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Kia Launches Proceed GT

By raccars Published

Kia's keenly anticipated hot hatch, the Proceed GT, is due to hit the streets in July and is due to cause quite a splash in its market sector. The car's vital statistics include a starting price of £19,995, a 0-60mph time of 7.4 seconds and a top speed of 201bhp.

The GT builds upon the standard Proceed, with the Korean brand's first 1.6 litre petrol engine with a turbocharger, suspension that has been lowered and toughened up, a steering tune up and the necessary larger brakes.

Ostensibly a rival to the similar sized VW Golf Gti and Ford Focus ST, the Proceed GT is cheaper and less powerful than those hot hatch market leaders, however it is bigger than the Ford Fiesta ST. The Proceed fits more easily into the group currently led by the Seat Leon SC 1.8 TSI FR or the Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.4 170 Multiair.

The Kia Proceed GT won't break any speed records but is lively and willing, nonetheless. It is let down slightly by its handling, which is less agile than its competitors. The steering and gear change suffer from a similar lack of focus, despite a pleasingly closely spaced shift ratio. On the plus side, this woolliness makes the Proceed a more comfortable ride.

What really lets the Proceed down next to the likes of the VW Golf Gti or Seat Leon FR, is its lack of efficiency, with a 38.2mpg average fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of 171g/km.

However, the view gets better in the cabin, which is furnished with a high quality selection of materials and logically designed. Part leather upholstered Recaro seating distinguishes the GT from the lesser Proceeds but the GT is just as spacious for both passengers and luggage as the standard car.

The equipment list is comprehensive even on the basic model, with 18 inch alloys, air conditioning, automatic headlamps, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, reverse parking sensors and an LCD instrument control screen. For an extra £2,500, the GT Tech gets touchscreen satellite navigation, reversing camera, keyless start, heated seats to the front, automatic sensor wipers, xenon headlamps and dual zone climate control.

Kia's extremely attractive seven year warranty is included, plus the option of a £399 three year service package.

Ultimately, the Proceed is not quite engaging enough to make the VW Golf Gti or Ford Focus ST teams lose any sleep at night. If practicality takes priority over performance, however, it makes a credible and slightly cheaper alternative to Seat Leon 1.8 FR.

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