COMPACT crossovers and SUVs might be all the rage at the moment - but there are still some folk for whom the butch styling of such vehicles is a big turn off.
For those who want decent space and practicality without all the macho posturing, plastic cladding and bulging wheel arches the humble estate remains a popular choice.
And providing an eye-catching alternative to big sellers such as the Ford Focus Estate and Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer is the Kia cee'd Sportswagon.
The cee'd family has been the driving force behind the South Korean car maker's meteoric rise from bargain-basement bit-part player to major force in the European car market during the last decade.
Launched as a five-door hatchback in 2006, the two door pro_ee'd and SW estate versions followed as the model established itself as the brand's biggest seller across the continent.
The second generation cee'd hit the road in 2012 and has now received a significant mid-life makeover as it continues to do battle against stiff competition which, in the mid-size estate zone, also includes the impressive Skoda Octavia Estate and SEAT Leon ST.
The major changes to the new-look Kia range come in the shape of the new 1.0-litre T-GDi (eco Turbo) petrol power pack and GT-Line specification that this car boasted.
The three-cylinder petrol engine debuts in the updated cee'd and sees Kia following the trend for downsizing to smaller, more fuel efficient units but adding turbochargers to maintain power.
Acceleration from a standstill is modest, with the 0-60mph sprint taking 11 seconds, but once on the move throttle response is spritely and progress smooth.
You will need to reach for the six-speed manual gearbox for overtaking manoeuvresand the like, but generally the car doesn't feel under-powered and motorway cruising is relaxed and refined.
The chassis is set up for comfort and does a good job of isolating passengers from any imperfections in the road surface while keeping the body under good control.
The three-pot engine claims 54 miles per gallon and emissions of 120g/km, which is pretty good for a petrol-powered estate, but diesel options do better and are likely to prove popular with the business buyers at which this car is largely aimed.
The new GT-Line trim targets buyers who enjoy the sharp styling of sportier cars, but prefer to avoid the higher fuel, tax and insurance costs of an out-and-out performance model.
In the case of the cee'd Sportswagon that means buyers get some of the design trappings of the hot-hatch pro_cee'd GT such as a deep front bumper flanked by ice cube-style LED running lights, a bespoke black lower grille and black high-gloss mesh main grille while the rear features twin tailpipes, roof spoiler and GT-Line badging. The look is completed by model-specific five-double-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels.
In the cabin, GT-Line models get black cross-stitch upholstery with grey inserts, leather steering wheel with contrast stitching and alloy pedals, while the driver and front passenger seats have power lumbar adjustment.
The key thing about the cee'd Sportswagon interior though, is it's cleverly packaged space and practicality.
Despite the car having fairly compact dimensions there is space inside for four adults with good head and rear legroom, five would even be comfortable on shorter journeys, while the boot is one of the biggest in class at 528 litres - 1,660 with the split rear seats folded down.
All cee'd Sportswagons come typically well equipped with entry-level models getting aircon, steering wheel-mounted controls, front electric windows, a cooled glovebox, DAB radio, Bluetooth, electronic stability control and vehicle stability management, hill-start assist and six airbags.
GT-LIne trim also adds niceties such as a seven-inch touchscreen interface, sat nav, automatic lights and wipers, keyless entry and ignition, and a reversing camera.