In simple terms this is Kia’s second attempt at a C-segment hatchback; but delving a little deeper sees the Korean manufacturer continuing the trend of moving away from solely focussing on value for money. So the new Kia Cerato hatch comes with a sufficiently large price tag to rival some segment stalwarts; but don’t be too easily fooled, Kia hasn’t forgotten to throw in all the extras as standard kit, so you’re still getting more for less.
On the outside
While the underpinnings may not have changed significantly, the new interior and body work give the Kia Cerato much more appeal against the likes of the Ford Focus, or even VW’s Golf 7. It’s adopted a sophisticated profile, large wheels and a more aggressive posture to give it a distinctly European appearance that speaks to Kia’s intentions for the Cerato. A nice touch is the additional of LED daytime lights at the front; and the use of LED’s in the read cluster, which add to the fresh, modern appeal of the Cerato.
On the inside
The interior has undergone a complete overhaul, showing well thought out design and a quality finish that compliments the overall build quality. Premium materials, soft touch points and neat chrome accents abound (even in my base model). The cabin takes on a layout more similar to the Optima and is loaded with premium goodies like automatic lights, Bluetooth hands-free and a multi-function steering wheel. There’s a real sense that Kia has considered every aspect of the previous car in order to improve on it – which means you get a bigger, more practical boot; the rear is easier to get in and out of; even the seats are more comfortable.
Behind the wheel
My Kia Cerato was powered by the same basic 1.6 litre four pot carried over from previous models; only with a few minor tweaks that now see it generating 95kW and 157 torques. It’s a revvy little motor that needs a bit of work to get going, but will reward the effort. The six speed manual gearbox is smooth and light in its operation and helps keep the fuel bills in check.
Kia don’t place much focus on creating a car for the driving enthusiast – and the Cerato Hatch is no different. What they have mastered however is refinement. The Kia Cerato is unbelievably quiet (provided you’re not working the little motor) and it absorbs bumps better than any competitors making it supremely comfortable, if a bit soft in the corners.
While the price tag may not be as cheap as it used to be, the Kia Cerato Hatch continues to offer brilliant value for money and has grown into a real competitor in the C-segment through meticulous vehicle development.
Price: R 233 995
Engine: 1591cc four cylinder petrol
Power: 95 kW
Torque: 157 Nm
Acceleration (0-100km/h): 10.1
Top Speed (km/h): 200
Consumption (l/100km): 6.6 (claimed)
Service: 5yr/90 000km service plan
First published in Autodealer KZN