The styling of Kia models has been transformed in recent years, but this new, second-generation Kia Proceed has to be the company’s most striking effort yet.
A three-door version of the latest Ceed hatchback, it looks much sleeker than its sister car, and is designed to steal sales from models such as the new Seat Leon SC and VW Scirocco.
Kia is offering just two engines at launch: a 1.6-litre GDi petrol and a 1.6 CRDi diesel. However, a Proceed GT that uses a turbocharged 201bhp version of the petrol unit will join the range this summer.
What’s the 2013 Kia Proceed like to drive?
If you're expecting sporty handling to go with the looks, you're going to be disappointed.
The Proceed is mechanically identical to the five-door Ceed, so the steering is pretty slow. Even the Flexsteer system – which lets you choose from three settings – doesn’t really help; select Sport mode, and the only obvious change is that the steering gets heavier.
It also leans more in bends than a Leon SC or a Scirocco, but it isn’t overly sloppy, and ride comfort is generally very good.
High-speed refinement is less impressive; the Kia’ Hankook tyres generate a lot of roar as they slap against the surface of the road.
The petrol engine feels pretty weedy and inflexible compared with the turbocharged units available in rivals, while the diesel also needs more revs than you might expect, although it’s strong through the mid range.
What’s the 2013 Kia Proceed like inside?
From behind the wheel this new model looks near-identical to other versions of the Ceed.
The cabin is pretty classy, mixing some soft-touch plastics with a smart design, plus the layout of the dashboard is easy to understand and there’s a good range of adjustment to help the driver get comfortable.
The only real difference is that over-the-shoulder vision is much worse in the Proceed, due to its thicker rear pillars and the upsweep of its rear side windows.
More positively, there's enough space for a couple of six-footers in the back, and you don't have to reset your driving position every time you let people in and out, thanks to a memory function on the front seats.
As in the five-door Ceed, there's a well-shaped boot that can swallow a sizeable 360 litres of luggage. There’s an extra 20 litres of storage space under the boot floor.
Should I buy one?
An entry-level Proceed costs more than an entry-level Ceed with the same engine, and is also pricier than an equivalent Seat Leon SC.
However, the Proceed is very well equipped and Kia is offering an early buyer discount of £1000 for a limit period.
The Proceed has some appeal, then, particularly if you value comfort over handling. However, a Leon SC is a much better all-rounder and will hold its value better.
What Car? says...
Seat Leon SC
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