KIA CERATO HATCHBACK 1,6 EX
Is a subtle nip and tuck enough to keep the Cerato relevant in one of the market’s toughest segments?
Y11,09 sec 95 kw/157 N.m 200 km/h OU would be forgiven for not realising the Kia Cerato had recently undergone a facelift. The changes are that subtle. Updates in other markets included a new trim line and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, but here in South Africa, the compact hatch merely makes do with an updated “tiger nose” grille. And that’s basically it; everything else remains the same.
Why the test, then? Well, in our March 2014 issue we pitted the Cerato 1,6 EX sedan against the Toyota Corolla 1,6 Prestige and Hyundai Elantra 1,6 Premium, but we had yet to subject a hatch version to our rigorous road-test procedures. Given how competitive the compact- 7,80 L/100 km 154 g/km hatchback market is, it remains a very relevant test. In that 2014 shootout, the Kia was deemed the victor, but only just. Its sporty nature, competitive pricing and the added security of six airbags contributed to its victory on that occasion, but since then, a lot has changed and most of that involves the weakening of our currency. And that means the Cerato range is now signi cantly more expensive.
It’s not an ideal situation for the Korean, as there are elements in the Cerato that have begun to show signs of age. The dot-matrix LCD infotainment screen is one – though it does remain pleasantly functional – but the climate controls and other switches feel modern and solid to the touch. Overall, the design comes across as clean and the switches and dials are neatly placed.
The necessities are all there as well, and safety features include the aforementioned six airbags and Iso x on the outer rear seats. A centre armrest, rear air ventilation, multifunction steering wheel and cruise control are all specced as standard, while exterior features include LED daytime run-