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A Kia sign of winning style; Resemblance to the Audi A3 is no coincidence.

Byline: Enda Mullen

KIA's pro_cee'd might have been in progress before former Audi design guru Peter Shreyer was drafted in to take the Korean brand on to new heights but there's no denying this svelte three-door hatch bears more than a passing resemblance to an Audi A3.

I thought so when the car was launched last year but this time around the resemblance seemed even stronger.

The fact it does is no coincidence. Kia has had European sensibilities in its sights for quite some time and the fivedoor cee'd and its three-door version the pro_cee'd are the first vehicles to really hit the mark.

Be it styling, build quality or driving manners, these two hatches really deliver.

Just as the Japanese went from making inferior imitations of European and American vehicles before equalling and in many cases surpassing then, the Koreans and Kia in particular seem to be following a similar career trajector y. The pro_cee'd' is the better looking of the two, though the more functional cee'd is no ugly duckling by any means.

Both have been blessed with slightly peculiar names characterised by odd punctuation - presumably in attempt to attract attention - but there's nothing lacking with either.

In three-door or five-door guise they combine quality, value for money and style in impressive packages.

FAST FACTS n MODEL: Kia pro_cee'd 1.6 3 auto n PRICE: pounds 14,745 n MECHANICAL: 124bhp, 1,591cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 4-speed automatic gearbox n MAX SPEED: 116mph; 0-62mph: 11.2 seconds n COMBINED MPG: 40.4 n INSURANCE GROUP:6 n CO2 EMISSIONS:66g/ km n COMPANY CAR TAX RATING: 17 per cent n WARRANTY: 7yrs/100,000 miles
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 10, 2009
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