by Huw Thomas, vice chairman,
Welsh Motoring Writers
‘SerieS 1’ Ceed (2006-2012) was Kia’s first car to be designed as well as produced in europe. ‘Series 2’ came in 2012 and this saw the first ProCeed – a three-door, more sporting-style hatch to stand alongside the 5-door and estate models.
The ProCeed range was topped off by the ‘GT’ with 204ps coaxed out of its 1.6 litre Gdi (Gasoline direct injection) engine courtesy of a twin-scroll turbocharger. it wasn’t going to give VW’s Golf GTi a fright but this was a nicely warmed-up hatch with decent dynamics and well-matched 6-speed manual transmission.
Six years later, 2018 saw the launch of Ceed ‘Series 3’. A 5-door hatch or Sports- wagon (estate) – demand for 3-door hatchbacks has fallen away it seems. As a result, the new 2019 ProCeed has taken a totally different direction.
German premium brands have gone after ‘niches’ relentlessly – Mercedes CLS (‘4-door coupe’ and ‘shooting-brake’), Audi A7 and a variety of BMWs, for example.
So, Kia has seen a niche between the Ceed hatch and SW – the ProCeed is now a ‘shooting brake’. The aim: “to offer a touch of style, class and … level of choice … mid- market family motorists have not had (for many years)”. And it’s not just ‘smoke (glass) and mirrors’ – not only is the bodywork
bespoke, sharing only front wings and bonnet with the Ceed, interior fit and finish has more than a hint of ‘premium’ to it.
The ProCeed is lower than the Ceed but sits on the same wheelbase. it is a touch longer than the Ceed SW with an elongated ‘Sportback-type’ look. Load-space apparently is greater than some lower- medium estates although the rake of the upper half of the tailgate would (as with most these days) entail a height limitation.
ProCeed model range: £23,835-£28,685 and ‘GT-Line’ or ‘GT-Line S’ eschewing the Ceed’s cheaper “2s” and “3s”. The 204ps GT (£28,135) is still here but 7-speed auto only*. ProCeed preview preference: GT-Line 1.6 Crdi 136ps diesel 6-speed manual. GT- Line trim level also offers a 1.4 Gdi 140ps petrol with a manual ‘box.
The previous ProCeed GT’s ride and handling was up to the job but there’s been a general improvement across the Ceed and ProCeed range. The current GT variants are nicely set up with a bit more feel and weight to the steering, good body-control by and large and stable cornering. Chassis engineering is now a major focus.
Kia does not foresee huge sales for the ProCeed but it is an indication of the size and scope of its european presence. The next Ceed variant apparently will be an SUV-type crossover late this year or early 2020.