Kia’s next Cerato has two, four and five-door versions
The car was designed in Los Angeles and is badged as the Forte for America. Only those badges and the final tweaking will change for Australia
‘‘ The sedan will be in April, followed by the five-door— probably in July— and the twodoor Koup late in the year,’’ confirms Kevin Hepworth of Kia Motors Australia.
‘‘ The Cerato is our volume car. The sedan is one of our main fleet cars and the hatch is the top-selling model. Even in runout at the moment the old car is selling strongly.’’
He cannot talk about Cerato pricing, which currently starts just a little under $20,000 for sedan and hatch alike, but is not forecasting any dramatic change for customers. ‘‘ We’ve got no idea on price at this stage. But it will be typical Kia, so if there is an increase at all it won’t be big,’’ Hepworth says.
The emphasis in LA is on the car’s design, including a significant upgrade in cabin quality and extra standard equipment at all levels. But the third-generation car is also longer, lower and wider than the one it will replace.
The styling is bold and, in some ways, the Cerato looks like a shrunken Optima. Inside, it looks good and the American models are promised with everything from Bluetooth streaming and fan-forced seat cooling to satellite radio and an LCD dashboard display.
None of the equipment, or a mechanical package with two engines and six-speed manuals and autos for the US, is confirmed yet for Australia.
‘‘ It’s largely about the design at the moment,’’ says Hepworth.
‘‘ And timing is important, because last time we didn’t have a hatch until 18 months from the end of the model. At the moment the engines look like a carry-over 2.0-litre from the existing model.
‘‘ But the ride-and-handling team have got to the car quite early and done significant work. We have the timing, we have a natural progression of models, and it’s a style-driven vehicle.’’
Spaced out: The LAdesigned Forte is our next Cerato