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In-depth reviews

Kia Pro_cee’d (2013-2018) review

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

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Price
£23,470 to £28,230
  • Head-turning looks
  • Supple ride
  • Decent practicality
  • Not that good to drive
  • Sober interior
  • Bulky doors

The Kia Pro_cee’d is essentially a three-door version of the Cee’d hatchback but the two cars look radically different when parked side-by-side. They share the same length (4,310mm), width (1,780mm) and wheelbase (2,650mm), but the Pro_cee’d sits 40mm lower and the B-pillar has been moved back by 220mm.

The side doors are 270mm longer than those at the front of the Cee’d, contributing to a more rakish profile. Throw in the rising beltline, low roofline and narrow glasshouse and you have the makings of a proper three-door coupe.

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The higher-performance Pro_cee’d GT looks particularly menacing, thanks to its side sill mouldings, ‘ice cube’ LED daytime running lights and mesh grille. This model has its own review, which can be found here.

As for the standard Pro_cee’d, three engines are available: a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol, a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol and a 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel. All are mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, although a seven-speed DCT transmission is available on diesel versions.

Three trim levels are available in the UK (excluding the GT), kicking off with the entry-level Pro_cee’d 2. Even in this lowly spec, the car gets 16-inch alloy wheels, LED rear lights, cruise control, a seven-inch touchscreen with mapping, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus a reversing camera.

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The mid-spec GT-Line gains 17-inch alloy wheels, engine start/stop button, keyless entry, rear privacy glass and the same side mouldings and LED daytime running lights you’d find on the full-fat GT model.

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It’s worth spending the additional £2,000 required for the top-spec GT-Line S, which adds a panoramic sunroof, xenon adaptive headlights, heated front seats, heated steering wheel and lane departure warning system to the mix.

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.

Engines, performance and drive

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

Three engines are available: a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol, a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol and a 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel. All are mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, with an optional seven-speed DCT transmission available on diesel versions.

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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

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 three-cylinder petrol fares better, delivering 57.6mph on the combined economy cycle and 115g/km of CO2. The diesel is more economical still, with a combined figure of up to 80.7mpg 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

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, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Kia’s 7-inch touchscreen satnav system.

Practicality, comfort and boot space

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

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. The cars came sixth in our 2017 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, driving away with the title of best compact family car. “Good-looking hatchback scores highly in almost every category,” we said when summarising the Cee’d and Pro_cee’d.

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 from £300 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.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.4T GDi ISG GT-Line 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £23,470

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.6 CRDi ISG GT-Line 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £24,280

Fastest

  • Name
    1.6T GDi ISG GT 5dr DCT
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £27,425
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