KIA Proceed 1.4 T-GDI GT Line S
If you take a step back, the rise & success of South Korean car brands Kia & Hyundai is really quite remarkable. Here in the UK, both brands are now regularly in the top 10 & boast extensive model ranges. When I first started to review cars in the early 1990’s, I got to drive the Kia Pride & Hyundai Pony. Both were basic & at that time, were miles away from the European & some Japanese competition. However, a combination of Korean ingenuity, work ethic & European design has meant that in less than ten years, both marques have caught up & overtaken the likes of Nissan, Honda & Renault in UK car sales. And one of the key reasons why they are so successful, is that Kia do not rest on their laurels, launching & updating their model ranges every couple of years.
The latest Kia to hit the car park at Company Car & Van was the Proceed, a shooting brake for the common man. As far as Kia’s go, it’s actually quite expensive, £28,690 on the road for the1.4 T-GDi GT Line S model, but both the immense amount of kit & the well crafted good looks, make it feel better than it’s rivals. And there’s Kia’s seven-year warranty that still puts others to shame. What’s not to like ?
Let’s tackle the looks first. There are 18″ alloys, a high gloss black & satin radiator grille, high gloss black wing mirrors, a body coloured high gloss black rear spoiler, privacy glass, LED headlights & an air intake with black surround. Where the Ceed SW is a little bland to look at, the Proceed is the complete opposite & drew positive comments wherever I went.
Where you really notice where your money has been spent, is inside the cabin of the Proceed. The part-leather/Alcantara-effect seats & matching leather coloured dash top are lovely, with both the front seats & even the outer two rear seats heated. The leather bound steering wheel is heated as well & the drivers seat is 10 way power adjustable, with memory to boot.
Other nice touches include a flat bottomed steering wheel, aluminium pedals & a smart power tailgate. The steering wheel buttons give access to the 8″ touchscreen which comes with SatNav, DAB & MP3 connectivity. The 4.2″ TFT display that sits in front of the driver & features the speedo, rev counter & driving data is nicely designed. The touchscreen also offersthe driver a very clear reversing camera. Android Auto & Apple CarPlay are standard on every Ceed. The system in the Proceed is very easy to use.
GT-Line S models also offer an eight-speaker JBL sound system. We connected our smart phone simply via Apple CarPlay & really appreciated the sound. And, there’s even a large wireless charging pad that can keep your device going whilst you’re on the move. Plus two further USB connection’s in the front.
Safety is also well catered for. Rear cross- traffic alert, lane-keep assist, driver attention warning, city emergency braking & speed limit info reading are all included. Our favourite, adaptive cruise control is also fitted & for lazy-bones, there’s also a park-assist function that can automatically manoeuvre the Ceed into a perpendicular bay or parallel space.
There’s some decent cabin storage on offer, i.e door pockets, a glove box, two centre cup holders & an armrest with storage space, pretty much the same space as you’ll find in the Ceed hatch. However, the hatches 395 litres of space with the seats up & 1,291 litres with the rear seats folded, isn’t anywhere near as good as the Proceed, which comes with 594 & 1,545 litres respectively.
Whilst the sloping roof gives the car sex appeal, the design mean’s that rear passengers taller than six foot, will struggle for headroom. On the plus side, there’s flat boot floor in the Proceed, there’s no load lip, plus the floor lifts up to reveal three more under floor storage spaces & two smaller ones behind the wheel arches. And there’s a luggage rail system that’s fitted as standard to the GT-Line.
Despite the sporty looks, the GT-Line S with it’s 138bhp 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol is bit of a sheep in wolfs clothing. Yes there is a Sport drive function, but that’s still only good enough for an 9.1-second 0-60mph dash & the dual-clutch gearbox, although excellent in town, is a little lethargic. Sporty looks do not translate into a sporty drive.
Go for it & even on twisty roads, the Proceed with this engine lacks finesse. The chassis holds firm & it’s an enjoyable drive, but it’s simply not thrilling. And that middle-of-the-road feeling carries onto the motorway too, where it will sit happily in the fast lane & eat up the miles, but won’t give you the mid-range pull that many are used to in a mid-range diesel.
Just like the Ceed SW that we drove recently, which also came with the 1.4 petrol engine, for corporate customers, this Proceed’s combined mpg of 42.8 – we averaged 35.6mpg – & highish CO2 emissions of 133g/km do not make for happy reading. The 1.6 diesel version of the Proceed will hit over 50mpg & offers lower CO2’sof 110g/km.
Overall, whilst we loved the Proceed for the way it looks, it’s equipment love & the useful rear boot space, the 1.4 petrol engine whilst great for short hops & in town, isn’t our engine of choice & we would recommend business users take a look at the cheaper 1.6 CRDi Proceed.
A good looking 3.25/5