KIA CER­ATO SLi

Herald Sun - Motoring - - HEAD TO HEAD -

VALUE

The seven-year war­ranty, road­side as­sist and capped-price ser­vice pro­gram make this brand almost a no-brainer. It has sim­i­lar fea­tures to the Elantra but adds lit­tle items such as ven­ti­lated driver’s seat, rear air­con vents, fold­ing mir­rors and front park sen­sors. Has a more mod­ern en­gine, too. Capped­price ser­vice costs $957 for three years and re­sale is 50 per cent.

DE­SIGN

Wedge shape is sim­i­lar to the Elantra’s and that’s all good. Sub­jec­tively has a pret­tier nose. A slightly dif­fer­ent boot line snips boot space to 482L over Elantra but you scarcely no­tice. Dash is less glitzy than Elantra and looks sus­pi­ciously like a Volk­swa­gen prod­uct.

TECH­NOL­OGY

Kia jumps the queue over Hyundai here with a mod­ern 2.0‒litre (129kW/209Nm). It’s more re­spon­sive, quicker and only frac­tion­ally thirstier at 7.4L/100km. It shares Elantra’s six‒speed auto trans­mis­sion and the ob­scure three‒mode steer­ing pro­gram.

SAFETY

Same rat­ing and gen­eral fea­tures as the Elantra but adds front park sen­sors, brake emer­gency dis­play, LED tail lights and heated mir­rors, though misses out on Hyundai’s ex­cel­lent bi‒xenon lights. Matches the other’s full-size spare on an al­loy wheel.

DRIV­ING

En­gine is more sparkling but de­spite the up‒mar­ket tech­nol­ogy, won’t touch the zip of ri­vals such as the Golf. Han­dling is good, with ac­cu­rate turn in and very good com­fort that matches some big­ger sedans, rat­ing here a bit above Hyundai.

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