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KIA style.

Byline: BY MIKE TORPEY

IT MAY have one of the quirkiest names in the motor industry but one thing's for sure - the cee'd is really starting to sprout.

No car maker has raised its profile more than Kia in recent years and the Korean manufacturer's latest offering is its most stylish yet.

While the procee'd is a three-door version of the popular cee'd five-door, it is very much an individual model in its own right.

The car's designer Peter Schreyer, who made his name at Audi, was determined the old trick of discarding a couple of doors and changing the side panels would not apply to this model.

And what he came up with is a fresh, stylish and European engineered hatchback that seems sure to attract plenty of custom, particularly in the current financial climate.

The procee'd completes the cee'd family, being built at a state of the art facility in Zilina, Slovakia, alongside the five-door, SW estate model and Sportage compact SUV.

Like its stablemates the procee'd comes with a seven-year, 100,000 mile warranty that conceals no getout clauses, the sole stipulation being that servicing and repairs have to be undertaken to Kia specified standards and using original factory parts.

The range starts at pounds 12,570 for the 1.6-litre petrol version in entry grade '2' trim while the tested model was the higher powered of the in two states of tune - 89 and 113bhp.

Even before entering the cabin, the procee'd looks the part with its racy, sculpted lines.

Move inside and the layout is sensible and tough with ample room for four and rear access made easy thanks to a handle on top of the front seat that allows you to move it forward with a light touch.

There's a definite feelgood factor to the procee'd - an enjoyable and lively car to drive, the tested version achieving close to the claimed average of 59 miles per gallon economy.

The range is available in three specs; procee'd 2, 3 and Sport but even the base model is well equipped with features like 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, electric front windows, central locking and an alarm.

Step up to the 3 and you gain 17- inch alloys, a sports pack, cloth and leather trim and alloy pedals, while Sport brings in privacy glass and full leather seating.

A glance at the price list reveals that these cars are the same price as the five-door cee'd - reason being that this is seen as a sporty, dynamic model in its own right, and also comes with more equipment.

What's certain is that procee'd will appeal to people who would previously have dismissed Kia as a cheap brand building cars on a shoestring. It's a seriously attractive car.

Kia Procee'd 1.6

Kia Procee'd 1.6 CRDi 3 3dr Price: pounds 14,570 Mechanical: 113bhp, 1,582cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 5speed manual gearbox Max speed: 117mph 0-62 mph: 11.4 secs Combined mpg: 58.9 Insurance group: 6 CO2 emissions: 126g/km BiK rating: 18% Warranty: 7yrs/100,000 miles, 3yrs paint, 6yrs anti-rust
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Oct 26, 2008
Words:519
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