RE: Kia Proceed GT prototype: Driven

RE: Kia Proceed GT prototype: Driven

Thursday 13th September

Kia Proceed GT prototype: Driven

Three-door Kia hot hatch out, replaced by swoopy estate - does it work?



Remember the old Kia pro_cee'd? There was more punctuation than doors for the three-door hottish hatch that Kia used to make. But that was Kia then, and this is Kia now: the Kia that makes the Stinger and has a sister company in Hyundai that makes the i30N. It's a new, more dynamic Kia.

So, naturally, it has dropped the old Proceed body style and replaced it with an estate.

Actually there's quite a lot of sense to that. Only five per cent of people who bought VW Golf-sized hatchbacks were buying three-door versions, and Kia is eyeing a time - probably long into the future, but a time nonetheless - when perhaps not every 'not a five-door hatch' version of a family car will be a crossover or SUV. Please. (Although there will be a Ceed crossover, a subject for a different website to this one.)


Anyhoo, the bods at Kia's European HQ in Frankfurt looked around at what a Proceed could become if they gave it less unnecessary punctuation and a three-door wasn't viable, and this is the answer. They call it a Shooting Brake and it's a description I'm inclined to go along with. There's nothing in the history of Shooting Brakes to insist that they have to have only three doors and, besides, in the technical presentation, Kia showed a picture of a Reliant Scimitar, which is perhaps the first time in history that a Korean estate car has been inspired by one of those. So I'm cool with it.

The pictures you see here are most likely of a disguised Proceed - the car is still a few months from launch. But it's a Proceed in the highest available trim and mechanical specification. As a GT (there's a five-door Ceed GT hatch, too) it has a 1.6-litre engine making 204hp and which will drive through a six-speed manual or seven-speed twin-clutch auto. This is the latter.


Kia reckons that Mercedes-Benz, its only competitor (and then not quite a competitor) selling a similarly-sized car, the CLA Shooting Brake, manages to sell them for more money than any other CLA because these sleek estates are somehow a premium alternative. So the Proceed will be more expensive than a Ceed estate too. Likely, then, edging towards £30k in this GT form.

I think, given the existence of the Stinger, and that Hyundai seems to have dibs on the hot hatch within this motoring empire, that 204hp is as potent as the Ceed will get. But I also reckon that's about warm enough - it wasn't so long ago that 200hp was considered a proper hot hatchback in this territory.

Performance is good, albeit with tweaks still to come. The 1.6 engine has a broad spread of torque, with 195lb ft from not many revs at all, and the gearbox is fast-shifting. It's slightly coarse at higher revs, and the exhaust was a bit boomy at times, and of the two 1.6s I tried one had some marked flat spots in the range. The coarseness might not get totally sorted, but the flat spots and boom ought to be. A 'sport' mode brings with it so much response that it was tricky to drive it on a steady throttle; again calibration is likely to fix that by the March 2019 on-sale date.


The chassis is much closer to sign-off. Kia puts quite a lot of effort into that these days. All Ceeds get multi-link rear suspension and, as an option, it offers Michelin Pilot Sport rubber, a fact I imagine the average Ceed buyer pays precious little attention to.

Still, fitted with those the Proceed is a car of fine ride, handling and steering. Kia's engineers have benchmarked the best and gone after them. So the ride's firm but composed, with excess noise or thump intrusion only on really coarse surfaces. And in corners roll is nicely contained, the steering is accurate and its medium starting-weight and what passes for feel builds very naturally. What would we reckon the best cars are in this class? Ford Focus? VW Golf? I think the Kia has most of the engagement of the Ford and most of the natural stability and reassurance of the Volkswagen, with a blend of qualities that's endearing and gives it a driving character very much of its own.


And the rest of it? Well, the interior wasn't grained everywhere but it'll be largely the same as other Ceeds, which means it's finished well enough and logically laid out. The sloping rear roofline doesn't seem to rob much headroom and there's decent knee room, and while the number plate position (on the bumper rather than the bootlid) means the load lip is higher than on a Ceed estate, there's a boot almost the size of a Golf estate's, 40/20/40 split rear seats and the option of rails in the floor and versatile retaining straps.

Then of course there are the purely subjective bits, which is actually the primary reason an awful lot of people cite for choosing a car: do you think it looks good? I think it does. And if it's a choice between one of these or another flipping crossover, where do I sign?


SPECIFICATION - KIA PROCEED GT

Engine: 1,591cc 4-cyl turbo
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive (7-speed dual clutch auto optional)
Power (hp): 204@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 195@2,350-5,200rpm
0-62mph: 7.5sec (est.)
Top speed: 140mph (est.)
Weight: 1,350kg (est.)
MPG: 40 (est.)
CO2: 170g/km (est.)
Price: £28,000 (est.)









 

 

 

 

 

 

Author
Discussion

cvega

Original Poster:

309 posts

92 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
I'll buy it if i can get it with THAT wrap job.

pb8g09

147 posts

2 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
If they could just squeeze a little bit more power and torque......

... I probably still wouldn't buy it. But I hope it sells well, because it'd be good to have some more competition and choice in the market.

unsprung

2,395 posts

57 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
cvega said:
I'll buy it if i can get it with THAT wrap job.
drive due east in January wink and park it somewhere round Kursk

should "blend in" quite easily, I reckon


Hairymonster

319 posts

38 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
I think I'd be more inclined to get a Skoda Octavia Estate vRS at £27k. Yes, I know this one is a sexy, swoopy shooting brake, but I'd prefer the extra clout of the vRS 2.0 lump.

Nanook

32,364 posts

120 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
Is it just me that's out of touch, or with that weight, that power, that spread of torque, is 7.5 to 60 a bit on the slow side?
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Kawasicki

5,327 posts

168 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
Nanook said:
Is it just me that's out of touch, or with that weight, that power, that spread of torque, is 7.5 to 60 a bit on the slow side?
It’s not fast. One problem with making a hot fwd estate is that the additional weight at the rear unloads the front tyres, making fast launches tricky. A 320d would probably outsprint this to 60mph. On the other hand, it might be a little more playful in the corners.

BricktopST205

414 posts

67 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
If you want an estate you want a nice boxy rear to you know load things. Sloping roof really diminishes what you can fit in it. My dogs head would constantly be rubbing the roof and it would be rubbish taking camping gear which can be long.

Klippie

1,389 posts

78 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
The Pro’ceed GT is a lovely looking car it has the looks and drives great, I’ve been tempted by one for some time, but this new car just looks all out of proportion what are car designers they thinking about these days it’s seems they are in a competition to make every nice cars replacement ugly as sin.

And yet another three door car is no more.


Cupramax

7,399 posts

185 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
Can anybody design anything remotely original looking these days? From those pics it’s a mixture of new Focus headlights, on a Merc CLA estate bodywith Audi rear lights. rolleyes the original Proceed was a good looking car.

yonex

12,070 posts

101 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
Cupramax said:
Can anybody design anything remotely original looking these days? From those pics it’s a mixture of new Focus headlights, on a Merc CLA estate bodywith Audi rear lights. rolleyes the original Proceed was a good looking car.
Manufactures are so governed by finances, legislation and the worry of public acceptance to anything ‘new’ it will only get worse.

Cromulentvolvo

4 posts

77 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
Really? We have just had a used Ceed GT article two days ago to refresh the brand in our minds and yet certain posters claim manufacturers dont have any influence over content?

Nickp82

1,286 posts

26 months

Thursday 13th September
quotequote all
Looks quite smart, not a car that I would hanker for but if a cheap lease deal came up would happily run it for two years.

Nerdherder

203 posts

30 months

Friday 14th September
quotequote all
cvega said:
I'll buy it if i can get it with THAT wrap job.
.. On the company lease. laugh

Nerdherder

203 posts

30 months

Friday 14th September
quotequote all
BricktopST205 said:
If you want an estate you want a nice boxy rear to you know load things. Sloping roof really diminishes what you can fit in it. My dogs head would constantly be rubbing the roof and it would be rubbish taking camping gear which can be long.
If that's all your dogs rub we're fine.

Nerdherder

203 posts

30 months

Friday 14th September
quotequote all
Nickp82 said:
Looks quite smart, not a car that I would hanker for but if a cheap lease deal came up would happily run it for two years.
If this would still be in my lease bracket; Ditto.

spikyone

228 posts

33 months

Friday 14th September
quotequote all
Cupramax said:
Can anybody design anything remotely original looking these days? From those pics it’s a mixture of new Focus headlights, on a Merc CLA estate bodywith Audi rear lights. rolleyes the original Proceed was a good looking car.
They've said they're targeting the CLA so it's not surprising it has a similar bodystyle. I'm not entirely convinced that those are Audi-like rear lights; they look very similar to the Sportage. As for the new Focus, the headlights are nothing like those on the Kia - the Ford's are straight off a V40. If you're looking for derivative styling, that Focus takes some beating. Aside from the V40 headlights it's basically the F20 1-series with a Ford grille, and the rear lights and hatch are a straight-up copy of the i30. There's a company that has seriously lost their way.

MannyLanny

5 posts

Friday 14th September
quotequote all
I never seriously considered them, but this model caught something, I will follow it.

VTECMFR

135 posts

18 months

Friday 14th September
quotequote all
This is a lovely shape. I think it's a sensible amount of speed VS efficiency tbh.

RedRob67

25 posts

55 months

Friday 14th September
quotequote all
That camo works - It looks a lot better without it.

Hub

3,920 posts

131 months

Friday 14th September
quotequote all
It looks like it has potential. The trouble is that 'warm' versions don't sell too well - it seems these days you need headline grabbing power outputs! It think it probably needs a little bit more poke.