MODEL: KIA CERATO
SIXTH on the sales ladder is good, and more than good enough, for many car brands. Not Kia. And definitely not for Cerato.
The brand is looking to grow sales by expanding appeal of its budget small beyond the current 45-plus age group who dominate Cerato deliveries.
After months as a run-out special, with an effective showroom deal at $18,990, compact Kia is finally getting the work it needs to make run Toyota Corolla, Mazda3 and Hyundai i30 that dominate class.
The price line for new Cerato sedan hatch is rock solid at $19,990 on the road.
range of midlife updates includes a 2.0-litre petrol engine as standard, nose with bigger grille opening and smaller headlamps, improved interior trim
fittings, sharper suspension and more safety equipment throughout the line-up.
“Our strategy was to add value to this midlife upgrade. The pricing has remain unchanged for the volume variants,” says Kia Motors Australia boss Damien Meredith.
“Drive-away been one of the great things our success. We’ve kept consistency with our pricing. We’re not going to change that now.
“Our goal this model is break into the top five. I think fourth is where we should be.”
The updated Cerato definitely drives well for class and, after Carsguide cited harsh ride and noisy cabin of the previous model, there has been a lot improvement. Even Nexen tyres on are better.
Six airbags are standard Kia Australia says it retains the five-star ANCAP score, although there is still PRICE: $19,990-$32,990 drive away WARRANTY: 7 yr/unlimited km CAPPED SERVICING: From $2579 for years SERVICE INTERVAL: 12 months/15,000km SAFETY: 5 stars ENGINE: 2.0-litre 4-cyl, 112kW/192Nm TRANSMISSION: 6-speed man/ auto; FWD THIRST: 7.1L/100km WEIGHT: From 1770kg SPARE: Full-size alloy (steel on base model)
no reversing camera on the starter car. A $500 option pack that includes a isn’t available the basic manual variant.
“If we could get reverse in under $20,000, would,” says Meredith.
In 2016 line-up of sedan and hatch, the 2.0-litre engine loses the outgoing engine’s direct fuel injection. Kia says it’s happy with 112kW/192Nm owners will like 7.1L/100km economy. The six-speed manual gearbox is available only on the Cerato S, an auto as standard S Premium, Si and SLi.
infotainment is improved on all models. It’s worth getting option pack just to get a bigger display screen. the has front rear parking radar, even without a camera back.
Kia’s suspension guru Graeme Gambold has improved steering feel and response as well as the stability of the chassis, despite going much firmer on all settings.
On the safety front, the Si gets blind-spot and lane-change warnings, SLi has a forward collision warning, lane departure assist upgraded stability control.
As always, Kia is trumpeting the longest factory warranty in Australia — seven years — and capped-price servicing costs which it claims are the best class.
ON THE ROAD
The bolder nose means the Cerato now stands out in traffic and we’ve always liked styling of sedan and hatch.
It’s hard to see or feel much improvement cabin but car is definitely quieter on the go. The six-speed manual has a light feel but few will appreciate this as they go for the auto with newly added driving mode selector.
move up model range brings more comfort and kit but the basic feel is much same.
In corners, the tyres on S roll around a bit. The upspec cars have more basic grip but few Cerato drivers will reach the limits.
The ride is good, with no thumping or banging, reflecting again wisdom of proper suspension and steering tuning in Australia. Even on some awful country roads north Sydney the Cerato drives well, for class and particularly the price.
Looking at its rivals, there is every reason to consider — take
a in a value-for-money cross-shop against Hyundai i30, and the warranty and running costs also bring it into consideration
Toyota Corolla or Mazda3. It’s not as well known as those models but looks good drives better now after update. The Cerato is still the best in the class
it’s more than enough.