Kia builds this car at its Slovakian plant alongside the Ceed five-door hatchback and estate but, as far as bodywork goes, it shares only a bonnet and front wings with the normal five-door. Considering that there is more than a whiff of Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo about the Proceed’s cab-rearward silhouette – and that the rear light bar quickly invites any comparison – this is hardly surprising.
The Proceed also appropriates the wide-spaced bootlid lettering of Porsche’s four-door shooting brake, along with its contoured tail-light lenses. The two even share the same 0.30 drag coefficient, while Kia’s Blue Flame paint bears an uncanny resemblance to Porsche’s Sapphire Blue Metallic. How the Kia’s 64.2deg rake for the rear screen (it’s 52.4 for the Ceed hatch) compares with the Porsche, we don’t know, but it would seem to be a very close match.
No matter the inspiration, the stated aim of Kia chief designer Peter Schreyer and his team was to infuse the visual athleticism of a three-door hatchback with estate-car practicality – and on that basis, the Proceed has to be judged a success. In the metal, this is a handsome car – perhaps the most handsome yet to wear the Kia badge, albeit plainly not the most original.
Under the skin the Proceed is less avant-garde, though far from unsophisticated owing to an independent multi-link rear suspension standard on all models.
Built on Kia’s box-fresh K2 steel monocoque platform and with MacPherson strut suspension at the front, this is the same architecture used for the Ceed and Ceed Sportswagon, with a 2650mm wheelbase placing the Proceed between the Volkswagen Golf Estate and Mercedes A-Class in terms of usable cabin space. More elegant overhangs account for the Proceed’s extra length over its siblings.
The car comes on firmed-up suspension springs, recalibrated passive dampers and softened-off anti-roll bars compared with a like-for-like Ceed hatchback, the chassis cradled 5mm closer to the road overall. Meanwhile, the electromechanical steering promises adequate response, at just 2.5 turns lock to lock, and in terms of kerb weight the Proceed is also right on the money, weighing in some 40kg less than the equivalent Ford Focus Estate.
The engine line-up consists of a 138bhp 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol and a similarly powerful but far more torque-rich all-new 1.6-litre turbodiesel, with the most powerful GT pseudo-performance version of the car outfitted with Kia’s 201bhp 1.6-litre T-GDi petrol, mated for the first time to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT).