Kia Proceed GT review - All-round appeal for a competitive price - Kia Proceed GT performance and 0-60 time

A talented all-rounder, but one lacking the final few degrees of performance and ability to put it among the greats

Evo rating
Price
from £23,510
  • Fun and appealing package
  • Soft-edged compared to rivals

With only a 1.6-litre engine under the bonnet and a 1359kg kerb weight, the Proceed GT simply doesn’t have the guts to go up against the latest generation of ultra-hot hatchbacks, but keep an open mind and there’s still a lot to like about the Kia’s performance.

A 7.7-second 0-62mph sprint (or 7.3sec to 60mph) is warm rather than hot, but it’s brisk enough to have fun with and like most turbocharged motors, there’s enough thrust in the mid-range to allow for good progress without expending too much effort.

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Thankfully, Kia’s most recently facelift of the Proceed brought with it some small engine tweaks which mean the 1.6 is no longer solely about the mid-range. While performance remains unchanged over the pre-facelift car, the Kia is now a little more responsive to low-revs throttle openings, and sings a more pleasant tune at the top end.

In fact, keep the car in GT mode – via a switch on the steering wheel – and you’ll enjoy the near-permanent presence of a subtle but sporty exhaust bark. Artificially-generated it might be, but it’s never loud enough to be intrusive and it’s a whole lot better than the bland drone emitted by the old car. It’s a subtle touch, but adds significantly to the Proceed GT’s enjoyment factor.

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There still isn’t the kick in the kidneys delivered by more powerful rivals, but the benefit is that the Kia is a car you can drive hard without too much risk of smashing speed limits. The six-speed gearbox is pleasing to use too, with a short throw, precise action (though it can occasionally baulk if you're rushing shifts) and a round gearknob – the latter wholly welcome when others insist on using all manner of shapes incompatible with the human palm.

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