Kia ProCeed estate review
"The Kia ProCeed drives more like a family car than a hot hatchback despite its sleek design, and a big boot means it’s surprisingly practical too"
- Arresting looks
- Lots of equipment
- Practical boot
- Ordinary to drive
- Tight rear seats
- Poor rear visibility
It's all change for the Kia ProCeed and not just because the Korean brand has dropped the annoying apostrophe and underscore from its name. No, the changes are so complete that Kia could have been forgiven for coming up with a new model name entirely. The ProCeed has transformed from a three-door hatchback into a five door ‘shooting brake’ – the designer’s term for a cross between an estate car and a coupe.
The result is the range-topping model in the Ceed line-up. It’s actually longer than the Sportswagon estate, with almost as much boot space, but there’s a sharper focus on design and driver enjoyment. This makes it rather unique in its class, albeit with styling inspired by cars like the Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake and even the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo, despite the latter costing many times more than the Kia.
It's a response to the decline in popularity of three-door cars and one which creates a desirable model that's better suited to families. Or at least, so Kia hopes. One of the biggest differences is the rear windscreen, which is very steeply raked for a more sporty appearance. Despite this, there's still an estate-car-rivalling 593 litres of boot space, dwarfing the standard Ceed.
There's good news in the front, too, because build quality and the materials used to upholster the interior look and feel good. It's a shame there are a few too many buttons but the main snag is in the back, where the stylish exterior means passengers over six feet tall will struggle to get comfortable, despite the back seats being positioned slightly lower down to help make up for its sleek roofline. It's a good job a rear-view camera and parking sensors are fitted as standard because rear visibility is rather like looking down the wrong end of a telescope.
Kia sharpened up the ProCeed’s looks in 2021, tweaking the headlights, bumpers and grille. There are now more black trim pieces, giving a sportier look that suits the car’s shape. It’s fitting too, given that the ProCeed range only consists of GT-Line and GT-Line S models.
There’s just one engine option at the moment too; a 1.5-litre petrol with 158bhp, which is shared with the rest of the Ceed range. A 1.6-litre diesel capable of 55mpg used to be available but didn’t really suit the car’s sporty style, while the 1.5-litre petrol replaced a less powerful 1.4-litre version.
Performance is pretty respectable, with the ProCeed hitting 0-62mph in under nine seconds, while its 1.5-litre petrol engine returns up to 48.7mpg so should prove cheap to run. With 201bhp, the (currently unavailable) GT with its 1.6-litre engine was punchy without troubling ‘hot’ hatchbacks, boasting acceleration from 0-62mph in a brisk 7.5 seconds and middling 41mpg fuel economy.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Fitted with the 1.5-litre T-GDi petrol engine, the Kia ProCeed can return up to 48.7mpg when fitted with a manual gearbox, or 47.9mpg with a seven-speed DCT automatic. CO2 emissions of 131-139g/km also mean there's little in it for running costs, although its Benefit-in-Kind bands for company-car users are quite high; business users would pay much less tax on the plug-in hybridMercedes CLA 250 e, although it is quite a bit more to buy in the first place.
The high-performance ProCeed GT was more costly to run when it was available, with its larger and more powerful 1.6-litre T-GDi engine returning 41.5mpg and emissions of 154g/km.
The Kia ProCeed costs the standard rate in VED (road tax), while insurance cover should also be fairly reasonable for most drivers thanks to the Kia sitting in groups 16 to 19 out of 50.
Engines, drive & performance
Now that the diesel model has been discontinued, the only remaining ProCeed offers good acceleration. Choose the 158bhp GT-Line with a manual gearbox and you’ll get from 0-62mph in just 8.6 seconds. The optional automatic gearbox takes two-tenths of a second longer, so you’re unlikely to notice the difference in the real world.
The Kia ProCeed GT has a slightly bigger engine and 201bhp, for a 0-62mph time of 7.5 seconds. When available, it’s only offered with the automatic gearbox. Don’t expect the ProCeed to compete with estate versions of hot hatchbacks like the Ford Focus ST Estate and Skoda Octavia vRS, which both have more power and are quicker off-the-line.
There's room for improvement in the gearbox department, too. The manual has a vague throw and there's little feel through the clutch pedal, so not only does it feel less sporting, it can be hard to pull away smoothly. The automatic isn't the magical solution either, with slow shifts in automatic and manual modes.
Kia has made the ProCeed's suspension slightly lower and firmer than the hatchback and Sportswagon, giving it a fraction more composure when tackling a tricky section of road. The steering is light and telegraphs precious little information, but it's accurate.
Interior & comfort
In its efforts to make the ProCeed more exciting, Kia has kept its ride comfort intact. There's a small amount of pitter-patter at low speeds, but otherwise, it's smooth and relaxed.
There were previously three trims to consider: GT-Line, GT-Line S and the performance GT model, but as of spring 2023, only GT-Line and GT-Line S are available. Designed as an upmarket choice in the Ceed line-up, GT-Line comes with a 10.25-inch touchscreen, sat-nav, a rear-view camera, DAB radio, heated front seats and rear parking sensors.
The GT-Line S has some impressive features, boasting 18-inch alloy wheels, along with wireless smartphone charging that's still absent from some luxury cars. It’s also fitted with heated rear seats, leather and suede upholstery, LED headlights, automatic parking, a panoramic sunroof, front parking sensors, a JBL stereo and a powered tailgate. When offered, the top-spec GT added red exterior and interior detailing, plus a GT Performance display mode to the GT-Line specification.
Practicality & boot space
In the transition from a three-door hatch to a five-door shooting brake, the Kia ProCeed has certainly become more practical. In fact, its boot is half as big again as the standard Kia Ceed, measuring 594 litres. That's not far off the Sportswagon estate, largely because the boot is measured to the parcel shelf, below 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.
There are plenty of handy features to make life more convenient too, including a powered tailgate that can open automatically, a low loading lip for heavy luggage and a hidden underfloor storage area.
Reliability & safety
Based on the Kia Ceed’s underpinnings, the Kia ProCeed is on a very good platform and should be reliable. A long warranty is reassuring and there's a comprehensive level of safety kit too.
Kia owners are generally a happy bunch, with the brand coming third out of 29 manufacturers in our 2022 Driver Power satisfaction survey. The Kia Ceed finished 16th in our list of the top 75 cars, far above the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf, while the Kia XCeed crossover came top. Both are closely related to the ProCeed. Of all those who sent their feedback, around a fifth experienced a fault of some sort with their Kia in the first year, although given reliability and build quality were widely praised, we can assume most faults were minor and sorted quickly. If something does go wrong, it should be addressed by the seven-year/100,000-mile warranty.
The ProCeed hasn't been crash-tested by Euro NCAP but the Kia Ceed hatchback on which it’s based scored four stars. Choosing the optional safety pack bumps it up to a full five-star rating. It's fitted with a long list of active and passive safety technology, including lane-keeping assist, autonomous emergency braking and driver attention warnings.
Which Is Best?
- Name1.4T GDi ISG GT-Line 5dr
- Gearbox typeManual
- Name1.5T GDi ISG GT-Line 5dr
- Gearbox typeManual
- Name1.6T GDi ISG GT 5dr DCT
- Gearbox typeAuto