4.6.2019Kia Proceed 1.6 CRDi review
Kia is turning out some excellent cars at the moment, and has recently started to produce some genuinely desirable ones too. The Stinger is one such example as the flagship for the Kia range, but the Proceed can certainly be added to the list. With sleek styling married to Kia’s rock-solid foundations, we see how the shooting brake stacks up.
Review by Chris Lilly
The Proceed range is made up of the usual suspects really with a couple of petrol options and a diesel. Tested is the 1.6 CRDi diesel, which produces 134 hp and 280 Nm of torque. It’s a good engine for daily use, proving economical enough to live with easily but punchy enough to get a shift on when required. The torque means you can pull hard from low down the rev range, and the six-speed manual gearbox to which it was mated provides a neat if rather muted action. With a 0-62mph time of 10.4 seconds, the Proceed isn’t particularly quick, but it does feel a little faster in the real world. As such, there’s no sense that the Kia is underpowered, and it stretches its legs nicely on longer motorway runs. Although quite capable to potter about town or run along a country road, the engine is at its most relaxed cruising at motorway speeds.
The Proceed is a little sportier than the conventional Ceed hatchback, and this improves the handling in my book. The extra stiffness in the springs doesn’t turn the Proceed into a sports estate, but it does firm up body control, and I really enjoyed driving the Kia on some of the twister roads in the area. It’s got enough about it to be used as a daily driver for those that enjoy driving, where the suspension doesn’t crash unduly over pot holes or speed bumps. It’s agile enough to have fun with however, and the nimbleness is equally as welcome when driving around car parks as it is on a country road. Like the suspension, the handling is normal with a leaning towards sportiness, if that makes sense. The weight is good at all speeds, but there’s not enough feedback to be described as a driver’s car. The above all sounds like a bit of a compromise when written down, but it balances itself out well and makes for an appealing driving experience.
As desirable models go in the practical family market, the Proceed scores highly. With a hint of Porsche about the rear, the whole car looks great in my opinion, and manages to carry off the sporting brake look with aplomb. Occupant space is good both up front and in the rear, with the only comment being the sloping roofline when climbing into the back seats. It’s not too bad once in, but you have to duck further than you might think when getting across the threshold or you’ll bump you head - speaks the voice of experience. Boot space is either very good or pretty poor, depending on your starting point. Coming from a conventional estate, you will find the sloping roof cuts off load space above the window-line. The boot goes back a fair way however, and there’s a good amount of underfloor storage. Those approaching from the point of view of a hatchback will be pleasantly surprised by the amount of space available, as it makes the Proceed far more practical than its conventional hatchback stablemate.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
The Proceed might hint at sporty potential, but the cabin is comfortable. Seats have decent levels of lateral support, but not so much as to make things uncomfortable when driving normally. They have enough about them to make even long distance trips a doddle, and the whole car scores well in terms of comfort. The interior may not match the style possessed by the exterior, but at least it does a good job. It’s simply designed and could do with a flash of colour, but at least the test car had a few bits of gloss black trim to liven the place up a bit. The touchscreen system is sited at the top of the centre console and is relatively small for its class, but works well. It’s free from lag, is intuitive to use, and the graphics are decent enough if not top quality. The steering wheel is a really nice size and thickness, which helps the driving experience no end, and the instruments are set back into the binnacle, further lending a sporting air to proceedings. The materials used are of good quality, and although there is a lack of occasion to the design, everything seems to work well.
MPG & RUNNING COSTS
Official figures for the Kia Proceed with this engine and transmission come in at 64.2 MPG and 114 g/km CO2. It’s not going to cost a lot to run then, and the real world performance stacks up pretty well. After almost 600 miles of mixed running - town, country, and motorway routes - the trip computer was reporting 54.4 MPG. On the commute however, after 45 miles of largely motorway work, that figure increases to 68 MPG.
Kia’s 1.6 CRDi engine used in the Proceed is its latest generation ‘Smartstream’ unit, which looks to improve fuel efficiency and performance, while reducing emissions. By using lightweight components, and the latest unit designs, it’s able to perform well in all areas, and is the first Smartstream engine produced by the firm. Selective Catalytic Reduction systems are fitted to regulate emissions, and auto stop/start is fitted to all models.
There are three trim levels - all sports-orientated - with GT Line (tested), GT Line S, and GT available. All get 17-inch alloys, rear privacy glass, automatic headlights and wipers, front wiper de-icer, electric parking brake, heated front seats, dual-zone air conditioning, cruise control, keyless entry and start, and touchscreen infotainment system with DAB, USB and Bluetooth connectivity.
The Kia Proceed represents a real sweet spot in the range by my reckoning. It’s stylish but practical enough for use as a family workhorse. The engine isn’t hugely powerful though it’s got more than enough oomph for daily work, and it’s economical with this diesel unit fitted. The cabin is nice to be in, and the Proceed represents good value for money. It’s an alternative to a conventional hatchback or estate, and provides a great option for those that want something between the two.
Model tested: Kia Proceed 1.6 CRDi GT Line
Engine / CO2: 1.6 litre diesel engine / 114 g/km
Trim grades: GT Line, GT Line S, and GT
On-road price: From £24,685
Warranty: Seven years / 100,000 miles
In the showroom: Now
Review rating: 4.0 Stars