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Style-conscious hatchback drivers, form a queue here

Date: 05 October 2018   |   Author: Pete Tullin

Kia has unveiled its new Proceed and Ceed GT - sportier variants of the regular Ceed. Pete Tullin reports.

It's the job of every car designer to create a portfolio of elegant renditions, but it's also crucial that said designers stay ahead of the fashion curve.

The hot design topic right now among the polo neck fraternity is what will replace the ubiquitous SUV when the bubble finally bursts? 

Kia reckons its all new Proceed could be at least part of the answer.  

The Proceed is described as having a 'shooting brake' body style and compared with the regular Ceed Sportswagon estate, it is 5mm longer, sits 5mm lower to the ground and has a roofline reduced by 43mm, to help give it a sleeker appearance.

Although boot capacity is slightly down on the more utilitarian Sportswagon's 625 litres, at 594 litres, the Proceed still offers plenty of usable luggage space. 

While the rear seats split fold 40/20/40 and can be folded remotely via a lever in the boot wall, practicality is further enhanced by a powered, remotely controlled tailgate.

The new model will be available in GT-Line trim and as a GT performance model, with the latter getting chassis tweaks aimed at improving handling and steering response. 

Obviously, we'll need to drive the car for ourselves later this year but given that all Proceeds come on fully independent suspension, unlike many rival family hatchbacks that only offer this set-up on more powerful versions, early indicators seem positive.   

Engine options with GT-Line trim are a 1.0-litre, 120hp petrol; a 1.4-litre, 120hp petrol; and a 1.6-litre, 136hp diesel.

All engines are available with a six-speed manual gearbox, while the 1.4-litre petrol and the diesel are also available with a seven-speed automatic.

A hotter GT version gets a 1.6-litre, 204hp petrol engine, paired with the seven-speed automatic.

Interior technology includes a 7in or 8in touchscreen - the latter with sat-nav - while Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity will also be available.

In addition to six airbags, safety systems will include high-beam assist, driver attention warning, lane-keep and collision-avoidance assist along with adaptive cruise control.

Blindspot monitoring, rear cross traffic collision warning and smart parking assist will also be available as options.

Kia has also announced a GT version of its Ceed hatch, powered by the same 204hp petrol engine as the Proceed variant, with a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic gearbox to choose from. 

It comes with a sport-inspired exterior design featuring larger front air intakes and a roof spoiler, along with similar chassis tweaks to the Proceed GT. 

Production of the newly announced Kias is set to begin in November, with sales beginning in the first quarter of 2019.

UK specs, prices and exact on-sale dates for the models are yet to be confirmed.