Kia ProCeed 1.6 CRDi

GT-Line

Kia ProCeed, front static
Kia Proceed, front
Kia Proceed, side
Kia Proceed, rear
Kia ProCeed, front action
Kia ProCeed, dashboard
Kia ProCeed, boot
Kia ProCeed, rear seats
Kia ProCeed, rear action 2

WHEN a car maker brings out a new model you often have to look closely to spot the differences from its predecessor, despite all the hype.

But Kia has taken a dramatically different approach with the launch of its new ProCeed, totally despatching the rakish design of the previous three-door model in favour of a bold new five-door shooting brake silhouette - with a Kim Kardashian-style rear.

And like Kim it stands out in more ways than one.

It's a car which sets out to challenge the dominance of both the traditional family hatchback and the ubiquitous SUV.

For once a manufacturer's "all new" model is exactly that. It's bold and it's stunning and with its rear brake lights stretching the full width of the car and its ice cube daylight running lights it's very easy to spot.

And what's more it's practical with a generous 594 litres of luggage space beneath the rear tailgate, not too much different to the estate version of the Ceed family the Sportswagon.

Lift up the floor of the luggage area and usefully there are a whole series of compartments of varying sizes and depths to help you safely pack away even more items.

The ProCeed is a large car which means plenty of head and leg space for five passengers.

And while the exterior is distinctive so is the interior, with stylish two-tone upholstery with quilted squabs and backrests on all the seats, soft touch surfaces on the dashboard as well as stylish piano black and chrome inserts to give it an upmarket appearance.

A centrally mounted eight-inch touch screen acts as the monitor for both the satellite navigation system and the pin sharp reversing camera as well as being the catalyst for numerous on-board functions.

And this is a car which is very well equipped even in the entry-level GT-Line trim.

Features include keyless locking and unlocking, lane keeping assist, automatic high-beam/dipped lighting, hill start assist, a 6-speaker audio system and voice recognition.

And for those cold days there's also the luxury of heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.

The 1.6-litre diesel engine gives a good account of itself with more than enough pulling power and sharp acceleration while at the same time offering a genuinely relaxed drive.

From inside the cabin the ProCeed is impressively quiet and the ride is hard to fault even when the car is fully laden.

There's a smooth six-speed manual gearbox and the steering is nicely weighted. The car has been engineered exclusively for European roads and offers plenty of driver engagement making it an enjoyable vehicle to drive both around town and at high speed.

And for once I found that a manufacturer's claimed average fuel consumption was easily attainable, with my final mpg readout after a week's motoring being almost identical to Kia's.

FAST FACTS

Kia ProCeed 1.6 CRDi GT-Line

Price: £24,685

Mechanical: 134bhp, 1,598cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 124mph

0-62mph: 10 seconds

Combined MPG: 56.5

Insurance Group: 8

C02 emissions: 111g/km

Bik rating: 30%

Warranty: 7yrs/100,000 miles

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