From a place of fear has sprung some of the best cars which are produced anywhere in the world.

Before the fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago much of the heavy industry in Czechoslovakia was used by the Soviet Union for defence purposes.

Things have changed somewhat and where they used to build tanks in what is now Slovakia they build Kia cars.

It was a shrewd move by the Korean manufacturers to come to a place where skilled labour was available and at a cheaper price than the rest of Western Europe.

From a greenfield start in 2006 Kia now build 2,500 engines and 1,400 models every day. To date 3.5 million cars have been built.

The latest to come off the line is the third edition Kia Ceed and the bosses are confident it will be a contender for the World Car of the Year in 2019.

To date there have been more than 1.3 million Ceeds built, roughly half and half with the first two generations.

They used to be called cee’ds because they were so called cars for the Community of Europe with European Design.

Thankfully some boss said: Just get rid of the apostrophe.

Like its predecessors, the Ceed has been designed, developed and engineered in Frankfurt by Kia’s European design, product development and R&D teams.

It has been tested exhaustively on European roads, test tracks in Korea and at the infamous Nürburgring race circuit in Germany, making sure the all-new Kia Ceed will provide relaxed and safe family motoring and easy, economical long-distance motorway cruising for those who use their cars for business or travel.

The five-door hatchback made its World Debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March and production has begun at Kia’s modern and highly-robotised factory in Slovakia.

The Ceed is available with both petrol and diesel engines including smaller, turbo-charged engines to help reduce emissions and improve economy.

And there are both manual and dual-clutch automatic transmissions.

In 2017, the C-segment accounted for 22 per cent of all European vehicle sales and is consistently one of the two largest segments by volume.

The outgoing Ceed accounted for 16 per cent of Kia’s total European sales and ten per cent of UK sales in 2017.

Since the introduction of the Ceed Kia’s annual European sales have more than doubled, from 225,000 in 2006 to more than 472,000 in 2017. In the medium term, Kia is targeting annual sales of more than 500,000 vehicles.

There are 11 variations, based on four trim levels which engines range from one litre petrol to 1.6 diesels plus various model forms. The 0-60 second ranges from nine seconds to 11 seconds and a top speed from116mph to 130mph. Miles per gallon can be as high as 70mpg but generally around the 50 mpg mark.

Price are just over £20,300 to more than £34,500.

On the road the Ceed is a pretty good mover with bags of oomph. And every time Kia brings out a new model the quality of its build just gets higher.

The new model is lower, wider, and with a longer rear overhang than the car it replaces. There are straight lines replacing the rounded-off edges of its predecessor, evolving the front of the car with a wider tiger-nose grille and lower air intake, and precise, linear shapes framing its face.

The new model features ice cube LED daytime running lights as standard, echoing the appearance of earlier cee’d GT and GT-Line models.

The dashboard is split into an upper area – for the floating touchscreen infotainment system – and lower level, housing controls for audio and heating and ventilation. The centre console is angled slightly towards the driver’s seat for ease of use on the move.

The interior is finished in a higher proportion of sophisticated soft-touch materials throughout, subtly intensifying the refined and upscale ambience of the cabin. Surfaces are finished with metallic or satin chrome trim. Cloth, cloth with faux leather bolsters or genuine leather upholstery is available depending on trim. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear stick are also available as standard.

Advanced safety and driver assistance systems

In addition to the car’s seven standard airbags, advanced driver assistance technologies further enhance occupant protection, using active safety systems to mitigate the risk of collisions.

Standard safety technologies include High Beam Assist, Driver Attention Warning, the Lane Keeping Assist which personally I find somewhat irritating and Forward Collision Warning with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist - City.

All versions of the Ceed are comprehensively equipped and feature an extensive package of comfort, convenience and safety items which becomes progressively more luxurious with every step up the range.

In keeping with every Kia, the Ceed comes with a unique-in-the-UK seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty, subject to certain wear and tear conditions. The warranty is fully transferable should the car be sold before the time or mileage limits have been reached.

The service plans include a comprehensive range of options including the original, traditional, first three and five services, but in addition a customer can now purchase services up to and including the seventh service which matches the full length of the warranty.