WITH a profile that mirrors the elegant but expensive Porsche Panamera or perhaps the Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake, the Kia ProCeed isn't short of kerb appeal...at a much lower price-point.
And it strikes a good balance between sporty stylishness and good, old family practicality - the boot's huge and there's space for four generously proportioned adults.
Definitely the best looking model within the Ceed range, it shares the underpinnings and most of the mechanicals with its less fashionable brethren. Power for the GT Line model reviewed here comes from a turbocharged 1.5-litre four cylinder engine that pushes out a reasonable 158bhp.
As with its accommodation, the performance reaches a happy compromise between being nippy enough for most users without being particularly thirsty. In fact, it proved one of the most economical cars in its sector with an average of 47mpg over the test period.
While it doesn't tilt at the hot hatch market, acceleration is swift enough with a sub-nine second dash to 62mph. It's all accomplished in a quiet, refined fashion with a minimum of mechanical intrusion and acceptable tyre noise.
Handling, too, deserves praise. Firm damping limits roll angles yet bumps and ruts are easily absorbed making it comfortable transport over UK's corrugated road surfaces.
It's a car that responds well to being pushed yet it's equally at home pottering around town or going on a leisurely country run.
The GT-Line version comes as standard with six speed manual gearbox which is pleasingly light and precise with well-chosen ratios. An automatic twin clutch alternative is also available within the range. Ample torque - 187lb ft - ensures it pulls strongly without too many down-changes.
Seats are manually adjusted but are well shaped and supportive, and the steering wheel is adjustable for height and rake, making it easy easy to find a comfortable position.
A 10.525-inch touch screen juts out of the fascia to dominate proceedings. There's a decent compromise between tech and user-friendly controls. Dual zone air con, heated front seats and steering wheel and DAB radio are all standard.
The rakish roofline takes its toll, to a small extent, on rear headroom but you don't pay any penalty when it comes to cargo space.
The hatchback boot can swallow up 594 litres of luggage which includes a couple of under-floor compartments, making it one of the more commodious estate cars around, in spite of its stylish suit of clothes. Rear seats split and fold to further exapand luggage room.
With a meagre thirst and low emissions of just 131g/km, plus Kia's appealing seven year warranty, the ProCeed promises to be a reasonable family car to run as well managing to be rewarding for a keen driver.