Kia’s sales in Australia are rising in Australia and one of the biggest segments is the small car market I was very interested to see how the Cerato hatch holds up.
The Cerato shares some DNA with the Hyundai i30, but from the outside you would never know it. The Cerato is a nce looking hatch nothing in the styling is in your face but it’s clean lines, Kia corporate looks at the front, 16inch alloys give it a look that while doesn’t stand out, doesn’t offend you either.
On the inside the interior is spacious and well set out, the leather bound multi function steering while being comfortable to hold is a touch thin for my liking.
The instrument panel is well lit and easy to read in any light, the small LCD screen better the dials can be used to display various features from the trip computer all accessed by a handy button on the steering wheel.
The dash is shaped well and is a mix of hard and soft touch plastics and has grainy appearance while the whole thing is not displeasing to your eye’s it does give a little hint to the price segment it plays in.
The centre stack is home to the 7inch touch screen for the multi media system, which has full Bluetooth connectivity and being the S Premium model sat nav as well, while the system works rather well and is extremely easy use. I found it short in features compared to some others on the market, most of my music is on a flash drive while it’s to connect there no search function so the only way to find your favourite track is to keep scrolling through the list songs.
On the plus though the sound from the system is rather good indeed, so that sort of soften the pain of searching for tracks.
The front seats are some what comfortable but I would of liked a touch more side support and I thought seat back felt a little thin, leg room on the other hand is extremely good in both the front and back seats, being a hatch the boot space is rather good and increases with the folding back seats.
On the road the Cerato is powered by a 1.8L naturally aspirated 4 cyl engine with 104kW and 179Nm which is pretty much on par with most other cars in it’s class. While it’s not going to set any land speed records the engine is tractable and very willing, It’s a touch peppy off the line and it will easily keep up with traffic.
I found though that you do have to pedal it a little a harder when faced with some of hills on my commute but it’s not overly bad.
Fuel economy was awesome and the Cerato is up near the top of the list for the most economical cars I’ve driven this year, while I didn’t get to do extended freeway drive the brief trip I did return 6.2L/100km and in my daily commute I averaged 8.8L/100km.
Backing the 1.8L engine is a 6 speed auto which found smooth and shifts were seemless.
On the road the Cerato rides rather nicely, there no harshness transmitted into the cabin from sharp bumps and it seemed to handle sydneys b roads without a fuss. The nice while not the sharpest is fair direct and the adjustable 3 mode function allows you adjust the weight to suit your driving style between comfort, normal and sport.
Safety wise the Cerato has received a 5 star safety rating and comes with a long list of safety features including dusk sensing automatic headlamps, front & rear fog lamps, driver & front passenger SRS airbags, front side SRS airbags, curtain SRS airbags, front seatbelt pre-tensioners with load limiters. ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD & BA, ESC (Electronic Stability Control) with TCS, VSM (Vehicle Stability Management), HAC (Hill-start Assist Control), ESS (Emergency Stop Signal), front & rear parking sensors and scores maximum points for having a rear view camera as well.
So after week I came away rather impressed with the Cerato from point of view of somebody looking for a 2nd family car or a car to commute to work the Cerato works rather well. It rides well, is decently appointed, has plenty of safety features and returns rather good economy.
The only problem I had with the Cerato was I found the 1.8L engine a tad boring and if was going to buy a Cerato I would go for the Si or SLi model which gets the bigger 2.0L engine as it has more power, but anybody not obsessed with power like me would be more than happy with the 1.8L.
The big bonus to the Cerato is it comes with the best warranty on the market wth Kia’s 7 Years Unlimited Kilometre warranty, backed by 7 Years Roadside Assistance (subject to eligibility) and 7 Years Capped Price Servicing which many years of trouble free motoring.
So if you are looking for a safe economical family car, a commuter for work or both, then you would be mad not to take the Cerato for a test drive and you will be glad you did.
For more info on the Cerato S Premium, the rest of the Cerato range or Kia’s great range of vehicle’s check out their website http://www.kia.com.au or get down to your local Kia dealer.
Massive thanks to Kia for the loan of the car and for the pics.