EARLIER this yearKiaintroduced a handsome newcomer to its range in the shape of the newProCeed.
TheProCeedis the third member and flagship of the newCeedrange and is a very attractive shooting brake that combines all the space and versatility of an estate in a five-door coupe like body.
Designed, engineered and built in Europe it shares only the bonnet and front wings of the popularCeedhatchback and is offered with a choice of three engines, two transmissions and three trim levels.
It comes with all the latest safety and advanced driver assistance systems as well as its bold sporty body.
Longer and lower than theSportswagon, theProCeed features the iconic 'tiger nose' grille of its siblings but its striking looks make it stand out from the rest of the range.
Its rakedrooflineflows nicely downwards to the rear which really gives the car its sporting stance.
A wide rear bumper is combined with dual-tip exhausts and theProCeedname isspelledout in bold letters below LED tail-lights that span the tailgate to give the car a unique light signature.
Good-looking alloys enhance the sense of sportiness and a lot of customers will buy this car for its looks alone. I enjoyed driving the car north of Barcelona on the launch but recently got a chance to spend a week with one on our own roads.
The ProCeed is offered with a choice of petrol and diesel engines but my car was fitted with the 1.6 CRDi unit coupled to a seven-speed DCT automatic transmission.
It is a smooth and relaxed performer capable of 124mph and of reaching 60mph in 9.8 seconds.
With emissions of just 110g/km it is also a frugal performer capable of a combined 54.3mpg.
It has bags of grunt for overtaking and is excellent for munching motorway miles.
The cabin shares much with the lesserCeedhatchback but that is no bad thing since it is well built and features good quality plastics and soft-touch finishes.
The instruments are well laid out and easy to read and use and there is plenty space for four adults.
The dash is dominated by a floating eight-inch touchscreen which is easy to operate and there is plenty kit.
Standard equipment on this GT-Line version includes 17-inch alloys, LED rear lights, heated front seats and steering wheelas well as a reversing camera. It also has a good navigation system along with AppleCarPlayand Android Auto.
A Drive Mode Select system is fitted with theDCTtransmission. The Normal setting maximises the potential for fuel efficiency and relaxed driving while Sport mode enhances throttle response and adds weight to the steering.
The steering is sharp and accurate and the ride supple with bags of grip for twisting country roads.
It may be a cracking looker but theProCeedis still very practical and versatile with a huge 594 litres of boot space. That is more than many estate cars offer.
Split folding rear seats increase the space when collapsed and an underfloor storage area is provided for smaller items and the load bay has a net to secure items and prevent them rolling around.
The small rear window does reduce visibility and the interior of this car was fairly dark thanks to the black trim and privacy glass but it is still a car you can enjoy and it is a bit of a bargain, especially when you take into account Kia's 7-year warranty package.