THE latest generation of three-cylinder engines in the automotive arena demonstrates that petrol power is a long way from being defunct and that low capacity does not mean a boring drive.
One of the best purveyors of the genre is Kia with its 1.0-litre direct injection and unusually named c'eed.
Fitted with the company's latest six-speed transmission, this is very much a pocket tour-de force of the latest Kia know-how and at Â£20,220 with GT-Line trim is an ideal solution for those who want their economy laced with a splash of dash.
The c'eed during its career has already attracted more than a million buyers and is very much a European car.
It is fundamental to Kia's policy of creating specific cars in and for the markets where they are sold.
It was the car which gave Kia a manufacturing footprint in Europe, and is designed, engineered and sold exclusively there. It is still produced only at the Zilina plant in Slovakia.
The cee'd was also the first car to be offered with Kia's industry-leading seven-year, 100,000-mile transferable warranty - a feature now standard on every model from the Korean manufacturer.
The latest cee'd is even more adapted to the requirements of its European homeland, and for buyers who enjoy the ambience of sports hatchbacks, but want to avoid the higher fuel, taxation and insurance costs of an out-and-out high-performance model, Kia markets the GT-Line, a new styling and trim option.
It offers much of what makes the flagship 201bhp cee'd GT stand out, but with lower running costs and more comfort-oriented chassis settings.
Kia unveiled its new 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo engines at last year's Geneva Motor Show. They are destined to be used in a number of models, but made their debut in the cee'd.
In the GT-Line with 118bhp on tap this is a feisty little engine which punches above its weight.
It is capable of 57.6mpg in the combined fuel cycle, with CO2emissions of 115g/km.
Kia's ISG (Intelligent Stop & Go) engine stop/start system is standard.
GT-Line models are distinguished by a deep front bumper flanked by ice cube-style LED daytime running lights. These are housed in black high-gloss panels along with the foglights and daytime running lights.
There is a black lower grille and a black high-gloss mesh main grille with a graphite chrome surround.
This is complemented by an equally sporty rear bumper with a deeply recessed number-plate housing and dual exhausts.
The number plate and rear foglights are encased in high-gloss black panels. The rear lamps are full LED units. At the sides there are sill-extensions and bespoke five-double-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels. There is also a ‘GT-Line' identifier on the rear bodywork.
In the cabin, GT-Line models feature black cross-stitch upholstery with grey inserts. The driver and front passenger seats have power lumbar adjustment.
There is a sporty leather steering wheel with a perforated grip, and silver stitching which is replicated on the gear shifter, back door centre trim and seats. There are also alloy pedals with rubber grip inserts and faux black leather door inserts.
The navigation centre in the facia console has a matt black finish and there is a high-gloss black console tray, air vent surrounds and door trims.