The name may be a bit awkward but nothing else about the Kia pro cee’d is. It is a clear indication of how the Koreans are moving from a purely price-based selling strategy to one that also relies on enticing, exciting cars.
According to the company it represents a move from ‘supply push to demand pull.’
The pro cee’d does for Kia what the Astra Sport did for the Vauxhall family hatchback model – made it cool to own after years hogging the staid and boring category of the motoring world.
The Kia pro cee’d is not a hot hatch, but it is designed to appeal to those of a sporty nature with its coupe-like lines featuring a high waist and rakish roofline, plus a fine-tuned lowered suspension.
It was designed by Kia’s new European design team specifically for the European market and has a strong presence on the road, attracting attention for all the right reasons.
The Kia pro cee’d also benefits from a great warranty that guarantees peace-of-mind motoring.
On the road the pro cee’d is light to drive and easy to manoeuvre. It has a slick gearbox and drives like a dream.
A tapering roofline is no real barrier to headroom as there is plenty of space for all in the Kia pro cee’d. There is loads of space in rear for someone of average height to stretch their legs out.
A different design of rear seat to that in the five-door allows you to fold the seats down with the headrest still in place giving a completely flat surface accommodating 1,130 litres of luggage. If the rear seats are in place a still useful 340 litres is offered.
Access to the rear seats is good thanks to a useful handle that tips the front seat and slides it forward with the minimum of effort
The steering wheel adjusts for height and reach, but those who are taller may struggle to get as far away from the pedals as they might wish. There is also a feeling of being perched rather high for a car that has such sporty pretensions.
The dashboard is well set out with all the buttons and dials easy to see and use. As far as driving is concerned the only hindrance is thick rear pillars which obscure the view out of the back.
The Kia pro cee’d’s sporty nature and three-door design will appeal most to a young couple or to a young-at-heart older couple whose children have flown the nest.
Those who crave the practicality needed for a young family will in all probability be looking at the five-door cee’d.
Low prices are the foundation for the popularity of every Kia sold and the pro cee’d is no exception. But its ace in the hole is a seven year/100,000 mile warranty which is transferable from owner to owner so helping to boost Kia’s traditionally poor residuals.
The Kia pro cee’d also offers diesel engines that are on the Scrooge side of miserly when it comes to fuel consumption. This, plus modest road tax and insurance costs, adds up to a sound ownership package.
Life in the pro cee’d is comfortable thanks to a smart and modern interior – but it has to be said that it is not as classy as some competitors with some low quality materials and lightweight controls letting the side down.
The pro cee’d is available in three specs – pro cee’d 2, 3 and Sport, but even the base model is well equipped with life’s little luxuries.
Security and Safety
Those with sticky fingers are deterred by an alarm and deadlocks, plus remote central locking with deadlocks and doorlocks that activate as soon as the car starts moving.
As far as safety is concerned all pro cee’d’s have front, side and curtain airbags as well as anti-lock brakes and electronic brakeforce distribution. There are active front headrests to counteract whiplash and in the rear ISOFIX child seat fittings.
The Sport model has stability control with emergency brake assist.
The Finishing Touches
The pro cee’d’s three trim levels all get more kit than the cee’d. The pro cee’d 2 offers air conditioning, 16-inch alloy wheels, front fog lamps, a metallic-effect fascia and iPod connectivity.
The 3 includes 17-inch alloys, climate control and cruise control on diesel models.
The top spec Sport adds full leather trim, privacy glass, ESP stability control with emergency brake assist and electric folding mirrors.
Kia are finally getting their act together in the European market and no model shows this progress more than the pro cee’d three-door hatchback. Based on the five-door cee’d model the pro cee’d looks set to attract plenty of fans to the forecourt.