From £24,0108
The Kia Procee'd GT middle-weight performance hatch blends everyday versatility with B-road thrills, all for a very reasonable price tag

Our Verdict

Kia Procee'd GT

Facelift brings a revised look and suspension tweaks to Kia’s warm hatch

  • First Drive

    Kia Procee'd GT first drive review

    The Kia Procee'd GT middle-weight performance hatch blends everyday versatility with B-road thrills, all for a very reasonable price tag
Matt Burt
25 June 2013

What is it?

The Kia Procee’d GT is the Korean manufacturer’s first entry into the performance hatch sector. Built at the company’s Zilina plant in Slovakia for the European market, the Procee’d GT is as another indication of Kia’s continuing ambitions.

Having established a solid, dependable model range and successful brand image, the company is now trying to spread its wings, adding some spice and pizzazz to the mix.

To create the Procee’d GT, Kia has dropped a turbocharged version of the ‘Gamma’ 1.6-litre direct-injection petrol engine – derived from the same block as the engine found in the Hyundai Veloster Turbo, but a much-changed unit – into a three-door Procee’d bodyshell.

It’s the first turbocharged engine to be offered by Kia in the UK. This engine is available in aspirated form in the regular Procee’d, but the addition of the twin-scroll turbocharger has increased its power output by 51 per cent and torque by 61 per cent. It develops 201bhp at 6000rpm, and 195lb ft of torque between 1750rpm and 4500rpm.

The suspension, steering, brakes and gearbox have all been reworked for more sporty dynamics, and there’s a host of ‘go-faster’ additions – splashes of colour and chrome, red stitching on the leather and the like – to add a sporty flavour to the hatchback.

Two trim levels are offered – GT, as tested here, and GT Tech. Both are comparatively well equipped, as is Kia’s wont. GT Tech gets satnav among its many extra toys, but also pushes the price up to £22,495 compared to the lower-spec’s car sub-£20k tag.

To mark Kia’s entry into the performance hatchback arena, there is also a limited-edition launch model called the GT 1st Edition, which adds an electric sunroof and some extra cosmetic tweaks. From a production run of 500, only 50 have been earmarked for the UK, priced at £23,995.

What's it like?

The key question should really be: can the Koreans can succeed at the black art of hot hatch building in the same effective way that they have mastered other aspects of the European car industry?

Based on looks alone, Kia is on to a winner with the sleek Procee’d GT, which has received an exterior makeover that emphasises muscularity without ruining the clean lines of the base car.

Then, as you open the driver’s door and clamber aboard, comes the first big surprise – supportive Recaro sports seats… in a Kia. That alone would have been unthinkable a decade ago.

Besides the seats, the cabin features the kind of styling cues that have become bywords for a sporting hatch – suede, stainless steel pedals, red stitching on the leather steering wheel – but it feels a little like a facsimile of other hot hatches.

Turn the key – at least, you do in the lower-spec GT variant we drove; GT Tech cars get a starter button – and there’s a touch of flair in the form of a TFT display that allows the driver to flip, via a ‘GT’ button on the steering wheel, between a good old-fashioned analogue speedo or a screen that shows your speed numerically along with engine torque, turbo boost pressure and engine coolant temperature.

On the road, the Kia Procee’d GT’s performance places it towards the ‘korma’ end of the performance hatch spectrum, rather than ‘vindaloo’. At 7.4sec, it is one second slower than the Volkswagen Golf GTI from 0-62mph, for example.

The turbocharged engine is quite pleasant and provides a steady surge of power from fairly low revs. Note: that’s steady, rather than rocket-ship rapid; you never feel like you’re being pinned back into that Recaro seat. It’s just a smidgen too polite. Similarly, the cabin is well insulated from the sporty engine note; perhaps too much so for a car that should be instilling drama to all the senses. From the outside the car sounds more thrilling.

The Procee’d GT never feels time-warp quick, always controllable, but the overall package feels well sorted and the amount of power on tap is very well suited to its ride and handling. The suspension has been retuned from the standard Procee’d, with increased damper rebound and compression rates, stiffer springs and bushes and a larger rear anti-roll bar. Such tweaks often come with an attendant reduction in ride quality, especially when large alloys are bolted on for good measure.

Not so with the Procee’d GT, which runs on 18in wheels, but rides smoothly and comfortably and is never crashy. Our test through southern France took place on roads that are perhaps slightly smoother than those found in the UK, but on this evidence Kia has got the balance between sporting prowess and comfort spot on.

It also feels well composed during cornering, displaying very good body control and changing direction with a sense of purpose that’s fun without being fidgety. It’s an easy car to place on the road with confidence. The brakes don't feel as effective as those fitted to cars at the top of this class, although only intense driving shows up their limitations.

The steering is a little on the light side, especially at higher speeds, but the Procee’d GT is sufficiently communicative to make driving it extremely pleasurable.

Should I buy one?

It depends what level of spice you have appetite for. Kia says it has engineered the Procee’d GT “not to be the most powerful in class, but with everyday usability and civility in mind”.

That means it might not be hot enough for some tastes, although not pitching your first performance hatch against long-established schoolyard bullies as the Vauxhall Astra VXR or Ford Focus ST is a wise move on Kia’s part.

It doesn't deserve to be referred to in such illustrious company, but this represents a very valiant first effort from Kia. What’s more, you can imagine the Procee’d GT being sufficiently quick and enjoyable for most everyday situations without being too brash for those times when you just want to get from A to B with the minimum of fuss.

Then there’s the price. Ducking under the £20,000 barrier by a slender margin could prove to be a masterstroke on Kia UK’s part. In basic specification, the Procee’d GT represents an excitingly quick, generously equipped and well rounded car for the money.

Kia Procee’d GT

Price £19,995; 0-62mph 7.4sec; Top speed 143mph; Economy 38.2mpg; CO2 171g/km; Kerb weight 1359kg; Engine 4 cyls, 1591cc, turbo, petrol; Power 201bhp at 6000rpm; Torque 195lb ft at 1750-4500rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
19

25 June 2013

Yeah!, it looks good,just home the Dynamics match the looks.

Peter Cavellini.

25 June 2013

Agree that it is a commendable attempt in a very competitive segment. 38mpg from a 1.6T isn't great though. Especially when there are similar engines returning 25% more.

25 June 2013

“not to be the most powerful in class, but with everyday usability and civility in mind”.

201bhp, 38mpg, 171g/km and £20k for the privilege? No thanks. There are more powerful/quicker cars with better efficiency for a few grand less. It's a shame as the Proceed GT looks like a good car but it's not got the engineering to match.

Maybe next time KIA.

25 June 2013

bobbyanderson wrote:

“not to be the most powerful in class, but with everyday usability and civility in mind”.

201bhp, 38mpg, 171g/km and £20k for the privilege? No thanks. There are more powerful/quicker cars with better efficiency for a few grand less. It's a shame as the Proceed GT looks like a good car but it's not got the engineering to match.

Maybe next time KIA.

which are those then?

25 June 2013

The Apprentice wrote:

bobbyanderson wrote:

“not to be the most powerful in class, but with everyday usability and civility in mind”.

201bhp, 38mpg, 171g/km and £20k for the privilege? No thanks. There are more powerful/quicker cars with better efficiency for a few grand less. It's a shame as the Proceed GT looks like a good car but it's not got the engineering to match.

Maybe next time KIA.

which are those then?

For starters the Ford Fiesta ST, 208 GTI and Ibiza Cupra are all quicker and more efficient on the combined cycle than the KIA. Those 3 cars can also be purchased with savings of between £1k-£3.5k over the KIA

25 June 2013

bobbyanderson wrote:

The Apprentice wrote:

bobbyanderson wrote:

“not to be the most powerful in class, but with everyday usability and civility in mind”.

201bhp, 38mpg, 171g/km and £20k for the privilege? No thanks. There are more powerful/quicker cars with better efficiency for a few grand less. It's a shame as the Proceed GT looks like a good car but it's not got the engineering to match.

Maybe next time KIA.

which are those then?

For starters the Ford Fiesta ST, 208 GTI and Ibiza Cupra are all quicker and more efficient on the combined cycle than the KIA. Those 3 cars can also be purchased with savings of between £1k-£3.5k over the KIA

They are all titchy cars from the class below so not a fair comparision. The P'Ceed is more Focus/Golf Scirocco/Astra size.. how much do they cost at this pace?

26 June 2013

The Apprentice wrote:

They are all titchy cars from the class below so not a fair comparision. The P'Ceed is more Focus/Golf Scirocco/Astra size.. how much do they cost at this pace?

Not a fair comparison how? The P'Ceed is a 3 door running a 1.6 Turbo unit, the Fiesta ST and 108 GTI do the same. If you want to compare it to something at that size you'd be better looking at the SEAT Leon SC 1.8 TSI, faster, better economy and cheaper road tax for the same price. 

You can't compare the Pro'ceed to a Focus ST, Golf GTI or Astra VXR, it may be of a similar size but it's simply no-where near those in terms of performance not to mention that the new Golf GTI also out does the KIA on economy.

Yes Focus, Golf and Astra may cost more but for £20k and 200bhp I'd expect an awful lot more out of the KIA and for the saving of a few cm of leg room in the backseats the previously mentioned Fiesta ST, 108 GTI and Ibiza Cupra would make for a better buy for anyone who's more interested in performance and on a tighter budget. Even the Renaultsport Clio for around the same price as the KIA has similar power, a similar sized engine but is quicker, more efficient and comes with 5 doors (hardly "titchy")

It's a valiant first attempt by KIA on a warm hatch but there are several better options out there for the money. If they'd perhaps made it around 180bhp with better fuel consumption and lower road tax then they might have been on to something. I would have been genuinely interested in buying one of these, its a great looking car and does offer a bit of punch not to mention KIA's 7 year warranty but its hardly frugal.

26 June 2013

Yes and no if all you want is speed, Kia seem to have tuned this to be a pleasant enough car of a usable size for normal family duty.
Its most direct competition has to be a Scirocco 2.0FSI, its not quite as fast but it massively cheaper and also cleaner and more economical than the VW (by a smidgeon). The Kia also looks more interesting in my opinion.

Scirrocco 2.0FSI GT

 210 BHP

 0-60 7.0s

 CO2 172 g/km

 Combined economy 38.2

 Boot  312 Litres

 Price from £25.5K + Options to match

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Kia Procee’d GT

 200 BHP

 0-60 7.4s

 CO2 171 g/km

 Combined economy 38.2 (you see what Kia are up to?)

 Boot 380 Litres

 Price £19995

 

26 June 2013

The Apprentice wrote:

Its most direct competition has to be a Scirocco 2.0FSI, its not quite as fast but it massively cheaper and also cleaner and more economical than the VW (by a smidgeon). The Kia also looks more interesting in my opinion.

I hardly think the KIA's "most direct competition" would be a 5 year old Volkswagen coupe with dated looks and the last generation of GTI engines. I do agree about the looks however, I was never a big fan of the Scirocco past the nose but with regards to only wanting speed, the examples I gave were all of cars that were also more economical than the Pro'ceed GT.

It's a balancing act between power and economy that KIA haven't got quite right with this. It's too slow for a car with 200bhp and not economical enough for a car that isn't that fast. Sure it's only £20k upfront and it looks like a good price but after a year or two worth of driving the running costs would make up for any 'saving' you get over another similar model.

29 June 2013

bobbyanderson wrote:

Not a fair comparison how? The P'Ceed is a 3 door running a 1.6 Turbo unit, the Fiesta ST and 108 GTI do the same. If you want to compare it to something at that size you'd be better looking at the SEAT Leon SC 1.8 TSI, faster, better economy and cheaper road tax for the same price. 

You can't compare the Pro'ceed to a Focus ST, Golf GTI or Astra VXR, it may be of a similar size but it's simply no-where near those in terms of performance not to mention that the new Golf GTI also out does the KIA on economy.

Yes Focus, Golf and Astra may cost more but for £20k and 200bhp I'd expect an awful lot more out of the KIA and for the saving of a few cm of leg room in the backseats the previously mentioned Fiesta ST, 108 GTI and Ibiza Cupra would make for a better buy for anyone who's more interested in performance and on a tighter budget. Even the Renaultsport Clio for around the same price as the KIA has similar power, a similar sized engine but is quicker, more efficient and comes with 5 doors (hardly "titchy")

It's a valiant first attempt by KIA on a warm hatch but there are several better options out there for the money. If they'd perhaps made it around 180bhp with better fuel consumption and lower road tax then they might have been on to something. I would have been genuinely interested in buying one of these, its a great looking car and does offer a bit of punch not to mention KIA's 7 year warranty but its hardly frugal.

The Fiesta ST, 108GTi, Ibiza Cupra, Corsa VXR etc. are all B-segment Superminis. The PCGT is a C-Segmant car and therefore is competing with the Astra GTC, Scirocco, Audi A3 and so forth.

The PCGT costs £19,995.

The Leon SC 1.8TSI FR with the equivilent options checked is £21,810 and 0.1s slower. It is far more economical at 47MPG, however, and a much lower tax band. But when you consider how expensive the likes of the Scirocco are with the same engines out of much cheaper SEATs, you begin to see why Kia made the car as such. I wouldn't be surprised if a spec-for-spec scirocco with a modern engine tipped the scales at £25k.

The equivalent 1.6L Astra GTC SRi with, again, the same options ticked on the options list is £22,895 whilst also being 0.4s slower, only 1mpg better with economy and in the same tax band - yet people are more than happy to splash their money on this, with reviews barely touching upon the economy figures of this engine and some even recommending it for its performance. (The Vauxhall badge must be a get out of jail free card or something.)

Hell, to get the kit that comes as standard on the GT on the Focus ST, you'd need to step up to the Focus ST-2 and then add more options, topping the price out at a whopping £24,245. That is hardly "spending a little bit more" - its a good 21/22% extra.

The Kia has its place in this crowded segmant and, for the price, you're getting a very compelling overall package. The economy is putting me off the car, however, but it is still worth considering.

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