Sandbanks, on the south coast of England, is one of the most desirable places to live in the world, if you believe the various guides that have voted it so. The stretch of land that skirts the natural harbour hosts what is reported to be the most expensive coastline per square foot anywhere on Earth. Naturally it is a beacon of wealth, celebrity, and style, and this gave me an idea for an interesting social experiment with our shapely Kia ProCeed.
While the Kia at heart is a sensible family car with ample space for a dog, its ace card comes in the form of the model’s rakish profile. It is certainly a handsome thing to look at with its teardrop rear creating an elegant and sophisticated shape. So I decided to take the Shooting Brake down to Sandbanks to see what the locals, who are well used to a glamorous lifestyle, thought of it.
Parking the car overlooking the waterfront, I quizzed a few passers-by at random as to what marque the ProCeed belonged to. The results were very interesting… A handful of keen observers clocked the Kia badging, but more than a few didn’t and responded with guesses of Mercedes-Benz or Audi. Two even said Porsche! While much of this can be put down to the locals of Sandbanks not keeping up with the world of cars, it’s certainly a feather in the Kia’s cap to be associated with machines that are double or even triple its price tag.
Life with the ProCeed has been relatively trouble free, but over the past month an otherwise small niggle with the car became a real irritant. Like most new cars, the ProCeed has an electronic handbrake in place of a more traditional lever. Simply pull a small switch and the handbrake is applied – no problem. My gripe arises when you flick the switch, but not quite for long enough, and the handbrake does not apply itself. Many new cars will fasten themselves in place once you turn the engine off, regardless of your actions, however, this is not the case for the ProCeed. A week of parking in a hilly location perfectly demonstrated why I now double check the handbrake each and every time I park up, as I didn’t really want to come out in the morning and find that our Kia has parked itself elsewhere at the bottom of the hill.
A brief trip to the Cotswolds, and its joyous twisty Tarmac, again showed the ProCeed to be far more agile than an estate car has any right to be – sorry, Shooting Brake! As we’ve discovered this month, there’s certainly much more to this Kia than meets the eye.
Date arrived 21st February 2019
Fuel economy 56.5mpg On Test 52.8mpg
Even after all this time, I still find myself glancing back at the ProCeed’s good looks.
The electronic handbrake sometimes needs a firm prod to ensure it’s applied.