Kia Pro_cee’d review

Our Rating: 
4
4.0/5.0
By Auto Express Test TeamComments

The three-door Kia Pro_cee’d blends sporty looks with almost as much practicality as the Cee’d hatch

For: 
Head-turning looks, supple ride, decent practicality
Against: 
Not as good to drive as it looks, sober interior, bulky doors

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The Kia Pro_cee’d is a rival to the SEAT Leon SC, three-door Hyundai i30 and Vauxhall Astra GTC. It's essentially a three-door version of the Cee’d hatchback, but while both cars share the same 4,310mm length, 1,780mm width and 2,650mm wheelbase, the Pro_cee’d is 40mm lower. And the dimensions only tell part of the story, as the Pro_cee’d seems noticeably sportier than the Cee’d, thanks to more aggressive bumpers, curvaceous tail-lights and a narrower front grille. Two engines are available – a 1.6 petrol and a 1.6 diesel – and there are two generous equipment levels – S and SE. A higher-performance Pro_cee’d GT model is also available and has its own review, which can be found here.

Our choice: Pro_cee’d 1.6 CRDi S

Styling

4.2

The past decade or so has seen Kias evolve from some of the blandest-looking cars on the market to some of the most distinctive, and the Pro_cee'd is no exception. Although it’s the same size as the Cee’d - except for being 40mm lower - the Pro_cee’d has a better stance on the road. Clever tricks like wide-set front fog lights and a narrower grille make it seem wider and more aggressive, while the curves of the prominent tail-lights are similar to those of the VW Scirocco. The Pro_cee’d’s interior is more soberly designed than the exterior, but it features some attractive black and silver trim to break up the grey plastic that would otherwise dominate.

Driving

3.8

Given its looks, you’d expect the Pro_cee’d to drive in a sporty, hard-riding way. In reality, though, it drives more like the regular Cee’d, with a supple, relatively soft ride that makes the car really comfortable on long journeys. This does mean plenty of roll in the bends, but it's reasonably well controlled. Add in nicely weighty but quite vague steering, and keen drivers may wish to look elsewhere. The 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines are smooth and quiet. The manual gearbox isn’t the slickest, although the ratios are well spaced to make the best out of the available power. A dual-clutch gearbox is an option on the top-spec petrol model only.

Reliability

4.2

The Pro_cee’d and Cee’d are closely related, and both use the same engines and technology. As ever, the Pro_cee’d is covered by Kia’s fully transferable seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty, which has been extended to include seven years of map updates for the sat-nav on SE models. Fixed-price servicing plans are available, too, covering three or five years of trips to the dealer, with all costs included. Every Pro_cee'd gets stability control, hill-start assist, ISOFIX child seat mountings and six airbags as standard.

Practicality

4

Despite losing a set of doors, the Pro_cee’d isn’t a great deal less practical than the regular Cee’d. The tailgate is light and swings up easily. The boot lip is quite high and narrow, which makes loading a little tricky, but the boot is the same 380 litres as the five-door Cee’d. The seat backs fold flat to create a 1,225-litre space, although the lower roofline will limit the size of what can be carried. The front doors are 270mm longer than the Cee’d, making getting into the rear seats easy, although the size of the doors can be tricky in tight parking spaces. Head and legroom is very impressive, even for adults. In the front, there’s plenty of space for driver and passenger, plus lots of cupholders and cubby holes, but things are a little cramped in the back. The slightly claustrophobic feeling isn't helped by small triangular rear windows that don't give rear-seat passengers much of a view out.

Running Costs

4.2

All models feature a fuel-saving stop-start system as standard. The 133bhp 1.6-litre petrol model returns a claimed average of 52.3mpg and emits 124g/km of CO2. However, that’s only in S spec. The SE has larger wheels, so the figures change to 47.1mpg and 137g/km respectively. The dual-clutch gearbox further affects performance, returning 46.3mpg and 140g/km. The 126bhp diesel S model manages 74.3mpg and 100g/km of CO2, while the SE diesel returns figures of 65.7mpg and 112g/km.

Disqus - noscript

"The Kia Pro_cee’d is a rival to the Audi A3" - really??? Are we too lazy to edit Kia's press release? I am sure its a good car but is it really on the shopping list for someone who is looking at an A3 / 1 Series / A class / Premium hatch. Golf / Focus / Astra I could understand. I am not a particular fan of Audi but I keep seeing this banded around by Journalists at the moment. I guess they very rarely part with their own cash.

It's the best looking sport hatch by a long chalk A3 does'nt come close 'yawn' (1 series what!),unless driver involment is top of your list it's the one to buy,fit finish quality & reliability all equal or above rivals plus 7 year warranty it's a no brainer.
Make no mistake the Koreans have had the last laugh
Well done Peter Schreyer best thing you did leaving Audi.

As a satisfied Kia owner (Sedona), I wonder whether thay're going to make a special model targeted at balding drivers - the Re_cee'd...

I'm in the market for a £20k premium hatch and I can safely say the Pro_Cee'd is right up there with the A3. There was one on display in the City Centre where I live and the second I sat inside it I knew I was dealing with a quality product.

The leather steering wheel and gear shift are chunky and feel great in the hand. The leather, piano black and chrome trimmed doors are exceptional and took me by surprise. The seats are low and sporty and so comfortable I could've slept in one! The centre console is well layed out and nicely styled with piano black surrounding a giant 7" touchscreen and all the switch gear has a light but premium feel. The exterior of the car in person is also quite beautiful - pictures do not do it justice. The car looks and feels upmarket.

Other than the steering being geared for comfort rather than sport, its just as good as the A3. Considering the equipment levels vastly outweigh the A3, the steering can be easilly forgiven.

Its more than worth anyone's money.

The Pro_Ceed 1.6 Diesel is a superb car! I bought mine in May 2013 and it is a great car to drive. The spec is high and the ride is comfortable for all journeys. No RFL in the first year and pretty frugal too. It looks good and many people have passed compliments. I have owned Audi's and VW's in the past and in my opinion the Pro_Ceed would give them a good run for their money. Highly recommended car.

Last updated: 3 May, 2013
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