Kia Pro_cee'd hatchback (2013-2018)
"The Kia Pro_cee’d is a stylish, efficient and comfortable three-door hatchback, backed up by generous equipment and a seven-year warranty"
- Great warranty
- Average performance
- Limited engine range
- Not the best to drive
It doesn’t quite have the desirability of the Volkswagen Golf or proven track record of the Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra, but the Kia Pro_cee’d is a great three-door family hatchback that offers a comfortable driving experience, a good amount of standard equipment and handsome styling.
The Pro_cee’d is the three-door version of the standard Kia Cee’d, but to set it apart as a sportier machine, Kia ditched the simple 1, 2, 3 and 4 trim levels of the five-door. Instead, the Pro_cee’d is available in entry-level 2 form, rising through GT-Line and on to top-spec GT-Line S. There are three petrol engines and one diesel to choose from, with the latter managing 72.4mpg. All come with a six-speed manual gearbox, with the top spec GT-Line available as an automatic. None are particularly sprightly, though – you’ll have to step up to the Pro_cee’d GT hot hatchback if you want proper performance.
Inside, the Pro_cee’d benefits from an interior that’s well designed, comfortable and better built than ever. It’s well equipped too, with a rear parking camera and steering wheel stereo controls fitted as standard.
Comfort is the Pro_cee’ds biggest asset – it’s not as engaging to drive as rivals like the Ford Focus, but it deals with rough British roads well. There’s some lean in corners as a result of the softer set-up, but that should only bother the keenest of drivers.
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Like all Kia models, the Pro_cee’d is sold with a seven-year/100,000-mile warranty that’s hard to beat anywhere else on the market. That, paired with the fact that the Cee'd finished fifth out of the 75 cars ranked in our 2017 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey of cars currently on sale in the UK, should give you the confidence if you decide to buy one.
MPG, running costs & CO2
While the Pro_cee’d engine line-up is dominated by petrols, the 134bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine is actually the fastest and most efficient choice. This takes the car from 0-62mph in a reasonably swift 9.5 seconds, while returning 74.3mpg and emitting just 99g/km of CO2. Do note that the larger wheels of the GT-Line trim cause economy drop and CO2 emissions increase slightly.
If you’re after a petrol-powered Pro_cee’d, you have more choice. The cheapest is the 1.6-litre GDi ISG. It’s not the fastest, while 52.3mpg economy and CO2 emissions of 124g/km lessen its appeal further.
The 1.0-litre turbo engine is actually the best petrol. It’s got 118bhp and fuel economy is a respectable 57.6mpg. It’s not the quickest, though; 0-62mph takes over 10 seconds.
Insurance groups range from group six for the entry-level 1.4-litre petrol to group 14 for the more powerful engines and higher trim levels. Kia’s Care 3 fixed-price servicing makes maintenance cheap and easy to budget for, allowing you to purchase three or five years’ worth of services for a flat fee up front.
Engines, drive & performance
While the Pro_cee’d features a more stylish and eye-catching design than the five-door Cee’d, these looks aren’t really matched by its driving experience. The suspension is comfortable over poor road surfaces, but the trade-off for this is that there’s a fair amount of body lean in corners.
The Pro_cee’d is certainly a relaxing car to drive, it’s just not that exciting. You can adjust the weight of the steering via Kia’s FlexSteer system, but even on the heaviest setting it still feels overly light and is slightly vague when cornering. In truth, it can’t come close to the driving experience offered by the Ford Focus.
Interior & comfort
The design of Kia’s interiors has taken a massive step up in recent years and this is clearly evident in the Pro_cee’d. While the dashboard is by no means revolutionary or hugely eye-catching, it’s pleasingly designed, easy to use and feels solidly built. The steering wheel and driver’s seat offer plenty of adjustment, so drivers of all heights should find it easy to get comfortable. Front and rear-seat passengers, meanwhile, benefit from generous head and legroom.
If you’re happy to sacrifice driver involvement in the name of comfort, the Pro_cee’d makes a good case for itself: its seats are supportive and comfortable over long journeys, while the soft suspension isolates you well from poor road surfaces. Kia has also put in a lot of work into making the Pro_cee’d as quiet as possible, fitting plenty of sound-deadening material. The result of this is that the car remains quiet even at high speeds, with wind and road noise kept nicely at bay.
Practicality & boot space
It’s common for manufacturers to make significant compromises in terms of outright practicality when building three-door hatchbacks, but this isn’t the case with the Pro_cee’d. Kia has made the front doors almost a foot longer than those of the Cee’d, so getting into the back is remarkably easy – although getting in and out in tight parking spaces can be tricky.
Rear headroom (another area often compromised in three-door cars) is remarkably good, while the 380-litre boot is larger than the Ford Focus’ and equal to the Volkswagen Golf’s. With the split-folding rear seats lowered, the load area grows to 1,225 litres; we’d like the boot opening to be bigger, though, as loading larger items into the Pro_cee’d can be awkward.
Reliability & safety
The Pro_cee’d shares its mechanical underpinnings with the five-door Cee’d, which was rated highly for reliability in our 2017 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey of cars currently on sale in the UK. Of the owners who responded, only 7.3% reported experiencing a problem with their car once or more.
Owners praised the Cee’d’s build quality and practicality, while reliability was also well rated. Kia’s class-leading seven-year/100,000-mile warranty means you can rest easy should any issues arise.
Safety is another Cee’d strong suit, thanks to a five-star crash-test rating from Euro NCAP. All Pro_cee’ds come with electronic stability control, six airbags and Kia’s ‘Emergency Stop Signalling’ system, which flashes the brake and hazard-warning lights automatically if you brake heavily.
Price, value for money & options
The cheapest route into Pro_cee’d ownership is the Pro_cee’d 2 model, which comes with loads of standard equipment, including 16-inch alloys, sat nav, cruise control, front foglights and a reversing camera.
Moving up to the GT-Line costs roughly about £2,000, but brings extra features like 17-inch alloys, keyless entry with stop-start, ‘ice cube’ LED daytime running lights and rear privacy glass.
An extra £1,800 is needed to step up to GT-Line S spec, and while this adds a panoramic sunroof, adaptive xenon headlights and an electronic handbrake – plus much more – it’s too expensive to realistically recommend, with a starting price of over £21,000.