AT A GLANCE

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - FIRST DRIVE -

Cer­ato sedan and hatch is rock solid at $19,990 on the road.

The range of midlife up­dates in­cludes a 2.0-litre petrol en­gine as stan­dard, a new nose with big­ger grille open­ing and smaller head­lamps, im­proved in­te­rior trim and fit­tings, sharper sus­pen­sion and more safety equip­ment through­out the line-up.

“Our strat­egy was to add value to this midlife up­grade. The pric­ing has re­mained un­changed for the vol­ume vari­ants,” says Kia Mo­tors Aus­tralia boss Damien Mered­ith.

“Drive-away pric­ing has been one of the great things for our suc­cess.

“We’ve kept the con­sis­tency with our pric­ing. We’re not go­ing to change that now.

“Our goal with this model is to break into the top five. I think fourth is where we should be.”

The up­dated Cer­ato def­i­nitely drives well for the class and, af­ter Cars­guide cited the harsh ride and noisy cabin of the pre­vi­ous model, there has been a lot of im­prove­ment. Even the Nexen tyres on the Cer­ato are a lot bet­ter.

Six airbags are stan­dard and Kia Aus­tralia says it re­tains the five-star ANCAP score, although there is still no re­vers­ing cam­era on the starter

PRICE

$19,990-$32,990 drive-away

WAR­RANTY

7 years/un­lim­ited km

CAPPED SER­VIC­ING

From $2579 for 7 years

SER­VICE IN­TER­VAL

12 months/15,000km 5 stars

SAFETY EN­GINE

2.0-litre 4-cyl, 112kW/192Nm

TRANS­MIS­SION

6-speed man/auto; FWD 7.1L/100km

THIRST DI­MEN­SIONS

Sedan 4560mm/hatch 4350mm (L), 1780mm (W), 1435mm/1450mm (H), 2700mm (WB)

From 1770kg Full-size al­loy (steel on base model)

WEIGHT SPARE

Im­proved in­fo­tain­ment, more safety gear on up­spec mod­els, five-star ANCAP rat­ing af­ter sub­mis­sions from Korea on the body changes.

Stan­dard 2.0-litre im­proves econ­omy. Pad­dle-shifters are needed for keen driv­ers to tap into the per­for­mance.

The Cer­ato gets a worth­while boost in cor­ner­ing grip, steer­ing feel and ride con­trol. Even the Nexen tyres are bet­ter.

Big­ger grille open­ing with smaller lamps makes the front more ag­gres­sive, wheel de­signs are new, small changes in­side in­clud­ing chrome trim around air vents.

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