The best thing about driving for me, especially abroad, is ‘freedom’. The sense of space. The quiet. Just you and your vehicle, no destination, no time limits, no deadlines, just endless adventure and possibility. So to find myself lined up on the starting grid of the Parcmotor Castelloli, staring at the rear lights of the Kia ProCeed GT in front of me, the calm but serious voice of a professional racing driver barking over the in-car radio system, and the Technician learning through the window to disengage the traction control and lane assist (‘you WANT to cross these lines!’, I’m assured!), it’s all more than a bit disconcerting.
We’re the guests of Kia Motors UK at the launch of the all new Kia ProCeed (and to have a blast with their very sporty sibling, the Ceed), in sunny, yep even in January, Barcelona!
How was it to drive?
An early start at Heathrow Airport, a fabulous snack in the BA Club Lounge and the fantastic service on our BA Club Europe flight, and we’re touching down in the capital of Catalonia before the sun is even properly up. We meet our lovely hosts for the day and troop off towards the car park. Pop out the lift and WOW! Kia have taken over the whole floor of the car park! The different models of ProCeed,
We’re off on our personal Spanish adventure, heading to our main destination for the day at the Parcmotor Castelloli. First impressions of our Kia Proceed (we went for the Automatic, why complicate things?!) are very positive. This thing looks good. A CLA contender for Focus money?! Sure, it takes a couple of minutes to get comfortable with the size of the car, it is an estate size vehicle after all, but I felt very quickly at ease and confident. Our featured packed model (which was 1 of 3 engines and trims available, including a 1.4 petrol, 1.6 diesel and a 1.6 petrol GT), had a host of useful features, and thats key, not fluff and cupholders, actual useful, well thought out cabin design. On the design front, although it’s entirely personal preference, I enjoyed actual buttons to press for climate control, heated seats etc. Touch screen is all well and good until a. It fails, or b. You can’t find anything in a mess of menus (yes, you, C4 Cactus). There was a lot to take in initially, but within minutes became intuitive.
- THE BASICS
- 1.6L Diesel Automatic – GT trim
- Generous rear cabin
- Estate-like bootspace
- Automatic Seats
- Touchscreen SatNav/Entertainment system with USB
- THE FUN STUFF
- 18inch alloy wheels
- Reversing camera
- Cruise Control
- Heated Seats and Steering wheel
- Blind Spot Detection System
- Lane Assist
So the basics are pretty basic, car, 4 wheels, engine, so far so blah. But the fun stuff is where it gets really fun. Cruise control was easy to engage, essential on long European road trips. And it tied in beautifully with the 2 coolest systems in the vehicle. The Blind Spot Detection System is essentially a little orange, car-shaped light, right on the outside of your wing mirror. When a passing vehicle moves into the blind spot and out of drivers view, the little car lights up to tell you a vehicle is there. HOW COOL! The system works seamlessly with lane assist and collision avoidance, the former senses your position within the lane, should you drift slightly without indicating, the lane assist will PHYSICALLY move you back into the centre of the lane, and the latter automatically adjusting your speed if you approach a vehicle in your lane travelling slower than your cruise speed. Pretty freaky the first time but very impressive tech, and fantastic safety features.
Driving the racetrack
Once we reached the racetrack, we transferred into some track specific models where we could really let loose. After a quick brief, and aforementioned disabling all the safety features (!), we were soon speeding round the awesome Castelloli track. Driving in convoy, our Instructor relayed racing tips through our radios, telling us how to take ‘the racing line’ and ‘clip the apex’, noisy, terrifying and SO.MUCH.FUN. A beautiful Spanish lunch and we’re back in our road vehicles, a few hours to explore the Catalonian countryside, before heading back to the airport.
Our day in Spain only scratched the surface of the new revamp Kia ProCeed. Its a thoroughly fun, yet refined, drive. Featured packed without falling into ho-hum company car territory, and did I mention, it looks fantastic too?! Find out more at https://www.kia.com/uk/new-cars/proceed/all-new-proceed/
Thanks so much to the team at Kia for such a memorable day, we had a blast!