Kia ProCeed Review 2023

Lawrence Allan

Written by Lawrence Allan

7/10
heycar ratingStylish estate and coupe combo
  • 2019
  • Estate
  • Petrol

Quick overview

Pros

  • Elegant design
  • Roomier than you might think
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Limited engine range
  • Fair bit of road noise at speed
  • Poor rear visibility

Overall verdict on the Kia ProCeed

"The Kia ProCeed is a slightly confusing car, but a likeable one nonetheless. It's stylish, good value and well-equipped with a nice cabin, and a reasonably enjoyable driving experience. It's not exactly sporty, though. In this review we'll see if it's a Ceed Sportswagon with a curvy rear and slightly less space, or something more."

Kia ProCeed Review 2023 front side driving

Three-door hatchbacks are now rarer than honest politicians. As buyers decided they couldn't be bothered to sacrifice practicality for slightly sportier looks, carmakers killed them off with little remorse.

 

This posed a problem for the Kia ProCeed (or as it was formerly known for some bizarre reason, the Pro_cee'd). It was essentially a three-door version of the Ceed, but it was a bit more than that because Kia gave it a sportier body shape and lower roofline. 


When the time came to replace the that car, Kia realised very few people wanted to sacrifice two doors for a svelte shape. It also look at what Mercedes was doing successfully with the CLA Shooting Brake. Enter the five-door ProCeed, part estate car, part coupe, part Porsche Panamera on a budget. 


Well, sort of. Certainly that sloping rear-end and sleek light bar has more than a whiff of the big Porsche about it. And for something that costs £25,000, that's hardly a bad thing, even if from the front it's a bit too recognisable as a regular Ceed. But is there anything else to recommend it besides the look? 


Well, it's a lot more practical than you might expect. Sure, the roofline's a touch lower than the Ceed Sportswagon estate, but passenger space is similar, while the boot only loses out a bit of space to its straight-laced sibling. 


Kia updated the Ceed range (including the ProCeed) in late 2021, tweaking the exterior look and adding improved tech inside. It's not a drastic overhaul, but it means better infotainment to complement the comfortable, nicely trimmed and logically laid-out cabin. Granted, it doesn't look as fresh as newer, often pricier rivals, but its a pleasant place to sit.


One of the ProCeed's biggest drawbacks is the sheer lack of range choice. There's just one engine; a 1.5-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol with 160PS, and no hybridisation to speak of. Kia used to sell you the Proceed GT with a 204PS 1.6-litre unit, but it appears to have been dropped due to lack of sales. 


With no hybrid, diesel or more powerful versions the ProCeed's appeal is a bit limited in 2022, but the existing engine is a decent (if not exciting) performer. It can also be paired with a manual gearbox, which helps boost the car's driver appeal, but don't go thinking it's transformer the car into a bone-fide sporting model.


Sure, it handles and steers pretty tidily for its size, but it's not exactly engaging. The trade off is a fairly comfortable ride, although refinement could be better due to slightly intrusive road noise. A Mazda 3 offers a slightly more fun drive, but it loses out in terms of practicality. 


Overall the Kia ProCeed is a slightly confusing car to pigeonhole. But given it's significantly cheaper than a proper coupe or a hot estate car, you'll be hard-pushed to get a car that blends practicality and design more effectively for the money. 


Looking for a used car for sale? We've got 100s of Kia Approved Used Cars for Sale for you to choose from, including a wide range of Kia ProCeed models for sale.

We'll keep this short, as there's only one engine option when new. If you look on the used market you'll find the ProCeed GT, which offers a bit more power and an ever so slightly more enjoyable driving experience. It's hardly fast and exciting, though. 


On a more rational standpoint the 1.5-litre engine does at least offer decent economy and refined cruising. In terms of trim levels, you'll only get the ProCeed in GT-Line trim anyway nowadays. 

There's only really one car that fits in the same bodystyle category as the Kia ProCeed and it's the Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake. It's a bit nicer to drive and has an impressive-looking cabin, but it's hardly a fair comparison as a like-for-like engine is about £10,000 more than the Kia. 


Really, the main competitors for the ProCeed are style-focused mainstream estates such as the SEAT Leon estate and Peugeot 308 SW. Neither are perhaps quite as striking as the Kia, but they do offer similar driving experiences and a more modern feel inside. 

Comfort and design: Kia ProCeed interior

"Sitting inside the Kia Proceed you'd be hard pushed to tell it apart from the regular Ceed. That's not a bad thing, though, as it's a classy and well-designed cabin."

Kia ProCeed Review 2023 cabin

Several years ago it used to be quite obvious in the cars' interiors that Kia was a budget brand, but not any more. In fact, we reckon the Ceed family have better finished and laid-out interiors than the majority of the mainstream competition. 


The layout itself may be getting on a bit (the ProCeed came out in 2018) but that means the Kia has a more simple to operate interior than the hyper-minimalist, touchscreen-reliant alternatives. There's proper physical buttons for pretty much every major function, yet the infotainment screen is decently responsive. There's no digital dials like in many rivals, but the analogue set-up is nice and clear. 


The general ergonomics are sound, too. The driving position is sorted and has plenty of adjustment, the key touch points feel good and are exactly where you expect them to be, and the forward visibility is good, though the same can't be said of the view rearwards. 


Perhaps our only real complaint is that the ProCeed doesn't feel special enough inside. Sure, GT Line trim brings sporty touches such as red stitching, a flat-bottomed wheel and aluminium pedals, but the same can be said of the regular Ceed. 

You won't step inside the ProCeed's cabin and gasp at the sheer style and luxury, but spend a bit of time in there and you'll realise it's actually a very pleasant, well-made interior that feels built to last. 


Most areas of the cabin are covered in fairly dense, soft-touch plastics, and only in the lower reaches of the doors and dash are there hard to the touch. We also like the metal-effect touches, even though they're quite obviously plastic It feels more special inside than the Ceed than the rather bland-feeling SEAT Leon's innards, and it's a match for the Peugeot 308. There's still some way to go before it can compete with a Mercedes, but what do you expect for the money? 

With only one trim level on offer, the Kia ProCeed doesn't come with the smaller, more basic infotainment offerings of cheaper Ceeds. 


That means you get a nicely clear and smart 10.25-inch infotainment screen with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, plus sat-nav. It's a more responsive system than many rivals, even if it doesn't have the sheer number of features of newer models. The menu layout is logical, too, and we like the simple, physical shortcut buttons. 


One thing that might be disappointing is that a digital dial display isn't even an option. This is an area that shows the Kia's age relative to VW Group and Stellantis models, although the central display is easy to get on with and the dials themselves are very easy to read.


Physical buttons on the steering wheel and a proper climate control stack with temperature knobs reduces your interaction with the screen on the move, which is a good thing. It's a shame that Kia doesn't sell you the GT Line S model any more, though, as that brings and upgraded sound system and wireless phone charging. 

One of the best things about the Kia ProCeed is how it doesn't sacrifice too much in the way of practicality over the Ceed Sportswagon estate, despite a more rakish profile. There is some things to note, however. 


Space up front is pretty much identical to the Ceed, despite the lower roofline. Really, only the exceptionally tall will take any issue with the slightly reduced headroom. In the back there's a little more of an effect, largely because it's a little more awkward to climb in and out of the seats without banging your head. 


The actual space on offer isn't too badly affected, although those over six foot will find their heads touching the roof. Legroom is identical, however, and it's certainly roomier than a traditional coupe back there. 


The most impressive thing is the amount of boot space on offer. There's about 50% more capacity back there than the regular Ceed hatch at 594 litres. That's 31 litres less than the regular Ceed Sportswagon, and still pretty competitive with traditional family estates. The seats split 60/40 to allow expansion of the load area, while there's some underfloor storage, although the now defunct ProCeed GT is the only one with a powered tailgate. 


In terms of exterior dimensions the Kia ProCeed is 4,605mm long, 1,800mm wide and 1,422mm tall. That makes it just 5mm longer than the Ceed Sportswagon, with a 43mm lower roofline. 


Handling and ride quality: What is the Kia ProCeed like to drive?

"The Kia ProCeed promises a bit more than it can deliver on the road with its styling. It's pleasant and moderately enjoyable to drive with the manual gearbox, but it's not exactly a firecracker. "

Kia ProCeed Review 2023 rear side driving

Those hoping for a significantly sportier driving experience than the regular Kia Ceed might be disappointed by the way the ProCeed goes about its business. 


It sits 5mm lower to the ground than the Ceed, which is hardly going to be transformative. The GT model received retuned suspension, too, but the regular ProCeed is largely identical mechanically to the Ceed. 


That means it rides pretty well, managing to avoid jolts or thumps over big potholes, in part thanks to its relatively modest 17-inch wheel size. Up the speed and the body doesn't float or bounce over undulations, and although it isn't as tied-down as a Ford Focus Estate it strikes a nice balance between ride softness and composure. 


It also steers accurately, if without much feel or lots of directness, while it avoids leaning too much in the bends with a secure feel and plenty of grip. You can enjoy driving it on your favourite roads to a degree, and in isolation that's fine, but it would be nice if it was noticeably more engaging or sharp than the Ceed on which it's based. 


Still, the Ceed is a pretty strong all-rounder these days, so that means the ProCeed is by no means off the pace. 

As of 2022 there's only one engine, available with a six speed manual gearbox. The ProCeed used to be offered with a dual-clutch automatic as well, but that's fallen by the wayside. 


With 160PS on tap, the turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder delivers ample but not breathtaking pace. 0-60mph takes 8.3 seconds (8.5 with the automatic) about part for the course for an engine of this size and output, but it does need revving a bit more than the 1.5 TSI engine in a SEAT Leon estate to extract the required performance. 


Doing so isn't entirely unpleasant - it sounds a little more inspiring than the Leon's unit - but those used to an almost diesel-like slug of torque at low revs like some competitors offer might expect a little more. Happily, the manual gearbox has a reasonably nice shift, but the clutch is a bit vague, which means you might struggle to pull away smoothly until you've grown accustomed to it. 


If you bought a pre-facelift ProCeed you could buy a 1.6-litre turbo petrol with 204PS in the GT variant. It's more flexible and faster, but still stops well short of the sort of pace and enjoyment a Skoda Octavia vRS can offer. There was also the option of a 136PS 1.6-litre diesel, or a lower-powered 140PS 1.4-litre petrol that was superceded by the 1.5.

Refinement is generally good in the ProCeed, with wind noise kept to a minimum and little noise from the suspension. However, there's more road noise over rougher surfaces than we'd like, meaning a VW Golf estate is a fair bit more refined at speed. 


The engine is also a bit more vocal than similar units in the VW or Ford Focus Estate, although the sound it makes is (slightly) more engaging than the Golf 1.5 TSI's bland humming. You'll hardly take it to the redline to relish the soundtrack, however. 

The Kia ProCeed hasn't been specifically tested by Euro NCAP for safety, but the closely related Ceed was awarded five stars in 2019 - the maximum score.  


Standard safety kit includes Forward Collision Assist that can detect pedestrians and cyclists, a driver attention warning, lane keeping assist and high beam assist. You also get something called Leading Vehicle Departure Warning, which reminds you that the car in front has moved off and you need to pay attention again.


One omission that might put some off is the lack of adaptive cruise control on the GT Line trim. It's available on the now-defunct GT Line S and GT, however. Some prefer the simplicity of standard cruise control anyway. 

MPG and fuel costs: what does a Kia ProCeed cost to run?

"There's no diesel or hybrid options on the Kia ProCeed - even a mild hybrid is absent - but fuel economy is reasonable."

Kia ProCeed Review 2023 side

Quoted WLTP fuel economy for the Kia ProCeed in 1.5 T-GDI form is 48.7mpg combined for the manual, and 47.9mpg for the automatic. From our experience that seems to be a pretty realistic figure, and a pretty good one given the ProCeed comes with no mild hybrid assistance like many rivals. 


Many alternatives do have the option of either diesel or full/plug-in hybrid power, however, making them more affordable to run. Then again, the ProCeed is significantly cheaper to buy than many alternatives. Also, there was a diesel version offered on the pre-facelift model if you're buying used. 

We've not heard of any major issues that have affected this generation of Kia Ceed or ProCeed, and the brand usually performs pretty well in reliability surveys. In the latest HonestJohn.co.uk Satisfaction Index Kia finished and impressive fourth out of all brands surveyed, just behind its sister firm Hyundai. 


Of course, you get an industry-leading seven-year/100,000-mile warranty to give you ultimate peace of mind if anything does go wrong. 

The Kia ProCeed in used form was at its cheapest to insure as a diesel, where it sat in group 12. The 1.4-litre petrol was in group 14, while the ProCeed GT was in group 21. 


As of 2022, the sole 1.5-litre petrol option puts the ProCeed in group 15, or 16 with the automatic gearbox. Those are identical groups to the Ceed on which its based, which is handy and makes it pretty competitive on running costs.

With CO2 emissions of 131g/km the ProCeed costs £230 to tax in the first year, a figure which falls to the standard £165 annual flat rate after that. Unlike the CLA Shooting Brake, you can't spend over £40,000 on the Kia, so you don't get stung by the premium car tax either. 

How much should you be paying for a Kia ProCeed?

"The Kia ProCeed is good value both as a new and used buy, the latter partly because it's a bit under-the-radar"

Kia ProCeed Review 2023 rear static

At the time of writing buying a Kia ProCeed new is a pretty simple process: there's only one engine and one trim level to choose from. It's priced at £25,840 in this GT-Line 1.5 turbo petrol form with a manual gearbox. 


That's less than £1,000 more than a standard Kia Ceed with the same engine and trim level, which seems pretty good value for the extra space and style on offer. Although Kia does offer accessories and styling extra to specify, the only other optional extra is the paint colour as the ProCeed comes fully loaded. 


There's significantly less ProCeeds on the used market than there is Ceeds, which means the former should hold its value a little better. Yet because it's so cheap to buy in the first place there's some good deals out there. A 2020 ProCeed with the 1.4-litre T-GDI petrol engine in GT-Line trim starts at £18,000 with 10,000 miles on the clock.

The Kia ProCeed is only available in one trim level when new, but its a pretty well-specified GT-Line trim. 


That means standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a full-width LED taillight, privacy glass, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, keyless entry and start,  a reversing camera and the 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. 


However, if you want more kit including leather/suede trim, a wireless phone charger and a JBL sound system upgrade you'll need to look at GT-Line S variants on the used market, or the more powerful ProCeed GT. 

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Yes, Kia still makes the ProCeed, but it's changed from its first incarnation. It used to be a three-door model, but as they are no longer strong sellers Kia has transformed it into a stylish coupe-cum-estate.
Fundamentally both are the same underneath bar retuned suspension. But the Ceed and Proceed only share the same bodywork from the windscreen forwards. Back from there's it's all unique, with a lower, sloping roofline and longer body.
Don't mistake the GT name for it being an out-and-out sports car, as the ProCeed GT is more on a part with a warm hatch with its 204PS 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine. It's not exciting to drive, but it does offer a good blend of composed handling and decent comfort.

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