ProCeed a svelte

lifestyle estate

Kia ProCeed, 2019, side
Kia ProCeed, 2019, front, action
Kia ProCeed, 2019, rear
Kia ProCeed, 2019, rear, action
Kia ProCeed, 2019, interior
Kia ProCeed, 2019, boot

SO many car makers give their cars a reasonable amount of standard kit, but everything else has to be added from the 'personalisation' or extras list.

New car buyers have to add things they consider necessary, but I would find it very annoying.

Kia has come up with an answer to this problem that should appeal to many.

The latest ProCeed - now a sporty looking estate they call a shooting brake - has no extras. You simply buy the model that includes everything you want. How sensible is that.

The new model's sweeping roofline looks brilliant and it in fact hides a long useful boot that is only marginally smaller than in the standard Ceed estate.

One diesel engine and two petrol engines are available, and I drove the 1.4 turbo petrol, which boasts 138bhp of very quiet and refined power.

All are front wheel drive, as you would expect, but as well as a six speed manual gearbox, the high specification GT Line is also available with the seven speed dual clutch automatic I enjoyed and it really takes the strain perfectly.

The engine is so refined and quiet that its almost inaudible throughout the rev range. That's quite an achievement in a standard family hatch or estate.

And the gearbox rings the changes so smoothly its a match for the best of the rest out there.

Top gear is simply for saving as much fuel as possble when cruising on the motorway, and it doesn't come into use under 55 miles an hour.

The urge under the right foot is brilliant and the kickdown is quick and very effective when you need more acceleration in a hurry.

So we know its smooth and quick. But its also tremendously capable through the bends and corners, with top drawer handling and wonderfully tactile steering.

The level of grip seems to have no limits unless you try to bend the laws of physics, and I was driving it for what seemed like an eternity of pouring rain and drenched roads.

Here then is a family sized car that drives like a hot hatch. Unfortunately, it also rides like a hot hatch, with such firm suspension that every ripple is transmitted to the posterior at slow speeds in town.

And although things get more comfortable as speed increases, many of the road's imperfections still come through.

This ride quality would probably be improved by smaller wheels and higher profile tyres, as it can be on many cars, but I must speak as I find.

Inside there's good legroom for four, or five at a pinch, but the low rear roofline can affect headroom for taller passengers.

The ProCeed is stylish and capable and doesn't give away much in the way of practicality.

And of course, it comes with a seven year transferable warranty on top of the excellent standard equipment I already mentioned, including sat nav, alarm, traction control, parking sensors front and rear, and heated seats with lumbar support.

It also has alloy wheels, audio remote controls, loads of airbags, lane departure warning, cruise control and 60/40 folding back seats.

FAST FACTS

Price: £25,360

Mechanical: 138bhp, 1,553cc, 4 cylinder petrol engine driving front wheel drive via 7 spd automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 127mph

0-62mph: 9.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 44.8

Insurance Group: 14

C02 emissions: 131g/km

Bik rating: 30%

Warranty: 7yrs/100,000 miles

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