The previous model Kia Cerato was one of my picks for best small car last year so I was extremely interested to see what Kia had improved on, with what is essentially a mid life update for the Cerato.
The interior is comfortable and practical the S is the entry level model so it’s not blessed with a massive amount of features.
The cloth seats though are comfortable and somewhat supportive the steering wheel while being a decent thickness is plasticy which I don’t like.
The instrument panel is easy to read in any light and the lcd screening between the speedo and tacho can display everything from the trip computer via a button on the steering wheel including a digital speedo which I really like.
The dash is well shaped and I really liked the scalloped effect on the passenger side and the dash would seem a little plain and boring without it.
The Cerato is powered by a 2.0l Gdi 4cyl engine rated at 113Kw 197nM and is backed by a 6 speed auto.
Now I really liked the 2.0l mpi engine from the previous model so i am little confused why they would go to the GDI engine specially with less power.
While the engine is tractable, will keep up with traffic and cruise effortlessly on the highway. At times though I found that you have to pedal it a bit harder then I did the old model specially around my area where most of the roads are either 70 or 80 km/h.
Fuel economy really depends on how you drive it. On the highway I saw my figures get down to the low 7s. However around my area normal traffic the economy krept up to 11.
On road the Cerato has benefited from Kia’s continued local tuning programme which has not only seen the handling improve but also the ride as well.
The Cerato rides nice and smooth absorbing the bumps well with no harshness being transmitted into the cabin. There is a small amount of lean when cornering hard but I don’t think most Ceratos weill be driven that hard for you to notice.
The steering has a 3 selectable modes eco, noraml and sport which allows you to just the steering feel to suit your driving style. I found normal mode offered the best feel for everyday as I found eco a little too light and the sport mode a touch to firm. Akthough sport did offer a great amount of feedback when pushing it.
Overall there is a good improvement on the previous model which Kia should be congradulated for.
Safety wise the Cerato has received a 5 star safety rating and comes standard with Driver & front passenger SRS airbags, Front side SRS airbags, Curtain SRS airbags, Front seatbelt pre-tensioners with load limiters, Side door impact beams (front & rear), Child-proof rear door locks, Impact sensing auto door unlocking. ABS, EBD & BA, ESC (Electronic Stability Control) with TCS, VSM (Vehicle Stability Management), HAC (Hill-start Assist Control), Front & rear fog lights.
It does get bonus points for the front and rear parking sensors but it then looses a few for not having a rear view camera as standard fit although there is one available as an option.
I really enjoyed my week with the Cerato the previous model was one of my choices for best small car last year and the on road improvements to the suspenion and handling has only made the Cerato better.
This mid life update only serves to make the Cerato an even more attractive option in the small car market backed by the best warranty in the business.
The only downside for me was the 2.0L GDI engine while being tractable and great on fuel. It’s down on power from the previous model with the MPI 2.0L which makes the Cerato the only car I tested where the newest model has less power then the previous one.
When it comes down to it the Cerato S is a great small car with a long warranty for added peace of mind and definately should be on your list if your looking for a small hatch.
Kia Cerato S
Price: From $19990
Engine: 2.0L GDI 4 cyl 112kW 192Nm
Transmission: 6 speed automatic
Chrome ‘Schreyer’ grille surround, Body coloured bumpers, Body coloured door handles, Body coloured outside door mirrors, Electric outside door mirrors (heated), Outside mirror mounted side indicators, Rear spoiler, Tinted glass, Windscreen with sunband.
Cruise control with steering wheel mounted controls, Dot-matrix type LCD instrument cluster, Multi-function trip computer, User selectable options (Auto door lock/unlock, headlight escort, service interval, etc.), Digital clock, Ambient temperature display (in cluster), Remote central locking with keyless entry & tailgate release. Folding key, Power windows (front & rear) with driver’s auto down, Driver’s foot rest, Satin silver interior door handles, 2 x 12 volt power outlets (front console), Driver & passenger sunvisors with vanity mirrors and extensions.
MP3 compatible CD player with AM/FM tuner & My Music function (MP3 copy function from USB/MP3 CD), 6 speakers (front door, rear door & front tweeters), AUX/USB input with iPod® compatibility (on selected iPod® models), Bluetooth® functionality (phone/media stream), Steering wheel mounted audio/Bluetooth® controls, Manual air-conditioning, Roof mounted antenna