Proceed at pace
This hot little hatch will change the way you see Kia
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.
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.
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