Car review: ProCeed in style

Kia have produced a vehicle that's in perfect shape

IS IT a bird, or is it a plane?’ Those were the words used when Superman was doing his thing while causing some doubt.

When the new Kia ProCeed arrived at my door, I was asking similar questions; was it an SUV, crossover, car or what?

To be precise, it’s a sleek five-door wagon with an unusual shape guaranteed to get you gawping. There are three engines in the ProCeed line-up. The 138bhp 1.4-litre T-GDi petrol and 134bhp 1.6-litre CRDi diesel can be chosen with a six-speed manual gearbox or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

The GT-Line S is only available with the 1.4 T-GDi and automatic gearbox, and the range topping GT is automatic-only with the same 201bhp 1.6-litre T-GDi petrol engine as the Ceed GT hatchback.

The ride is composed, but I did find it a little firm, but not uncomfortable, yet the handling is both secure and quite entertaining, with little body lean when cornering hard.

My test drive had some impressive features, boasting wireless smartphone charging that’s still absent from many luxury cars. There’s also heated front and rear seats, leather and suede upholstery, adaptive cruise control, automatic parking, front parking sensors, a JBL stereo and a powered hatchback. Even though I didn’t really need to ask the ProCeed any genuine practicality questions, it looked like it would have come up with the answers.

The boot is half as big again as the standard Kia Ceed, measuring 594 litres. That’s not far off the Sportswagon estate, largely because of the more steeply raked rear windscreen. GT and GT-Line versions feature a 60:40 split and fold rear bench, while GT-Line S models get a 40:20:40 configuration with a lever in the boot to fold them remotely.

The car’s steeply raked rear window and sloping roofline don’t inhibit rear accommodation; the rear seats are spacious enough for a near six-footer to comfortably sit behind somebody similarly tall in the front.

It will be interesting to see how many units the ProCeed shifts over the coming months and years. What I love about the Korean manufacturer is its ability to innovate and keep the competition on their toes. I think this vehicle could do well in the United States.

After all, they love their wagons, don’t they?

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