Although the letter in a segment signifies the vehicles size it should signify “commodity” in the C-segment.. This intensely competitive section leaves manufacturers little room to manouevre as they compete for fleet sales and buyers looking for practicality above all else.
So to be presented with a vehicle that looks good is, in itself, refreshing. Add to this excellent build quality and the Cerato presents a very respectable package.
The Cerato five-door has an aggressive front fascia dominated by what Kia refer to as their ‘tiger grille’ with larger bumper and grille openings and black gloss grille inserts. Kia have also moved slightly up market with the new hatch adding LED tail lights and twin chrome exhaust tips lurking beneath a sporty rear valance.
The new Cerato hatch is slightly larger than its predecessor, which translates into slightly more space for occupants and luggage.
Those occupants are now more protected than before with all models featuring ABS with EBD, active headrests, impact-sensing auto door unlock and six airbags, driver, front passenger, side and curtain.
The higher grade SX model adds ESC, HAC (Hill-start Assist Control), which prevents slip-back during stop-start driving on inclines, and a VSM (Vehicle Stability Management) system that works with the ESC to provide ‘corrective’ steering inputs to help the driver avoid loss of control.
The all-new Cerato will be offered in three different equipment levels across two engines – the 1.6 EX, 2.0 EX and 2.0 SX when the two-litre models arrive next month. The 1.6-litre in-line four-cylinder Gamma engine is the same as before and produces 95 kW and 157Nm.
It is no ball of fire, but does what is required. It is connected to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission and ultimately contributes to a ride that is smooth and comfortable.
The higher specced 2.0 model has the 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder Nu engine, producing 118 kW and 194Nm.
This model will be available in both manual and automatic.
The 1.6 EX comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic light control, Bluetooth, cruise control, electric windows and side mirrors, LED daytime running lights, a radio with MP3, iPod and USB compatibility.l
There are also rear air-vents, six speakers and steering wheel mounted controls.
The 2.0 EX trim further features a Flexsteer system, leather seats, front and rear park distance control and an optional sunroof.
The 2.0 SX ups the ante with standard 17-inch alloy wheels, LED tail-lights, a smart welcome home system, a smart key with a stop/start button, a rear view camera and Xenon headlamps.
The Cerato range comes standard with a five-year/150 000 kilometre warranty, five-year/90 000 kilometre service plan and three-year/unlimited kilometre roadside assistance plan.