Kia ProCeed 1.4

T-GDi GT-Line S

Kia ProCeed, front static
Kia ProCeed, front dynamic
Kia ProCeed, profile
Kia ProCeed, rear static
Kia ProCeed, dashboard
Kia ProCeed, seat detail
Kia ProCeed, boot
Kia ProCeed, interior rear
Kia ProCeed, interior

WHEN is an estate not an estate? When it's a Kia ProCeed it would seem.

The upwardly-mobile South Korean car maker prefers to call the halo model of its revamped Ceed family a shooting brake - which sounds altogether much more sexy.

It's also quite fitting for the new ProCeed, which aims, with some success, to combine the practicality of a family wagon with the style of a coupe.

Sitting closer to the ground than its hatch and wagon counterparts, longer than both and with a lower, swooping roofline and dramatically raked rear end, it is an athletic looking, easy-on-the- eye machine that visibly hugs the road.

GT-Line, GT-Line S and a high-performance GT model, make up the range with power, depending upon which one you choose, coming from 1.4 or 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engines or a 1.6-litre diesel mated with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed double clutch automatic gearbox.

The GT-Line S version we drove comes exclusively with the 1.4 litre engine and automatic transmission and offers easy everyday driveability with just enough pace, agility and engagement to live up to the dynamic looks.

It'll get you from 0-62mph in just over nine seconds and on to a top speed of 127mph and offers a composed ride which, although slightly firm, remains comfortable for the most part, with little body lean when pushing on through corners.

With maximum torque of 242Nm available from as little as 1,500 rpm, thanks to the turbocharger, performance is punchy and responsive in urban traffic while, once you hit the open road, cruising is relaxed and fairly refined.

A drive mode select function offers normal and sport settings and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters give drivers the option of taking over from the automatic transmission - but it's so smooth and unintrusive that they'll rarely need to.

Inside, the cabin layout is the same as the standard Ceed with an eight-inch ‘floating' touchscreen interface sitting at the centre of the dashboard within easy reach, while the heating and ventilation controls beneath are simply and ergonomically arranged.

There's plenty of seat and steering wheel adjustment, so most people should be able to find a driving position they're happy with, and knee and head room in the back is more than adequate for adults to get comfortable.

What really impresses about the interior, though, is its sheer quality. Plush, soft-touch surfaces abound with what harsh, scratchy plastics you'll find are consigned to the less noticeable areas lower down.

At 594-litres, just a few litres less than the Ceed Sportswagon, the boot also offers plenty of space and versatility, with several hidden compartments beneath the floor and, in GT-Line S trim, an automatic tailgate and luggage floor rail system. Load capacity rises to 1,545 litres with the split rear seats folded down.

Typically of Kia, the ProCeed comes generously equipped for the price whichever spec you plump for. All cars get alloy wheels, privacy glass, navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated front seats, reversing camera, cruise control, push-button start, lane keep assist and automatic emergency braking.

Our GT-Line S car also boasted a power sunroof with automatic blind, power adjustable driver's seat, leather upholstery, heated rear seats and park assist.

Apparently - thank you Google - the term shooting brake originates from the late 19th century, when it referred to a horse-drawn wagon used to transport hunting parties and their equipment, with the name sticking when the horses were replaced by engines.

I very much doubt that many of them will be filling the boot with shotguns to head off and bother the local pheasant population - but this head-turning motor will find plenty of admirers among family drivers looking for a little flair and engagement with their well-equipped practicality.

FAST FACTS

Kia ProCeed 1.4 T-GDi GT-Line S

Price: £28,690

Mechanical: 138bhp, 1,353cc, petrol engine driving front wheels via 7-speed automatic transmission

Max Speed: 127mph

0-62mph: 9.1 seconds

Combined MPG: 42.8

Insurance Group: 15

C02 emissions: 133g/km

Bik rating: 30%

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