Sedan in a sports coat
Cerato four-door, a Hyundai cousin, shows flair and value in a hard-fought sector
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.
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.
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.
This could be termed a Hyundai Elantra in new clothes. Kia picks up extra tricks including a peppy yet