The Kia Cerato has recently been in for a makeover and now it has a new family face and some useful new tech.
It’s a great value buy at $19,990 drive away with automatic transmission and a seven year warranty.
Cheap as chips then, but it doesn’t feel it. In fact the 2017 Kia Cerato feels like a considerably more expensive car.
Built beautifully using high quality materials, the Kia Cerato S is a great car to live with, and it’s small footprint contradicts the available space in the cabin.
With a dash that swoops away toward the bonnet, and small but important quarter windows forward of the front doors, the clever design implies spaciousness and provides excellent visibility.
The driving position has you sitting down in the car as opposed to on it, and the layout is functional yet stylish.
The steering wheel is a bit like something from a Formula 1 car with a myriad of buttons to control audio, media, phone, cruise and trip info.
For just an $500 in the base car you can option a decent 7″ central colour touch screen that has easily navigable menus in big, easy to read font and a reverse camera.
Everything that should be there in 2016 is in the Kia Cerato.
You won’t pay extra for parking sensors front and rear, a decent sound system that streams music via Bluetooth or USB input (it even displays album artwork on the screen), auto headlights with fog lights front and rear, heated mirrors, chrome tipped exhaust and a full sized spare wheel.
The standard cloth trim is welcoming and warm although the large expanses of black plastics used for the dash could be considered a little dull.
There’s as much room in the back seat as you’d expect, and in hatch form the boot is considerable, able to swallow a full set of golf clubs, buggy and all.
On the road the Cerato is competent and composed.
In Sport mode there’s some extra weight added to the steering and with the Australian suspension tune there’s a nice balance of compliance and stiffness.
In fact the Cerato is quite an accomplished handler.
There’s a good stance that sets you up well to take a corner in anger and pull it off with surprising pace. Only the biggest bumps mid-corner will upset the Kia; it’s always predictable.
The little 2.0 litre four-cylinder isn’t endowed with huge reserves of power (112kw and 192Nm), and it does tend to get a bit ragged at the top of the rev range, but overall it does the job required of it.
The six-speed automatic is a good little unit too…decisive and smooth.
Fuel economy isn’t anything to write home about at 8.2 litres per 100km as tested, but it’s far from embarrassing.
The Cerato scores the full five star safety rating from ANCAP.
In addition to the fully transferable seven year warranty (just think how that will help your resale value when you sell your four year old Cerato with three years of new car warranty left on it!),.
Kia also has a seven year capped price service program.
You can buy the package at the same time as you buy the car, and you could even include it in your finance package.
At $2579 for the seven years (or 105,000km), it’s great peace of mind, and has the added benefit laying out all the costs of the car at the outset.
With its more mature new look, generous standard equipment and an agility and handling prowess that belies its price, it’s hard to go wrong with the Kia Cerato.
NUTS and BOLTS - 2016 Kia Cerato S
Engine: 2.0 litre four-cylinder developing 112kW and 192Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic or six-speed manual
Warranty: Seven years
Safety: Five star
Origin: South Korea
Price: from $19,990