Kia Proceed 1.6 T-GDi GT 2019 review

The Kia Proceed is the third bodystyle to be added to the new Ceed range, following the more conservative-looking five-door hatchback and estate. It’s here in lieu of the old faux-coupé Procee'd three-door.

Kia’s research suggests that station wagon sales will grow over the next few years and be particularly strong for those cars featuring some extra emotion in their design. It predicts a 20% share of overall Ceed sales for the shooting brake, with the five-door and more conventional estate bodies accounting for 25% each, leaving the as-yet-unseen Ceed SUV to make up the remaining 30%.

The Proceed isn’t a shooting brake in the classic sense, in that it’s not an extended-roofline version of a two-door sports coupé, or sold in limited numbers at ridiculous prices. Instead, it's in the same vein as the Mercedes CLA shooting brake. And although the Mercedes wasn’t the sales smash hit that might have inspired a league of imitations, Kia noticed that Mercedes sold it at a 25% premium relative to its nearest rivals and felt encouraged enough to sign off the project and do things differently.

This Kia's bodywork shares nothing but its front wings and bonnet with other Ceed variants. To create the shooting brake silhouette, the Proceed’s designers made the windscreen angle 1.5deg ‘faster’ (or more steeply raked) than that of its sister models and the roofline 43mm lower, while the rear window is raked at almost 65deg off the vertical, making this car look much more like a fastback than a conventional wagon. Overall, it is just 5mm longer than the wagon and its wheelbase and width are the same as other Ceed derivatives'.

There are some interesting styling details, such as the more aggressive-looking front bumper. The rear hatch has what Kia’s designers call a “coast-to-coast” line uniting the LED tail-lights and double exhaust pipes. GT-spec cars have 18in wheels as standard. The only other available trim will be the GT-Line, which comes with 17in wheels.

Kia is sure that buyers of both the Ceed SW and the Proceed will value boot capacity more than rear leg room. The Proceed’s electrically operated hatchback gives access to 594 litres of load space, which is just 31 behind the capacity of the station wagon and includes a rail system to hold bags and boxes in place. It also gets 40:20:40 split folding back seats as standard. The boot aperture is higher and narrower than in the SW, although there’s a good reason for that: it’s one of the reasons why the Proceed has the same torsional stiffness as the five-door hatchback and a 20kg-lighter body-in-white.

We elected to test the Proceed in range-topping 1.6-litre T-GDi 201bhp guise, but it can also be bought with a 1.4-litre T-GDi petrol engine with 138bhp and a 1.6 CRDI diesel with 134 bhp.

Kia delivers a shooting brake for the masses with sufficient practicality, competent dynamics and attractive styling. The double-clutch gearbox lets it down, though

Kia Proceed 1.6 T-GDi GT specification

Where Nice, France Price £28,500 On sale Early 2019 Engine 4 cyls, 1591cc, turbo, petrol Power 201bhp at 6000rpm Torque 195lb ft at 1500-4500rpm Gearbox 7-spd dual-clutch automatic Kerb weight tbc Top speed tbc. 0-62mph tbc Fuel economy tbc CO2 tbc RivalsMercedes-Benz CLA shooting brake, Mini Clubman, Seat Leon ST.

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