Kia is branching out into what you might call a pseudo-premium market segment here, selling what is ostensibly a premium-priced hatchback to those who might otherwise be in the market for a compact Audi, BMW, Mercedes or Mini. The Audi A3 saloon range starts at almost the same price as that of the Proceed and, for the price of our GT-Line S test car, you could have the equivalent version of the imminent Mercedes A200 AMG Line saloon – change.
The one thing that customers giving up proper premium brand metal might notice is the lack of optional customisation potential on offer from Kia. The only way to spend extra on our mid-spec test car, away from dealer-fit accessories, was with £550 premium paint; and that means you get a panoramic sunroof as standard – whether you’re willing to accept the compromise it enforces on interior head room or not.
Having said that, there’s little the Proceed lacks in terms of standard kit that you’d expect for a sub-£30k price point. Our mid-spec test car came with 18in alloys, LED headlights, electric sports seats with leather upholstery, seat-heaters in both rows, adaptive radar cruise control, an automatically opening powered tailgate and a touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, smartphone mirroring and wireless charging.