Pro­ceed at pace

This hot lit­tle hatch will change the way you see Kia

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page - CRAIG DUFF craig.duff@cars­guide.com.au

A WARMED-up hatch em­bod­ies the next phase of Kia’s evo­lu­tion into a ma­jor car­maker. The Korean brand has shed its cheap and cheer­ful im­age to be on par with its Ja­panese ri­vals in terms of build qual­ity and re­fine­ment.

They call it the Pro-cee’d GT. (We’re call­ing it Pro­ceed. A car that moves Kia into the en­thu­si­ast mar­ket needs no wacky em­bel­lish­ment. And we can’t be both­ered typ­ing it. ) As hatches go, the Pro­ceed is more warm than hot but it high­lights the qual­ity of the maker’s chas­sis and sus­pen­sion de­vel­op­ment.

VALUE

Buy the base model. The $29,990 en­try vari­ant has du­al­zone air­con­di­tion­ing, cruise con­trol, re­vers­ing cam­era, Re­caro seats with leather/suede up­hol­stery, Blue­tooth with au­dio stream­ing and heated and fold­ing side mir­rors.

The top-spec GT Tech costs $34,490 and adds a panoramic sun­roof, HID head­lights with ac­tive cor­ner­ing, tinted rear glass and a lug­gage net in the cargo area.

That puts it up against the likes of the Re­nault Clio Sport Tro­phy at $34,290 and the Re­nault is fit­ted with a du­al­clutch au­to­matic.

There are four ex­te­rior colours in the Pro­ceed GT pal­ette and three (white, sil­ver and black) are classed as pre­mium paint and add $595.

TECH­NOL­OGY

The bad news is the Pro­ceed GT was de­vel­oped for Euro­pean mar­kets so the 1.6-litre turbo four-cylin­der has been paired with a six-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion. The good news is also that it was de­vel­oped for Euro mar­kets so it ditches the tor­sion beam rear end com­mon on most cars in this class — in­clud­ing sis­ter com­pany Hyundai’s Veloster SR Turbo — in favour of a multi-link setup.

A TFT dis­play in the in­stru­ment bin­na­cle switches from a con­ven­tional speedo dial to a dig­i­tal dis­play flanked by bars dis­play­ing torque and turbo lev­els. It’s a bit gim­micky

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