With its dynamic coupe-like silhouette and direct-injection engine, this sporty car brings a smile to the face.

The stylish Kia Pro_cee'd is a versatile and practical three-door hot hatch with sufficient power to provide the driver with a little fun.

The new pro_cee'd is powered by a choice of two highly efficient 1.6-litre engines - one petrol and one diesel - while a six speed gearbox is standard on every model.

With the petrol version, tested here, the first thing that impresses is the acceleration through the lower gears, with the Pro_cee'd having a wonderful sweet spot when climbing from 20mph towards 50mph in second gear.

In most situations, it’s definitely quick enough, pulling harder the closer you are to 6,000rpm.

The comfort of the ride is another attribute, with very little roll in evidence as the car attacks corners with poise and stability.

This, combined with weighty steering, gives the driver confidence when cornering.

Turn-in sometimes feels a little slower than you might wish, but generally the steering’s ability to cope with your demands is more than sufficient.

On Yorkshire's twisty country roads, it handled well, with very little scrabbling from the front wheels. Then, on the motorway, it settles into a cruise very smoothly, proving it's a decent all-rounder.

The first Cee’d, released nearly a decade ago as Kia’s cornerstone model, was an impressive machine and the Pro_cee’d GT builds on that success.

In terms of looks, the car is sleek, long, low and lithe. Kia says it was aiming to bring an " added sense of emotion and dynamism" to its range - and it has certainly succeeded.

The sporty effect is enhanced by 18'' alloy wheels with a graphite finish, dual exhaust, chrome window surrounds,a rear spoiler and privacy glass in the rear windows.

It may be the same length and width as the five-door cee'd, but it is 40mm lower - a difference that produces a subtle change in its stance on the road.

The side doors are 270mm longer than those at the front of the five-door cee'd, allowing easy access to the rear seats while adding to the car's rakish appearance.

Kia has a policy of creating specific cars for the markets where they are sold, with the pro_cee'd only being available in Europe. It was designed and engineered in Germany and made in Slovakia.

If I had to find a couple of criticisms, it's that the gear shift feels a little loose and imprecise, while the engine noise doesn't provide the greatest of thrills.

However, during a week behind the wheel of the Pro_cee’d, I found it to be great fun to drive.

At £22,495 on the road, it compares pretty favorably with the opposition and is certainly worthy of consideration.


Model: Kia Pro_cee’d T_GDi GT TECH

Price: £22,495 on the road.

Engine: 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol producing 201bhp

Transmission: Six-speed manual gearbox driving the front wheels.

Performance: Top speed 143mph, 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds.

Fuel economy: 38mpg.

CO2 rating: 171g/km.

Will's ratings