EVERY so often you come across a design that stands out head and shoulders above its contemporaries putting them in the shade.
The key to such an achievement is usually simplicity...an absurdly obvious concept that blends visual appeal with real practicality.
Currently, one of the cars that possesses these rare qualities is the latest Kia ProcCeed, a happy amalgam of hatchback, coupe and estate all rolled into one enticing shape.
Despite its rakish lines - similar from several angles to the exotic and seriously expensive Porsche Panamara - it has enough luggage room to shame many SUVs. And it will comfortably seat four or five adults.
A product of design guru Peter Schreyer and drawn up in Frankfurt rather than the firm's native South Korea, the new ProCeed is built in Slovakia.
There's a choice of petrol and diesel engines with capacities of 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre. We went for the 1,353cc petrol which knocks out 138bhp delivering performance akin with a fairly warm hatch and reasonable economy of 42.8mpg combined.
As the car-buying pendulum swings away from diesel towards petrol, it is this engine, shared with various other Ceed models, that's likely to attract significant sales.
A this point it's worth stressing that Kia is no longer a maker of basic, bargain basement cars. In terms of finish, styling and engineering it is now closer to the levels of prestige of Audi and BMW than most obvious rivals.
High grade, soft touch plastics make up the facia with carefully placed switchgear, sports seats made of leather and faux suede and an eight inch touchscreen. Heated front and outer rear seats are standard as are a heated steering wheel, electric power seats and dual automatic air con.
Most people will love the wide glass sunroof which slides, tilts and opens, which is also included in the spec of GT-Line S version.
Special mention must be made of the huge boot which swallow up 594 litres of cargo. The rear seats split and fold if you need even more luggage space.
When it comes to driving, the 1.4T-GDi is a refined and competent performer delivering ample punch but it's no sports car with acceleration to 62mph in a tad over nine seconds and a max of 127mph. Its seven speed twin clutch auto box changes quickly and almost imperceptibly further enhancing the car's relaxed nature.
Noise levels are pleasantly low with little wind intrusion and, so long as full revs aren't used, the engine is nicely muted.
Handling is confident and grippy rather than outright sporty, but there's little cornering roll to inhibit spirited driving and bumps are mostly soaked up well. Steering, however, is somewhat lifeless with little feedback to the driver.
Drive the ProCeed sedately and you'll get well over 40mpg, but a heavy right foot can see the consumption sink to closer 32mpg.