2021 Kia Cerato review: New looks and tech for more money

South Korea’s popular little hatches and sedans have arrived in Australia, but bargain hunters may be due to a rude shock.

Kia is the latest manufacturer to break away from the bargain driveaway price of small cars and launch the latest Cerato sedans and hatches for cars starting at $ 25,990.

Just two years ago, you were able to get a Cerato car for a $ 21,990 drive away.

The new price is still about $ 1,700 less than its rival Toyota Corolla and about $ 3,000 below the Mazda3, but it still has an extensive standard equipment list and a class-leading 7-year warranty, a new look, more safety, and more. Complemented by better technology.

Manufacturers have abolished the cheapest manual option, which accounts for only 1% of sales.

The new Cerato has standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, both accessible from an 8-inch touch screen. Curiously, only Android Auto works with a cord connection.

Cerato automatically brakes for cars and pedestrians, stays in the lane, and gently pulls on the steering wheel when wandering.

If you need radar cruise control, blind spot warnings, or rear crossing traffic warnings, you need to add an optional safety pack. The additional charge is $ 1500.

The base model has a fabric seat, a durable plastic surface, 16-inch steel wheels, a rear air conditioner vent, and three USB charging points.

The Sport Grade is a $ 27,990 driveaway with a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen, 17-inch alloy wheels and a better steering wheel, but a safety pack is optional.

The Sport + version comes standard with all safety technologies and comes with comfortable heated leather seats and self-folding side mirrors for $ 31,690.

The top-spec GT version (priced at $ 36,990) dials up power with a 1.6-liter turbo engine instead of the standard 2.0-liter and sportier suspension tune. There are also heated, cooled, powered and adjustable sports seats, wireless device charging, 18-inch alloy wheels and flat-bottomed sports steering wheels.

The Cerato has a spacious cabin and ample space for adults in the back seats. Cargo space is above average with 502 liters for sedans and 434 liters for hatches.

Unfortunately, none of the models have a digital instrument display.

The standard 2.0-liter engine makes a fine 112kW and 192Nm and is paired with a 6-speed auto, while the GT 1.6-liter unit makes a vibrant 150kW and 265Nm and is combined with a 7-speed dual clutch auto.

The cheaper variation of the 2.0-liter engine needs to spin reasonably hard when overtaking, but it’s more than enough growls for city commuting and highway cruising.

Kia’s local suspension tune is great. The cabin is well isolated from road and tire noise while absorbing bumps and waveforms of all shapes and sizes.

However, the steering may feel a little numb.

The claimed fuel consumption is 7.4L / 100km, but we managed about 8.3L / 100km in a mixture of urban areas and winding country roads.

The GT’s driving is significantly sharper due to the strong lowdown impulse from the turbo engine and the rapid fire gear shift from the dual clutch auto. Not thirsty, I only drink 6.9L / 100km.

The steering feels more direct and the stiffer suspension helps keep the planted in peace through the corners. The trade-off is that you can’t comfortably get over the streets of the city center with pockmarks.

It can be more expensive than before, but Cerato is still cost-effective, especially considering the 7-year / unlimited km warranty and 7-year free roadside assistance.

The cap price service is an expensive aspect, but the cheaper model costs about $ 3000 in 7 years and the GT costs $ 3,300.

VERDICT 3.5 / 5

With its handsome style, full of equipment, and high price, the Cerato doesn’t do much bad.


price: Drive away from $ 27,490

engine: 2.0 liter 4-cylinder gasoline, 112kW / 192Nm

Warranty / Service: 7 years / unlimited km, $ 2015 in 5 years.

safety: 5 stars, 6 airbags, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assistance. Optional safety pack blind spot warning and rear intersection traffic warning.

thirst: 7.4L / 100km

Spare: Temporary steel

cargo: 502L (sedan), 434L (hatch)

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