To make a change from the daily commute, another trip up to Manchester occurred. This time for some last minute roller derby practice before my team and I headed off to France to compete, so the four-hour return journey was a good time to experiment a little more with the audio system. The radio, all controlled via the seven-inch touchscreen, has an interface that is clear and user-friendly. It’s simple to choose between 12 presets, and there’s also a button that lists all of the local radio stations. Then there is the CD player, but my favourite option is to connect my iPod, via one of the two USB ports, allowing me to navigate through all my playlists and albums, again accessible via the touchscreen display. And if you’re feeling really technically minded, you can stream music, via the Bluetooth system, directly from your phone. This also opens up another sound option, where you can send online music streaming services, like Spotify, from your smartphone. The only thing that truly lets the pro_cee’d down is the lack of a DAB digital radio tuner, which isn’t even available as an optional extra.
After three hours behind the wheel of the pro_cee’d en route to Manchester, and tiredness was setting in, but a few finer adjustments to the power lumbar support and driver’s seat height made the last hour much more bearable. That coupled with a reach and rake adjustable steering wheel, it’s really quite easy to get a comfortable driving position.
Having an elongated period of time in the Kia also gave me a bit more time to stumble upon some features that up until now had gone unnoticed, mainly the finer controls of the satellite navigation system. Previously I’d been using the touchscreen controls to zoom in and out of maps during journeys, which was proving pretty fiddly as directions got more complex in built up areas. So I was happy to discover the dial to the right of the screen, which allows instant zooming in and out, solving the problem. It also repeats the last instruction when pressed in and I even figured out how to control the volume of the commands, which had been set too loud and was getting a bit annoying, especially at roundabouts. So with these new little tricks learnt, I’m warming to the system a whole lot more.
As the pro_cee’d is altogether larger than my previous cars, I’m experiencing a new phenomenon whereby the parking spaces at supermarkets seem to be far too narrow. At 1.78 metres wide, it’s a little wider than the BMW 1 Series, Audi A3 and Honda Civic, but narrower than an Astra, Focus and Golf. But thanks to long doors, a trait of three-door cars, it can be tricky getting in and out of the car without making contact with the car next door. I’m always having to gingerly haul myself out of the driver’s seat, and if you’ve got rear seat passengers, you may as well forget it. And normally my luck means that there’s someone sitting in the car next door, making the task even more difficult.
The auto-dimming rear-view mirror means you donít have to worry about bright lights dazzling you on late night drives.
Wide doors means getting out of the car in narrow supermarket parking bays can be problematic.
|Date arrived:||17th March 2014|
|Mileage to date:||5,311 miles|
|Fuel consumption:||65.7mpg (official combined)
47.8mpg (on test)