Sedan in a sports coat

Cer­ato four-door, a Hyundai cousin, shows flair and value in a hard-fought sec­tor

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Road Test - NEIL DOWLING neil.dowling@cars­guide.com.au

KIA and Hyundai are the Korean cousins who rarely kiss and in­sist on dress­ing in dif­fer­ent clothes so buy­ers can tell them apart. Shared plat­forms and driv­e­trains abound with th­ese two but some­times, just some­times, there’s enough of a change to make an ap­pre­cia­ble dif­fer­ence. The Cer­ato sedan does.

VALUE

The Cer­ato sedan is fresh from its Fe­bru­ary launch in Chicago. There are ex­tra fea­tures but prices haven’t changed. Nor should they, the Cer­ato is hard up against some fierce ri­vals in a sec­tor where win­ners and losers are sep­a­rated by a few hun­dred dollars.

The Si is the mid-spec model and at $25,990 for the au­to­matic is the best value. Rear cam­era, 16-inch al­loys with full-size spare and sixs­peaker au­dio with Blue­tooth are in­cluded.

Tech­ni­cally it’s a sim­ple car, though it gets an up-spec engine. The fur­ther lures are its prac­ti­cal­ity, good build qual­ity, raft of fea­tures, top-deck war­ranty and ex­cel­lent fiveyear capped-price ser­vice pro­gram that in­cludes— if you stick with a Kia deal­er­ship — a five-year road­side as­sist pack­age.

DE­SIGN

Neat as a pin. This new­bie is 30mm longer, 25mm lower and has a 50mm longer wheel­base than the old sedan. In fact, the wheel­base is now the same as Kia’s Sorento SUV and is shared with the Hyundai Elantra. It’s a very slip­pery, good look­ing shape that was penned in the US but looks more Euro­pean. The slop­ing roofline hints at poor rear head­room but there’s ac­tu­ally plenty of space, pri­mar­ily be­cause the car is very low. The boot is big, the split rear seats fold down flat and its qual­ity ma­te­ri­als in­clude Golf-es­que seats, an at­trac­tive dash­board with car­bon fi­bre-look fin­ishes and soft plas­tics.

The sporty driv­ing po­si­tion is in­fin­itely vari­able. The down­side is the front and rear cor­ners are in­vis­i­ble— typ­i­cal of its con­tem­po­raries— but park sen­sors and a stan­dard rear cam­era are saviours.

TECH­NOL­OGY

This could be termed a Hyundai Elantra in new clothes. Kia picks up ex­tra tricks in­clud­ing a peppy yet

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