes as standard on mid and top spec trim levels.

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