Not only was I a little excited picking up the Cerato hatch as it was going to be the first Kia I have reviewed, but Kia had graciously offered the car to me for 3 weeks which is the longest I’ve ever had a press car, but also because 3 weeks would allow me to really see how good the Cerato was to live with day in day out.
The Cerato shares the same platform as the Hyundai i30, but that’s where the similarity ends between the 2 cars.
I don’t mind the looks of the i30 but I like the Cerato’s looks just that little bit more, the trade mark “Scryer” grill blends in well with front end complete with fog lights give the Cerato attractive looks, combine that with nice 16inch alloy rims and you an attractive overall looks.
On the inside I found the Certao’s interior well set out, the leather seats are comfortable and somewhat supportive, the leather bound steering wheel is comfortable to hold.
The instrument panel is well set out and easy to read in any light, at night the dials are back lit with white.
The dash is well set out and the centre stack is surrounded by carbon fibre like trim which I thought looked good and added a nice touch.
The 7 inch touch screen for the multimedia is system is easy to use and offers full bluetooth connectivity, the steering wheel controls for the audio system and phone mean you don’t need to take your hands off the wheel while driving.
This car was fitted with sat nav as well which I found extremely easy to use and it worked perfectly.
While I found the system worked well I think it falls just short of other systems on the market as far features.
The front and rear seats offer decent support and comfort and there’s a reasonable amount of leg room.
Boot space is generous and gets even bigger when you fold down the rear seats, I moved house during the time I had the Cerato and I was amazed at the amount of stuff I could fit in the car.
Under the bonnet the Si features Kia’s direct injected naturally aspired 2.0L 4cyl engine with 129kw and 200nm of torque the Cerato will easily keep will traffic and cruise effortlessly on the freeway.
Fuel economy wise I thought it did rather well, since I’ve moved my trip consists of driving down an 80km/h road. So instead of just moving along slowly in bumper to bumper traffic like I use to do I’m doing a lot of accelerating from 0-80km/h.
Over the 3 weeks I did 735 km and averaged 10.6 not bad considering the 1st week it was loaded full just about every day.
Certainly somebody driving with economy in mind and in different conditions can do better.
The steering wise the Cerato is equip with the flex steer system, with gives you 3 settings to choose from Comfort, Normal and Sport each setting offers a progress increase of weighted feel to the steering while I tried them all during the week I kept it in normal most of the time and switched it to comfort when driving into a car park as it made the Cerato so easy to park, mind you the Cerato was easy to park in any setting.
On the road the Cerato handles great suspension does a great job of absorbing the bumps and there is no crashiness or harshness over the bigger bumps. Even driving down Parramatta rd in Sydney didn’t upset it at all.
Safety wise the Cerato has received a 5 star ANCAP rating and is fitted with features such as, ABS, ESC, Hill start assist, 6 air bags etc.
It also gets bonus points for having front and rear parking sensors and a rear view camera.
So after a few weeks driving the Cerato I came to like it a lot, it has plenty of room, is comfortable to drive and ride in. Has plenty of safety equipment, can return decent fuel economy and surprisingly can be a little bit fun to drive.
The only draw backs I found and really they are little things that might not bother other people, were the infotainment system screen can be hard to see at times during the day with the sun shining on it and there was no digital speedo and the road noise levels were a touch on the high side.
Part of that can be attributed to tyres which seemed to give off a fair bit of tyre roar.
If you are after a well equip small car that would be perfect for a 2nd family car, to drive to work or both then you certainly should have the Kia Cerato near the top of your list.
Massive thanks to Kia Australia for the extended loan of the Cerato if you would like more on the Cerato or the rest of Kia’s range check out their website http://www.kia.com.au
MY15 Kia Cerato Si Hatch
Engine: 2.0L GDI Petrol 129kw 209nm
Transmission: 6 speed auto
Features: 6 airbags, electronic stability control, front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera, cruise control, air conditioning, CD/MP3 stereo, Bluetooth, Sat Nav, 16-inch alloys
Colour: Abyss Blue
RRP Price: $28,990
Premium paint: $520
Price as tested $29,510