LAST year, Kia launched the all-new Ceed and it was met with high praise from those in the know.
Now it's time for the latest ProCeed, the sportiest adaptation and it certainly doesn't disappoint.
It's a lot more grown up than the previous generation car and finally has a mature title to match its looks. Gone is pro_cee'd and in its place is ProCeed.
The car is available in six variants based on three engines, two transmissions and three well-equipped trim levels - GT-Line, GT and GT-Line S with prices ranging from £23,835 to £28,685.
With its dynamic styling, the ProCeed is guaranteed to draw attention from onlookers.
It's slightly lower and longer than the Ceed, but is instantly recognisable as a Kia thanks to the ‘tiger nose' grille with wide lower air intakes, ‘ice-cube' LED daytime running lights, a chrome shark fin blade, a unique tail light signature, tinted windows and a beautifully sculpted body shape with sharp creases and sweeping lines.
The interior is very upmarket with lots of soft touch surfaces, piano black and chrome trim, leather upholstery and a wealth of on-board technology to explore.
All models are kitted out with all the latest creature comforts and infotainment systems and, as is the way with Kia, there are no nasty add-on costs to bump up the price.
Powering the ProCeed are three engines - an all-new ‘Kappa' 1.4-litre T-GDi petrol unit producing 138bhp, a 1.6-litre 201bhp T-GDi engine which drives the performance GT model, and a new ‘Smartstream' 1.6-litre CRDi 134bhp diesel unit.
We had the chance to try all three engines in various trims and they each had their own individual character and appeal.
First up on a route that involved a high percentage of motorway driving was the GT-Line car with the diesel engine mated to a six-speed gearbox. This car, priced at £24,685, could reach from 0-60mph in 10.0 seconds, maxed out at 124mph and impressed on the running costs with a combined 56.5mpg and carbon emissions of 111g/km.
The first thing to say is how comfortable the new ProCeed is. There is plenty of seat and steering wheel adjustment and all the dials and readouts are perfectly positioned for ease of use.
The car cruised effortlessly at motorway speeds and when we ventured onto the twisting country lanes there was a constant stream of power on tap to make light work of overtaking. The cabin was well insulated against outside noise and the car was beautifully balanced and poised.
We did spot a slightly irritating whining sound under deceleration at times, but it wasn't always noticeable. Our only real gripe was the view out the rear window. Whereas visibility of the road ahead, out the side windows or over-the-shoulder is excellent, the view through the tiny rear screen is really limited - you can see the car that's following and that's about all.
Next up was the mighty ProCeed GT powered by the 1.6 petrol engine boosted to 201bhp. This car could sprint to 60mph from a standing start in 7.2 seconds, maxed out at 140mph, delivered combined fuel economy of 39.3mpg with CO2 emissions of 142g/km.
It's this model, costing Â£28,185, that's been designed for the more adventurous thrill-seekers. It's blisteringly quick and the driving dynamics are not for the faint-hearted as it fires through the zig-zag bends.
The car had a seven-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddles if you fancy taking extra control over the gear changes. As with all the models, there are driving modes called Normal and Sport with the latter really sharpening up the handling.
The Proceed comes with fully independent suspension as standard which is based on the system featured in the Ceed and Ceed Sportswagon, but finely tuned for the ProCeed's dimensions. The result is sharp handling, along with perfectly balanced ride and agility.
But it was our final model that Kia believes will prove the biggest seller. It was in range-topping GT-Line S grade and powered by the new1.4-litre petrol engine mated to the auto box.
Costing £28,685, this car could complete the 0-60mph dash in 9.1 seconds, had a top speed of 127mph with combined fuel economy of 42.8mpg and carbon emissions of 133g/km.
After a short while behind the wheel, it's clear just why Kia views this model as the most appealing.
The 1.4-litre engine is really impressive with ample power at your disposal at all times and the car is perfectly balanced with its low centre of gravity resulting in excellent handling capabilities.
Kia claims the ProCeed has been specifically geared for European roads and tuned to offer more dynamism, along with extra driver engagement. They seem to have succeeded on all counts.
There's a bundle of technology to explore with the likes of a smart eight-inch touchscreen navigation system, an eight-speaker JBL premium sound system, a reversing camera with dynamic guidelines, a wireless phone charger, DAB radio with MP3 compatibility, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated leather seats with power adjustment, a flat-bottomed leather heated steering wheel and much, much more.
Comfort levels are high with ample room in the back for a couple of adults to stretch out in comfort. It's worth noting that the GT-Line S model did feature a sunroof and that did impact slightly on head room.
Storage options on the new ProCeed are good with a boot capacity ranging from 594 to 1,545 litres with the split folding rear seats dropped flat.
There is additional storage space beneath the boot floor along with a net and hook to secure items safely. Elsewhere, throughout the cabin is a glovebox, deep door pockets, a centre console with sliding cup-holder cover, rear cupholders in the armrest, a centre console storage box and a drop-down sunglasses compartment.
And when you factor in the comprehensive list of safety features and driver aids, the all-new ProCeed really does seem to be the complete package.
Our only issue was the rear-view visibility, but that is easily outweighed by the seemingly endless number of plus factors, including the best warranty in the industry of seven years or 100,000 miles which is fully transferable if the car is sold on.