06 March 2007

Geneva show: Kia ex_cee’d

Shock horror - it's a cool Korean cabrio concept

Kia ex_cee'd

We know, a Korean cabrio-convertible - especially one in Essex-stiletto white and with such a ridiculously convoluted name - should be a prime target for some lazy gags.

But we've been impressed by the standard cee'd, and we have to admit we rather like this. It's a concept version of the Korean manufacturer's small hatch, styled by Peter Schreyer and called - ready? - the ex_cee'd.

Instead of the ubiquitous folding hard-top seen on the VW Eos et al, the ex_cee'd gets a powered fabric roof. Dispensing of the necessity of wedging a roof-shaped piece of metal behind the rear seats gives the ex_cee'd a much less convoluted profile than most current C+Cs, and we love those ultra-bling 19-inch alloys too.

Of course, whether it looks anything like as good when (or indeed if) it reaches production remains to be seen, but it's all good stuff from Kia.

At the more practical end of the scale, Kia has also been showing off the cee'd SW, the estate version of the cee'd. OK, it's about as sexy as a girder, but with decent loadspace and that cracking seven-year warranty it should be a sensible buy when it goes on sale early this autumn.

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