ON THE ROAD- IAN LYNAS DRIVES THE KIA PROCEED GT-LINE
The all-new Kia ProCeed GT-Line delivers eye-catching design with the space and versatility of a tourer in a five-door shooting brake body.
Currently Kia offers a very wide choice of vehicles, a range that seems to continually expand with yet another new model. The ProCeed range was designed, developed and engineered in Europe, yet another product of Kia’s European design, product development and R&D by teams in Frankfurt and is manufactured at the Zilina production facility in Slovakia. I have test driven a GT-Line version over the roads of Northern Ireland, taking in counties Armagh, Tyrone, Fermanagh and a brief excursion into County Donegal. The GT-Line is available with a choice of two engines in Northern Ireland and the GDi in the Republic of Ireland. The petrol option is the all-new ‘Kappa’ 1.4-litre T-GDi power unit, which produces 138bhp courtesy of a turbocharger which ensures its 242Nm torque output is available over a wide 1,500 to 3,200rpm band, making it responsive in a wide range of driving conditions. It is fitted with a particulate filter to reduce tailpipe emissions, ensuring this Kia goes beyond the requirements of the Euro 6d TEMP emissions standards.
Offered with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, there is the option of Kia’s seven-speed auto Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT). I had the manual transmission with my test vehicle. The ‘GT-Line S’ is only available with the 1.4 T-GDi engine and is paired with the seven-speed auto Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT). Influenced by the design of the earlier Proceed Concept, mirroring its silhouette with a raked roofline that flows elegantly downwards into the rear shoulders, the Proceed GT-Line did attract quite a number of onlookers. Taut creases run the length of the car, trailing from the headlamps to the tailgate to extend its visual length and it carries over the window line from the 2017 concept car, including the acutely angled chrome ‘Sharkblade’, emphasising the dramatic roofline. Its steeply raked rear window separates it from its siblings in the Ceed model family, as well as other cars in its class. At 4,605mm long, it is 5mm longer than the Ceed Sportswagon, with a longer 885mm front overhang. At 1,422mm in height, its roofline sits 43mm lower than that of the Sportswagon, while ground clearance is reduced by 5mm, to 135mm. Constructed on the same ‘K2’ platform as other Ceed models, the 2,650mm wheelbase and, 1,800mm width remain unchanged. The rear styling is what differentiates it fully from other models in the Ceed range, inspired yet again by the layout of the 2017 ProCeed Concept. Combined with its lower overall height, the new wide rear bumper gives the car an assertive, sporty stance, enhancing its sense of dynamism and sportiness.
Moving to the well appointed interior, I discovered the same ergonomic cabin as its Ceed compatriots. High-quality soft-touch surfaces, metallic trim, and a horizontal dashboard layout add that touch of quality. An eight inch ‘floating’ touch screen infotainment system sits at the centre of the dashboard, with audio and heating and ventilation controls situated below. The dashboard itself is angled slightly towards the driver, full marks on that score. Good news, as it offers more luggage capacity than many conventional compact family estate cars with a capacity of 594 litres and with the absence of a boot lip and a lower ride height than the Sportswagon, the low lift-over height of the Shooting Brake tailgate also makes it remarkably easy to load and unload. An all round good performer and as we have come to expect from this South Korean carmaker, you get a very full package.