AT a time when family-focused SUVs are increasingly dominating our roads the hot-hatchback doesn't enjoy anything like the profile that it did 20, even 10, years ago.
If the regular gatherings, illicit or otherwise, of hoody-clad youths and their motors up and down the country are anything to go by, though, there are still plenty of enthusiasts out there who like a little excitement behind the wheel - and like it delivered in a compact, sporty motor.
Kia's contender for such folk is the considerably warmed up GT variant of the popular Ceed - the brand's third best-selling model in the United Kingdom behind the hugely successful Sportage SUV and Picanto supermini.
Sitting five millimetres lower than the regular Ceed with extended side sills, more muscular bumpers, a gloss black rear diffuser, small roof spoiler, and riding on bespoke 18-inch alloys which house chunky red brake callipers, this South Korean offering certainly looks the part.
Inside, the GT is further differentiated from the rest of the range by a black roof liner, flat-bottomed steering wheel, aluminium pedals and body hugging sports seats that are trimmed in black leather and faux suede upholstery and finished with red stitching and a 'GT' logo - all of which create a fitting ambience.
While looks are important, though, power and pace are even more vital to any hatchback with sporty pretensions and the Ceed GT, without reaching the fiery excesses of the class, fares pretty well in this department.
Sitting beneath the bonnet is a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol power plant kicking out 201bhp and mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, which will get you from 0-62mph in a snap over seven seconds and on to a top speed of 143mph - on track day excursions of course.
Stiffened front and rear springs and torque vectoring technology help to deliver that power effectively to the road and, coupled with quick and accurate steering, endows the GT with some nimble and entertaining handling.
It grips solidly and stays composed through faster bends, inspiring confidence to push on, but also remains impressively comfortable even over broken road surfaces.
The driver can adjust the set-up and focus of the car via a switch next to the gear lever which toggles between normal and sport modes.
Selecting the latter, as you'd expect, sharpens up responsiveness even further as well as dialling up the already throaty exhaust note when you pile on the revs.
Back in normal mode in urban traffic, though, the sporty Ceed is equally capable, delivering a flexible and relaxed driving experience in city streets, where the automatic start/stop system helps with fuel economy, which, at 38.2 miles per gallon on average, is not one of this motor's strong points.
It does offer decent practicality for a sporty hatchback, though, with comfortable accommodation for four adults and a boot which, at 395 litres, can cope with most weekly shops, a baby buggy or a couple of decent sized cases. The 60/40 split rear seats can be folded down to increase capacity and an adjustable boot floor also adds extra versatility.
The quality of the interior fixtures and fittings is generally good, with plenty of tactile soft-touch surfaces, and GT grade cars also come generously equipped.
Standard kit includes and eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, digital radio, navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, automatic emergency braking, cruise control, lane keep assist, reversing camera and a smart park assist system.
Without the outright potency of the hottest of hot hatches, the Ceed GT nevertheless does a great job of being a car which is perfectly functional as a day-to-day family runaround but also has the capacity to put a smile on the driver's face when circumstances allow.