By Mike Torpey on 2017-12-17 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Kia cee'd 1.0 T-GDi
THE name may be one of the most offbeat in the car industry, but Kia has always had immense faith in its family hatchback the cee'd.
After all, this was the first model to benefit from the Korean brand's industry-leading seven-year warranty.
It's a model that has continued to move upmarket in terms of quality and dynamics - and for buyers of the higher spec GT-Line trim, really looks the part too.
A stand-out feature of the latest cee'd is the arrival of the company's 1.0 three-cylinder turbo petrol engine.
It's efficient, keeps the emissions level low and the 118bhp of power on tap gives the car the sort of crisp, sporty performance to match its looks.
The official combined fuel figure is 57.6 miles per gallon and though we only returned a, by comparison, disappointing 38.7mpg, the majority of our mileage was in urban conditions and in city traffic.
And it was the latter that highlighted just about the only irritating aspect of the cee'd, in the form of its Stop & Go system.
It may have been down to the individual car but just as the cee'd was about to pull out from a junction, or take advantage of a gap at a roundabout, the engine would cut out and take what seemed like an eternity, but was probably only a few seconds, to kick back in.
Otherwise this is a model of some considerable appeal, and a serious alternative to rivals like the Ford Focus, SEAT Leon, Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf.
With its clutter-free cabin and simply laid-out dash and dials, the Kia's interior is an instantly welcoming environment.
The seats are sculpted and supporting, leg, head and shoulder room is plentiful both front and back and even a centre rear passenger can travel comfortably - a rare treat in this category of car.
Deep door bins, a covered central container, glovebox, stowage space in front of the gearshift, four cupholders plus a bottle holder in every door are among a plethora of small storage options.
And for larger items, well there's a well scooped out boot that can be extended by turning down the 60/40 split-fold rear seats.
Equipment on even the most basic '1' trim grade, which starts at an attractive £15,175 for a 1.4-litre 98bhp petrol variant, includes the likes of front electric windows, air con, LED running lights, DAB radio and Bluetooth.
Opt for the 1.0 turbo GT-Line and there are plenty of goodies like side-sill extensions and eyecatching front Ice Cube lights, rear view camera, keyless start and full suite of safety features.
It all adds up to a tempting package, and a car that's extremely well refined, has an easy shift six-speed manual transmission, a smooth ride quality and well weighted steering.
Kia cee'd 1.0 T-GDi GT-Line Eco
Mechanical: 118bhp, 998cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 118mph
0-62mph: 10.3 seconds
Combined MPG: 57.6
Insurance Group: 12
C02 emissions: 115g/km
Bik rating: 22%
Warranty: 7yrs/100,000 miles
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