OK, so I’m about to turn 40 – that does not mean I’m getting old, practical, settled or boring, but I do have a lot more time for estate cars than I used to. But there is no reason to dismiss these motors in the way we traditionally have done. Take for instance the Kia cee’d sportswagon. It went on sale in Ireland last October, and I for one started to notice it straight away. Naturally, it has been put together with all of Kia’s current design queues in mind – the distinctive front grille, the upswept headlight clusters and body contours all combining to give the car real modern appeal. The Sportswagon is the latest addition to the cee’d range – following the introduction of the five-door that was launched in May. This is a more sophisticated, more efficient, and more refined car and it delivers a more engaging driving experience than its predecessor There are no surprises with the interior – quality materials, top-notch build quality, clean lines and very comfortable seats. While offering the same range of engines, transmissions and running gear as the cee’d five-door hatchback, the cee’d Sportswagon offers increased passenger and cargo space, with enhanced practicality. With a new roof, side panels, rear doors and tailgate, the Sportswagon is 195mm longer (4,505 mm) and 15mm taller (1,485mm), while the 2,650mm wheelbase, one of the longest in the C-segment, is common to all cee’d variants. When open, the new tailgate rises to 1,888mm to allow easy, unimpeded access to the cargo bay. And while all the extra bits and pieces sound impressive and look the part – I must admit that rear visibility was just that little bit too obscured for my liking. You can certainly get used to it, but given the terrific view looking forward, it was just a pity they couldn’t have squeezed a few more inches of glass in the aft section. In terms of cargo, the capacity is 39% greater than the cee’d five-door hatchback (528 litres compared to 380 litres) with the rear seats upright and 25% greater with the rear seats folded and the cargo bay loaded to the roof (1,642 litres compared to 1,318 litres). The higher roofline ensures that headroom is increased, by 21mm (front) and by 2mm (rear). The model line for new cee’d in Ireland will comprise two trim and engine choices. Trim levels comprise entry level TX and EX – both will be available in 1.4 and 1.6 diesel. Standard on all models are ESP (electronic stability program), ABS (anti-lock braking system), BAS (emergency brake assist system), HAC (hill assist control) to prevent roll-back, VSM (vehicle stability management) and ESS (emergency stop signal).