WHEN IT appeared in the UK in 2013, the first Kia Proceed GT – then known as the grammatically baffling Pro_Cee’d GT – was one of the very first performance models to appear from the South Korean manufacturer.
It was based on the humble Cee’d hatchback and looked fairly nondescript, besides a few red bits of trim, some fancy alloy wheels and a subtly tweaked bodykit.
Fast-forward six years, however, and the all-new ProCeed GT looks dramatically different to the rather unassuming Ceed GT. You’ll notice it sports a much longer back end, a sloping roofline and a rather elegant rear bumper with more than a hint of Porsche Panamera about it.
The fastest GT models sit lower than the standard ProCeed on larger alloy wheels and come decked out with plenty of contrasting red details on the sills, bumpers and peeking out through the car’s honeycomb front grille.
Step inside, however, and spotting what marks this sporty version out from the standard car is harder than finding Wally in a crowd of Sunderland FC supporters. Yes, the soft plastics, brushed metal-effect details and minimalist design are nice, but you get all this in a run-of-the-mill ProCeed diesel. The GT’s seats are more supportive though, and you get a bit of eye-catching red stitching, so it’s not all bad.
Things aren’t quite as comfy in the back. There’s just enough space for two six-footers to sit without touching the roof but the centre seat’s rather firm and carrying three adults abreast will present more problems than in the taller Ceed GT.
The longer ProCeed GT claws back plenty of points when it comes to boot space, though. It’s far more spacious than the likes of the VW Golf GTI and the Hyundai i30 Fastback N and its lower load height makes it much easier to pack heavy items.
It can’t quite match these cars in terms of outright pace, though. The Kia ProCeed GT’s 201hp 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine is perky enough, but it’s a far cry from the turbocharged 2-litre units you get in the likes of the Golf GTI and the i30 Fastback N. As a result, sprinting from 0-62mph takes a more leisurely 7.2 seconds and it doesn’t have quite the same in-gear shove you’ll find in these more torquey hot-hatches.
That’s not to say the Kia ProCeed GT is dull to drive – its pliant chassis and relatively supple suspension help it carve from one corner to the next without feeling overstretched. The steering is nicely weighted and the automatic gearbox responds relatively quickly to the manual paddles on the steering wheel.
Unfortunately, the synthesised engine noise that’s pumped through the ProCeed GT’s speakers in sports mode sounds more like the gurgle of ancient plumbing than a revvy four-cylinder thrum. And, you can’t get the ProCeed GT with the Ceed GT’s six-speed manual, so it doesn’t feel as involving to drive.
More of an issue, however, is how much the ProCeed GT costs. Sure, a VW Golf GTI will set you back almost £3,000 more than the £28,135 Kia, but a faster Hyundai i30N – which shares the ProCeed GT’s platform – can be had from less than £26,000.
For this reason, it’s best not to consider the Kia ProCeed GT as a true hot hatch. Rather it’s a practical family car that’s perky enough to enjoy the odd backroad blast.
Kia ProCeed GT rivals
Hyundai i30 N (click to view at carwow)
Volkswagen Golf GTI (click to view at carwow)