With the ProCeed set to depart, it’s time to return to the question I posed back in my first report: can a stylish shooting brake tempt people out of their SUVs and crossovers? Given how rarely I’ve seen another ProCeed on the road, and the seemingly inexorable demand for more of the latter, I fear the answer is no. The launch of the XCeed crossover suggests Kia knows as much. But that does not do justice to a car that further highlights the desirability of the Korean brand’s latest products.
The ProCeed’s elegant design left a lasting impression. I found myself glancing back every time I walked away from it just to have one more look at its curvaceous lines. So, you can imagine how pleased I was to discover that the car’s quality is more than skin deep.
While the driving experience doesn’t quite live up to its sporty styling, the ProCeed plays the role of comfortable cruiser extremely well. The handling could be more engaging and there is little in the way of feedback, but this slightly aloof character suits the cossetting nature of the car. Similarly, the engine is refined and offers strong performance in the mid-range, but could be more responsive and doesn’t reward you at higher revs; better to shift up early using the slightly recalcitrant six-speed manual gearbox and ride the wave of torque.
While the ProCeed’s practicality falls short of that of a conventional estate car, it still has enough versatility to recommend it as a viable alternative. Where the shooting brake body comes into its own is the way it makes the ProCeed feel like a more exotic car than it actually is, thanks to the classy design. The long list of standard equipment, which even in entry-level GT-Line spec includes automatic headlights and wipers, heated seats and steering wheel, keyless entry and a reversing camera, adds to the premium feel.
Kia’s ProCeed is a refreshingly different proposition that provides a welcome break from the onslaught of crossovers and SUVs being launched, and for that alone it deserves your attention. Of course, looks are subjective, but I think you would struggle to find a more attractive car for the price. It backs this up with solid dynamics and a relaxed character that makes it an easy car to live with. I’ll be sad to see it go.
Kia ProCeed ‘GT-Line’ 1.4 T-GDi 6 speed manual
Power 138bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 178lb ft @ 1500-3200rpm
Kerb weight 1378kg
0-60mph 8.8 seconds
Top speed 130mph
MPG (claimed) 45.6
Basic price £23,840
Price as tested £24,410