Cer­ato is a lot of car for the money

Southern Telegraph - - Wheels - Ewan Kennedy

In an ef­fort to fur­ther in­crease sales, Kia has given its Cer­ato bolder styling, new tech­nol­ogy and added Aus­tralian in­flu­ence in its sus­pen­sion de­part­ment, plus re­vised the en­gine range.

All of this with no real changes in prices, which be­gin at $19,990.

Kia’s seven-year un­lim­ited dis­tance war­ranty and seven-year road­side as­sis­tance will con­tinue and they have proved ma­jor sell­ing points.

As be­fore, the Kia Cer­ato comes as a four-door sedan or five-door hatch­back. The model grades are Kia S, S Pre­mium, Si and SLi.

A facelift sees black or gloss black trim for Kia’s “tiger-nose” grille, new bumper, head­lights and fog­lights, all sit­ting in front of a new bon­net.

The hatch­backs are un­changed at the rear, but the sedan has a new rear bumper and tail lights. The semi-coupe pro­file on these Kias works nicely.

In­side, there are new trim ma­te­ri­als on the dash­board, doors, cen­tre fas­cia and con­sole, set off by a metal­lic fin­ish around the air vents. The over­head con­sole has a sun­glasses holder.

A launch spe­cial sees the Cer­ato S au­to­matic at no ex­tra charge for the auto, at $19,990.

An op­tional $500 pack­age on the $19,990 Cer­ato S adds a rear view cam­era, An­droid Auto and au­to­matic head­lights, giv­ing you a lot of car for $20,490 drive-away.

This time round, all Cer­atos have the same en­gine, a 2.0-litre four­cylin­der that sits be­side ei­ther a six-speed man­ual (only in the S grade) or a six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion in all four grades.

The en­gine pro­duces 112kW of power and 192Nm of torque and is Euro 4 com­pli­ant.

Kia Cer­ato S has 16-inch steel wheels, power win­dows, pro­jec­tor head­lights, 3.5-inch TFT LCD in­stru­ment clus­ter, cruise con­trol, front and rear park­ing sen­sors, and key­less en­try.

The S Pre­mium adds 16-inch al­loys with full size al­loy spare, au­to­matic lights, seven-inch LCD touch screen with satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion and rear view cam­era, with ad­di­tional soft-touch in­te­rior sur­faces.

The Cer­ato Si adds leather­trimmed seats, rear air vents, smart key with push-but­ton start, elec­tric fold­ing mir­rors, il­lu­mi­nated van­ity mir­rors, chrome ac­cents on ex­te­rior door han­dles, win­dow sur­rounds and wiper arms.

Top-of-the-line Kia Cer­ato SLi fea­tures 17-inch al­loy wheels with full-sized al­loy spare, al­loy-faced ped­als, pad­dle shifters, dual-zone cli­mate con­trol, LED day­time run­ning lights, eight-way power driver’s seat ad­just­ment, heated and ven­ti­lated driver’s seat and heated pas­sen­ger seat, sun­roof, and HID head­lights.

The Cer­ato is avail­able in clear white, with seven pre­mium op­tions at an ex­tra charge of $520 — aurora black, grav­ity blue, planet blue, snow white pearl, metal stream, silky sil­ver and temp­ta­tion red.

Safety is well catered for, with the Cer­ato hav­ing a five-star rat­ing. All mod­els have six airbags, ABS brakes with elec­tronic brake­force dis­tri­bu­tion and brake as­sist, elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol with trac­tion con­trol sys­tem and ve­hi­cle sta­bil­ity man­age­ment.

Kia Cer­ato Si also has blind spot de­tec­tion with lane change as­sist and rear cross traf­fic alert. The topline Cer­ato SLi also has lane de­par­ture warn­ing and for­ward col­li­sion warn­ing.

On the road dur­ing an ex­ten­sive drive pro­gram from Sydney air­port to the Hunter Val­ley and back we tested a num­ber of Cer­atos.

The sus­pen­sion has been fur­ther tuned for Aus­tralian driv­ers’ tastes and feels very good for a car in this class. Though we get the firmest set­tings of any Kia on the mar­ket, the ride re­mains com­pli­ant on roads and there is lit­tle tyre noise.

Han­dling is not ex­actly sports sedan, but is closer than you might ex­pect.

Re­freshed Kia Cer­ato of­fers a lot of style, equip­ment and chas­sis dy­nam­ics for a very mod­est price.

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