The Proceed is a clear sign of Kia’s growing confidence; and, having brought us the impressive Stinger and Ceed hatchback, the brand has certainly earned the right to believe it is gathering the standing and the expertise necessary to deliver on its ambitions. It’s a mood we should welcome, too, if it keeps bringing us cars as fresh as this.

Still, on this evidence, Kia hasn’t arrived as a ‘new premium’ style brand and maker of world-class small cars quite yet. Whereas the Ceed seemed to stand up well next to its more common-or-garden competitors, the Proceed has set its sights higher – but doesn’t accede with them quite as widely.

Alluring and interesting, but not quite as special to drive as it looks

It looks desirable and combines eye-catching design with decent practicality in some respects; but it’s meanly packaged in other ways, and has a cabin that lacks the material richness and sophistication hoped for in a premium-priced offering.

A driving experience of notable successes but also one or two telling mediocrities, meanwhile, narrowly fails to truly distinguish the Proceed as a really classy dynamic act – though it’s by no means an ordinary car to drive.