Kia Pro_cee’d review

Our Rating: 
4
4.0/5.0
2013 model
By Auto Express Test TeamComments

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

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 good value and comfortable contender in the three-door hatchback sector, with coupe-like design giving it  a definite boost in the style stakes. There’s a good range of efficient engines, and while the handling doesn’t quite live up to the Pro_cee’d’s relatively racy image, it’s a comfortable and refined car to ride in.

Practicality is good, as long as you’re prepared for the compromises a three-door body style brings, and the car comes with reassuring safety and reliability credentials too.

Our Choice: 
Pro_cee’d 1.6 CRDi S

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 looks noticeably sportier than the Cee’d, thanks to more aggressive bumpers, curvaceous tail-lights and a narrower front grille. Four engines are available – a three-cylinder 1.0, plus 1.4 and 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol, and a 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel – and there are three generous equipment levels – SR7, ‘2’ and GT-Line. A higher-performance Pro_cee’d GT model is also available and has its own review, which can be found here.

Engines, performance and drive

3.8
A decent spread of engines offers a range of performance, but handling doesn’t live up to the sporty looks

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.

Engines

There’s a broad range of engines starting with the 1.4-litre 98bhp unit in the SR7 entry model. Next up are the two three-cylinder petrols, available with 98bhp or 118bhp, while the 1.6-litre petrol comes with 133bhp. The 1.6 diesel offers 134bhp. Both the 1.6 petrol and diesel engines are smooth and quiet, and have enough power to accelerate the Pro_cee’d to 60mph in around 9.5 seconds. 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 diesel model only. 

MPG, CO2 and running costs

4.2
Good value pricing and low running costs make the Pro_cee’d a sensible financial bet

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. The SR7 with the 1.4-petrol returns 47.1mpg and 138g/km. The three-cylinder petrols fare better, with both delivering 57.6mph on the combined economy cycle, and 113g/km and 115g/km for the 98bhp and 118bhp models respectively. The diesels are more economical still, with a combined figure of up to 74.3mpg and emissions as low as 99g/km.

Insurance groups

The spread of performance from the range of engines installed in the Kia Pro_cee’d is reflected in insurance group ratings from group 6 to group 14.

Depreciation

The Kia Pro_cee’d is relatively cheap to buy, but if you pick the right version it will hold onto a reasonable amount of value too. Used values experts CAP suggest three-year-old versions with 36,000 miles on the clock will be worth between 35 and 44 per cent of their new value – the entry-level 1.4 petrol, and diesel models do best.

Interior, design and technology

4.2
Distinctive exterior styling is backed up with a comprehensive list of interior features

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.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

All Pro_cee’ds come with a six-speaker audio system with DAB radio and Bluetooth. GT-Line spec swaps the SR7 and ‘2’ models’ CD player for a 7-inch touchscreen satnav system.

Practicality, comfort and boot space

4
In spite of its more dynamic styling, the Pro_cee’d isn’t much less practical than the five-door version

Despite losing a set of doors, the Pro_cee’d isn’t a great deal less practical than the regular Cee’d. 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.

Size

The Pro_cee’d is 4,310mm long and 1,780mm wide, and that makes it a little bigger than the Volkswagen Golf which measures 4,255mm long and 1,790 wide.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

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. 

Boot

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. 

Reliability and Safety

4.2
The Pro_cee’d’s sister model has a five star safety rating, and good reliability credentials from the Driver Power survey

The Pro_cee’d and Cee’d are closely related, and both use the same engines and technology. As the Cee’d came 34th out of 150 cars in our 2016 Driver Power customer satisfaction that’s a pretty good thing.

The five-door Cee’d was also crash tested by Euro NCAP in 2012, when it was awarded a full five-star rating. It’s reasonable to expect a similar crash performance from the three-door Pro_cee’d model.

Every Pro_cee'd gets stability control, hill-start assist, ISOFIX child seat mountings and six airbags as standard.

Warranty

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 GT-Line models.

Servicing

Fixed-price servicing plans are available, too, covering three or five years of trips to the dealer, with all costs included. Service intervals are set at 20,000 miles or annual for the four-cylinder models, and 10,000 miles for the three-cylinders.

Last updated: 26 May, 2016