Korean hatches dif­fer yet are sim­i­lar. plots their strengths and weak­nesses

Herald Sun - Motoring - - HEAD TO HEAD - Peter Barn­well

KIA CER­ATO SLI HATCH VALUE

The Cer­ato’s price is drive-away, which makes it $1660 cheaper in the traf­fic. It has an ar­ray of ad­vanced driver as­sist tech­nol­ogy along with gen­er­ous lux­ury fea­tures. In SLi spec, it has leather, Ap­ple CarPlay and An­droid Auto, ded­i­cated sat­nav, dual-zone cli­mate con­trol and so on. War­ranty is seven years/un­lim­ited km and capped price ser­vic­ing for three years/45,000km costs $985.

DE­SIGN/TECH

The re­vamp looks a bit like a cheese wedge in pro­file. Kia has dressed it up with splashes of chrome, new lights and the corporate “dog bone” grille, with the roomy in­te­rior un­der­go­ing a sim­i­lar re­fresh. Car­bon trim inserts look cool but the in­te­rior doesn’t feel as mod­ern as the i30. Has a large touch­screen and plenty of di­als to play with, though.

EN­GINE

The Cer­ato runs an older-tech multi-point in­jec­tion 2.0-litre four cylin­der (112kW/192Nm) that’s been around for yonks. The ra­tio­nale is that it’s eas­ier to meet com­ing Euro6 emis­sions reg­u­la­tions. It con­sumes a claimed 7.1L/100km. Trans­mis­sion for the SLi is six-speed auto only driv­ing the front wheels.

SAFETY

It’s a five-star per­former with seven airbags and the nec­es­sary range of safety kit as­so­ci­ated with that rat­ing. How­ever, Kia equips this model with such highly de­sir­able driver as­sist fea­tures as blind spot de­tec­tion, lane change as­sist, rear cross traf­fic alert and lane de­par­ture warn­ing plus for­ward col­li­sion warn­ing, auto head­lights and wipers and a re­verse cam­era.

DRIV­ING

The Cer­ato’s sus­pen­sion tune is cal­i­brated for a sporty drive feel. It’s handy to drive with verve, giv­ing more en­gage­ment than you’d ex­pect from a hatch­back econobox. De­spite its age, Cer­ato has su­pe­rior drive feel com­pared with most com­peti­tors. The en­gine is OK but doesn’t func­tion as smoothly with the auto as the i30. There’s a bit of a rum­ble from un­der the bon­net. The driv­ing po­si­tion is widely ad­justable.

HYUNDAI i30SR PRE­MIUM VALUE

This top-of-the-range i30 scores plenty of kit, Hyundai’s new­est di­rect in­jec­tion en­gine and ar­rest­ing looks but it misses out on ad­vanced driver as­sis­tance tech­nol­ogy. As the top-spec i30, the SR Pre­mium gets Ap­ple CarPlay, rear-view cam­era, rear park as­sist, leather trim, auto head­lights and wipers, sat­nav and plenty of lux­ury good­ies. Capped price ser­vic­ing is avail­able over three years/45,000km and costs $747. The war­ranty is five years/ un­lim­ited km.

DE­SIGN/TECH

Hand­some from every ex­ter­nal an­gle and in­side, new i30 sits at the front of the pack in de­sign terms. Driv­ing is fa­cil­i­tated by a roomy in­te­rior and func­tional dash with 7.0-inch touch­screen. Ded­i­cated sat­nav backs up stream­ing from your phone. It has a ba­sic tor­sion beam rear sus­pen­sion. Rear air­con ducts are a bonus as is the 10-way driver’s seat ad­just­ment.

EN­GINE

There’s a nat­u­rally as­pi­rated, 2.0-litre di­rect in­jec­tion four-cylin­der (124kW/201Nm) un­der the bon­net and other tech­nol­ogy to boost power and cut emis­sions and fuel con­sump­tion. Six-speed man­ual and auto are the trans­mis­sion op­tions. Min­i­mal en­gine noise in­trudes into the cabin and drive is to the front wheels. Fuel con­sump­tion is 7.7L/100km.

SAFETY

Five stars all the way with the ben­e­fit of seven airbags as well as a strong chas­sis and ad­vanced ma­te­ri­als. But as al­ready men­tioned, there is a glar­ing lack of equip­ment such as au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, 360-de­gree cam­era, blind spot warn­ing or lane keep­ing etc.

DRIV­ING

The i30 is a good thing to drive in all nor­mal en­vi­ron­ments and has a sporty flavour in keep­ing with its looks. Hyundai’s lo­cal en­gi­neer­ing in­put shows in the way it rides and han­dles and of par­tic­u­lar note is how well the en­gine and auto trans­mis­sion op­er­ate — the driv­e­line is silky smooth like a lux­ury car.

VER­DICT This is line ball. Do you want ad­vanced driver as­sis­tance or a more mod­ern look­ing cabin and a new tech­nol­ogy en­gine? For me, it’s the i30

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