One of the more spectacular launches at the Paris Motor Show was staged by Kia who revealed the new ProCeed, a car designed specifically with the European market in mind.
With rakish styling and a muscular profile it follows on from the highly acclaimed Stinger, although has a much more compact body with five doors which now is widely the choice of those in the market for a hatchback.
The newcomer will enter one of the most competitive sectors in Europe and you may recall that it is ten years since the first Pro Cee’d arrived- note the spelling, a name I never quite understood and not so long ago Kia opted for a change to simply Ceed.
A more dynamic model arrived on the scene in 2012 and Gregory Guillaume, the company’s Chief Designer at the European Design Centre, realised that much more could be offered with the Proceed.
Guillaume and his team, under the watch of Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer (formerly with Audi), they sowed the seeds and the end result was an attractive new model for the European motoring scene.
A first taste of what was to come was at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show with the Proceed concept.
Often a concept never goes beyond a show, however on this occasion it was very clear that Kia was aiming for something special.
The head turning concept followed the popular five door styling which has a much wider appeal than a three door. The task ahead was to deliver a new model that would have appeal across a wide spectrum.
While the new Proceed shares its frontal architecture and design with its five door sibling, everything rearward of the A-pillar is unique. This newcomer, I can see, will deliver a good helping of on road presence.
The low-slung roofline flows tightly over the cabin’s narrow glasshouse before it drops to meet the tailgate, which wears an integrated spoiler, a wee sporty touch that appeals to many.
The glasshouse features blacked out B and C pillars and is highlighted by a chrome effect border, complemented by the acutely angled shark blades housed at the base of the Cpillars.
The muscular shoulders of the new Proceed are enhanced even further by an extended rear overhang, complete with a full width LED bar.
When we look closely at the dimensions of this new Kia, we see that it is lower and longer than its stablemates, the Ceed hatchback and wagon. For most, style is important, but a practical vehicle is perhaps even more so and the design team here has delivered the best of both worlds.
It is pretty certain that two trim levels will be offered, GT and GT-Line, in a way less confusing and such a vehicle is worthy of these two trim levels.
Perhaps with the arrival of the new Proceed is it an indicator of future models in this sector from Kia. I, for one, would like to think so, so best leave that decision to the designers who up to now have done a pretty good job.
I was able to take a close look at the new Proceed to discover the same level and quality of finish that I and others have discovered with the Stinger.
Kia has come a long way in a relatively short space of time, and with their current range they are challenging the might of the Japanese carmakers and with the Stinger, they pose a challenge to what Germany can produce.
In terms of engines, transmissions and drive quality, I have a little while to wait and I’m certainly looking forward to getting behind the wheel. If looks are anything to form an early judgement by though, Kia are on to a winner.
The Paris Motor Show was also the platform to reveal the new Ceed GT, which in a first for Kia, will be available with an optional seven speed double clutch transmission. (There will also be the standard six speed manual transmission.)
Yet more reveals; the Ceed GT-Line will be offered with a choice of power units, one litre and 1.4litre turbocharged direct injection petrol or a 1.6 litre Smartstream diesel which is sure to prove popular in Ireland.
Now for something completely different from Kia, their first fully electric crossover which can according to the manufacturer can travel 485 kilometres on a single charge. The e-Niro with a shorter range battery provides a range of 312 kilometres. This distinctive styled newcomer has a modern design cabin with lots of space and technologies which will complement the zero emissions powertrain.
As with the rest of the Kia family, the industry leading seven year warranty and this will also cover the battery pack and the electric motor.
Re the e-Niro, this range will be welcomed by those who have issues or reservations with fully electric powered vehicles.
In the not too distant future I aim to bring driving impressions and greater detail of these new models.