In-depth reviews

Kia ProCeed GT review

Kia’s stylish shooting brake is a worthwhile range flagship

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

  • Swoopy styling
  • Good engine and road manners
  • Decently practical
  • Dashboard layout isn’t great
  • Compromised rear space
  • Auto gearbox response

The Kia ProCeed GT is the best looking model in the Ceed line-up, which also includes the regular five-door hatchback and boxy Ceed SW estate or Sportswagon. The ProCeed has a body style all of its own, and it’s a swoopy looking five-door ‘sporting brake’, so less practical than the SW but more useful than the regular hatchback – compromised rear seating aside.

While we’re focused on the range-topping GT, there are actually three models in the ProCeed line up. It starts with the ProCeed GT-Line, but even this most basic model is pretty well equipped, with 17-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, LED rear lights, dual air-con, full Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and an 8-inch touchscreen with navigation. Next up is the GT-Line S which gives you 18-inch wheels, a tilt/slide sunroof, LED headlamps, black leather interior, heated seats, a powered tailgate, 8-speaker audio upgrade, blind spot warning and smart parking assistance.

Best estate cars

The GT model adds red stitching to your black leather interior, some sporty red exterior trim detailing, and most importantly comes with a 201bhp 1.6-litre turbo engine with a 7-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox. Lesser models make do with 1.4-litre 138bhp and 1.6-litre 134bhp petrol and diesel engines, both available with manual and DCT auto gearbox options.

The ProCeed GT has a similar style to rivals like the Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake, but of course it’s miles off the prestige and price of the Merc, even if it pushes the envelope price-wise compared to the rest of the Ceed range. But that’s a pretty good trick, because there aren’t really any like-for-like ‘shooting brake’ rivals at the Kia ProCeed’s price point with a similar high value feel. Although of course there are plenty of hotter traditional hatchbacks, and a few fast estate cars that add more practicality to the mix.

The Kia ProCeed GT is a sporty-looking five-door estate that has more of a lifestyle flavour than the boxy Ceed Sportswagon, which is the range’s mainstream load-lugger. The ProCeed takes a leaf out of the Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake’s book, and exists as a sporty but practical range-topper for drivers who want a Kia with a bit more style. The GT version is the warmest, with a 1.6-litre turbo engine and 200bhp, but performance is hardly staggering by hot hatch standards.

It’s well built and handles nicely enough though, and the roomy boot is practical too. The ProCeed suffers for its looks with reduced rear headroom, and the cabin ergonomics are suspect, thanks to its reliance on too many buttons. That said, it benefits from a sporty and upmarket cabin ambience with its black leather interior with red stitching.

Engines, performance and drive

A sluggish DCT auto gearbox blunts otherwise decent performance for the ProCeed GT

The ProCeed sits 5mm closer to the ground than its five-door and estate stablemates. In sportiest GT guise it also has suspension that’s tightened up with stiffer springs and, perhaps counter-intuitively, softened anti-roll bars. On the road, that translates into tidy handling with well-controlled levels of body roll, and admirable levels of grip. Ride quality is on the firm side, but it’s still pliant and avoids crashiness over bumps.

Steering is accurate and well weighted, but doesn’t offer particularly good feedback. And while the manual gearbox is smooth in the lesser-powered models, there’s a fly in the ointment for the GT model in the shape of the DCT auto that’s the only choice with the most powerful engine. Its shifts are on the sluggish side, and the engine pick up feels a little blunted when you want maximum acceleration too.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

The 1.4-litre turbo petrol and 1.6-litre turbodiesel are smooth and relatively refined, but don’t offer particularly scintillating acceleration. Depending on model and gearboxes, 0-62mph times range from a little over 9 seconds to ten-and-a-half seconds.

Things improve with the 1.6 turbo petrol GDi unit in the GT, which does 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 140mph. You get a drive mode selector too, which adds a bit of extra throttle sharpness, weights up the steering and opens up the exhaust flaps to create a sportier noise. It’s not too extreme, and adds a bit more fun to proceedings, without meaningfully increasing the performance or potency.

MPG, CO2 and Running Costs

The ProCeed GT isn’t a paragon of efficiency, but it shouldn’t be too costly to run

The ProCeed GT isn’t as thirsty as some more extreme versions of the ‘shooting brake’ genre, but its officially quoted consumption of 39.3mpg on the latest ‘real world’ WLTP combined economy test isn’t particularly impressive – until you remember the 1.6-litre petrol turbo boasts 201bhp. On the High MPG cycle it manages 45.5mpg, while the Low MPG figure is 28.2mpg.

If you need to better those figures, the 1.4-litre petrol GT-Line model can return up to 45.6mpg on the Combined test cycle, while the 1.6 diesel scores 53.3mpg – or up to 65.7mpg on the High economy test cycle. Still, you’ll have to rack up some serious miles for the GT model’s figures to make too much of a dent in the budget.

On the emissions front, the GT meets Euro 6 regulations and produces 163g/km of CO2 under WLTP testing. Under the old NEDC tests, that’s a more reasonable sounding 142g/km, which means manageable costs for company car users. Interestingly, the less powerful ProCeed models both fall into the same tax bands as the GT version.

Insurance groups

The Kia ProCeed GT comes in with a Group 30 insurance rating, which means it’s going to cost a fair amount more to insure than the more than other models in the Ceed line-up. Hatchback Ceeds range between Group 8 and Group 22.

Depreciation

Rapid advances in quality, design and engineering mean the Kia line-up performs pretty well for depreciation, aided by the fantastic seven-year warranty. The ProCeed has yet to be evaluated by our residual experts, but the standard Ceed has depreciation in the 35-43 per cent ballpark, with the Ceed SW estate performing slightly poorer. If the Hyundai i30 sister model and its sporty i30 Fastback variant are anything to go by, the ProCeed could well be the best performing depreciator in the Ceed range.

Interior, design and technology

The design has a quality feel, but lacks the ultimate finesse of German rivals

The exterior of the Kia ProCeed GT is upmarket and stylish, especially with its LED lighting, which gives the model a hi-tech feel. It has definite nods to rivals like the Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake, and even – some think – to the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo, so it really fits the brief of being a stylish yet practical family car.

It looks sporty too, with dynamically styled front and rear bumpers, twin exhausts, a honeycomb style front grille and red highlights along the sills, on the wheel centres and on the grille. At the rear the roofline dips towards a heavily raked tailgate, which looks good but isn’t great for rear headroom, luggage space or rear visibility.

Inside, the feeling of sporty luxury continues in the ProCeed GT with black leather upholstery and lots of hi-tech kit. The ambience is good, but the design of the dash employs ranks of push buttons which take a bit of getting used to. There’s a big 8-inch touchscreen on the centre of the facia, which looks like a freestanding tablet device, and a very grippy steering wheel with multifunction buttons and a clear view of the traditional analogue dials in the binnacle ahead of the driver.

All in all it’s a contemporary feel, and with the array of toys and gadgets included in the standard spec list, it’s a genuinely pleasing place to spend time behind the wheel.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The central 8-inch touchscreen in the ProCeed GT is the heart of a pretty impressive infotainment set-up. It includes a five-speaker audio system, DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and wireless phone charging. The sat-nav is a TomTom system, and it comes with European mapping and traffic messaging. The display also has a reversing camera linked to the Park Assist system.

Practicality, comfort and boot space

The boot is nearly as big as the Ceed SW’s, but rear headroom suffers from the swoopy styling

The Kia ProCeed comes with only the one body style, but of course if you want a regular hatchback or a traditional estate, there are those options available in the Ceed line-up. So the ProCeed comes with five doors and five seats, and an experience from the driver’s seat that’s identical to the Ceed hatchback – which means it’s roomy and comfortable with plenty of adjustment to find a good driving position.

Visibility forward is much like any other hatchback, but the design of the rear end makes the view out of the back somewhat limited. Fortunately, there is a Park Assist system, which reduces the issue, but it can still be problematic when looking over your shoulder. Cabin storage is decent though.

Size

The ProCeed GT fits in-between the regular Ceed five-door and the larger SW estate model. It’s 5mm closer to the ground than the hatchback, and the low rear roofline means the rear seats are lower too. This can make it a little awkward to get in and out of, as you need to drop down into the back seats and mind your head on the roof.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

While the ProCeed is plenty roomy enough in the front seats, six-footers will find themselves under pressure for headroom in the rear, which could make long journeys quite uncomfortable. Smaller folk or children should have no problems.

Boot

The ProCeed’s boot is around 50 per cent bigger than the standard five-door Ceed’s, and offers a total of 594 litres of luggage space. It’s not far behind the Ceed Sportwagon estate in fact, and really only loses out due to its sharply sloping rear window. There’s a 60:40 split rear bench as standard, and the GT gets an underfloor storage compartment and a powered tailgate.

Reliability and Safety

A fantastic warranty term and lots of safety tech means all the Kia Ceed family should be reassuring

The ProCeed GT is a range flagship, and as you’d expect it comes loaded with safety tech, although the less overtly sporty GT-Line S version of the ProCeed is more lavishly equipped still. The GT comes with Lane Keeping Assistance, Forward Collision Avoidance, and Driver Attention Warning, but the GT-Line S trumps it with Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Following Assist. Stability and traction control are included too of course, and you also get six airbags and ISOFIX child seat mounts with top tethers.

There’s no Euro NCAP independent crash test result available yet, but the high safety spec should count for something, while the five-star rating for the regular Ceed hatchback applies just as equally to the ProCeed as it does to the Ceed SW estate.

The ProCeed GT is too new for reliability to be accurately assessed either, but the long seven year warranty is greatly reassuring, and Kia came 8th out of 26 car makers in the latest 2018 Driver Power Survey which is pretty good too. Just over 10 per cent of respondents said they’d had a fault of one kind or another in the first year of ownership.

Warranty

The Kia warranty is industry-leading at seven years and 100,000 miles. Any remaining warranty also transfers with the car when you sell it, free of charge for the new owner. However, some buyers might be more attracted to Hyundai’s five-year warranty, because it comes with unlimited mileage cover.

Servicing

10,000-mile or annual service intervals for the ProCeed GT are pretty standard, although the diesel ProCeed can be driven up to 20,000 miles in a year before requiring a visit to the garage. There is a range of cost-effective Kia service plans, and you can even pay in advance for up to seven years to match the warranty.

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