Kia is company on the rise in this country and with sharp pricing, decent equipment levels and an industry leading 7 year unlimited km warranty you can understand why people attracted to them.
The small car class is one of best selling classes on the Australian market but with what seems a gazillion choices out there it’s not very competitive but price sensitive as well.
The Kia Cerato is starting gain popularity and with car buyers available in 4 trim levels across both sedan and hatch body styles there seems to be a Cerato to suit every buyer.
Now if you don’t have to have newest model or you are shopping for your first car or your looking for decently priced small car to use as a second family car or a car to commute to work in then the Cerato should really be on your radar specially since should be able to pick up some a bargin with this model in runout.
So as the new model Cerato is due out shortly I thought I would take a different tact with this review and see how well it does shape up for somebody in the one of the catagories above.
This week I’m taking a look at the Cerato S AV which sits on the middle rung of the Cerato ladder.
The Cerato comes essentially in 2 trim models spread across 4 models (5 if you count the entry level manual S), the S and the Sport I’m driving the Cerato S AV which you might as well say sits on the middle rung of the Cerato ladder.
On the outside I do like the front end styling with its nicely shaped head projector lights blend in nicely with Kia’s trade mark Tiger Nosed grille and the fog lights on the lower corners combine to give it a nice cohesive look while not being over the top or in your face. The rear end again is rather subdued and not over top but in turn it doesn’t take anything away from the overall look.
Stepping inside and Cerato isn’t exactly flash with a lot of hard plastics mixed with some softer plastics, but it’s not off putting and everything is functional and easy to reach from the drivers seats. The cloth seats are a little on the flat side but fairly comfortable, although for some reason I couldn’t find he ideal comfortable driving position I’ve found in other Ceratos.
The main thing I don’t like is the steering wheel it’s hard and plastic and not real comfortable to hold, but it does have buttons for the phone, cruise and trip meter.
The Cerato S is not blessed with a massive amount of features but audio system accessed via the 6inch touch screen has full Bluetooth connectivity and apple carplay and android auto functions.
But for some unknown reason whether it was a hiccup with my phone or car I just couldn’t get android auto to work properly. But I could still stream my music via Bluetooth so that was main thing.
Head and leg room is the front great and there is plenty of storage spaces including to bottle holders in the doors nice tray under the centre stack that has usb and 12 volt sockets, 2 cup holders in the centre console and little storage bin.
Leg and head room is in the back is also pretty good I tend to have my seat back a little further others do back I can sit behind the driver seat without my knees touching the back of the seat.
Shoulder room is not bad but although it seats 5 the middle person might find it a touch snug.
Storage is pretty good with 2 cup holders and 2 bottle holders in each door, boot space is pretty good at 385L which is on par with the golf but more than the corolla or mazda 3 and will easily fit a weeks shopping.
Under the bonnet the Cerato is powered by a 2L MPI 4 cylinder naturally aspirated engine rated at 112kW and 192Nm and is backed by nice 6 speed automatic, I did find with it’s lack of torque it couldn’t cope on my commute as well some other cars I’ve tested which effected the fuel economy with me struggling to make the high 10’s for the week. I will say that this maybe just my commute where the lowest speed limit is 70km/h so there is a lot of stop, start and accelerating up to 70 or 80km/h there a couple of decent hills as well which inconveniently have traffic lights at the bottom that i seem to always get court at. So I am definately sure that I could really improve the figures in different conditions.
The cerato does come with a selectable drive mode which lets you choose from econ, normal and sport and found the sport mode a saving grace for my circumstances but again it did effect fuel economy. Despite some of it’s short falls I found the engine to me quite willing and wanting to rev and had didn’t have an issue keeping up with traffic or cruise on the freeway.
On the road I find the Cerato rides rather nicely absorbing most of the bumps and bangs on your typical Sydney B road without transmitting any hashness into the cabin, the 3 modes do adjust the weight of the steering as well and found the economy a touch on the light side for me and some might find the sport a little too heavy but I really liked the feel of the psort as it made me feel more connected.
Safety wise the Cerato S has achieved a 5 star safety rating and comes standard with the usual suspects you would expect 6 airbags, ABS, ESC, hill start assist, vehicle stability management does get full points for having front and rear parking sensors and bonus points for the rear view camera.
So after a week my main question was did the Cerato fit the bill for somebody who is in one of those categories I mentioned in the beginning and I think yes does specially when you look at the pricing with it being runout you can pick up a Cerato S AV for $19,990 and given that it rides and drives pretty good it’s comfortable to drive to work and back daily and it does comes come with a decent amount of safety figures.