Kia Cerato | Auto Express

16 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Kia Cerato | Auto Express
Kia Cerato

Verdict

As with all Kias, the diesel Cerato is excellent value, if a little uninspiring. Anyone keen on image or handling should look elsewhere, but the firm#039;s latest oil-burner will appeal to drivers eager to keep the bills down. Rivals might be more expensive, yet the extra cost is justified by the superior trim, design and engineering quality.

Cash is king in the family car market. Even the most established manufacturers are forced to fight tooth and nail for every sale. Customers will not pay a penny more than they feel they have to, which is where the Kia Cerato comes in.

Although it is still a relatively new name in the UK, Kia has enjoyed enormous success both in its home market of Korea and in the US, where 10-year warranties and low price tags give it an edge over the competition.

The Cerato is designed to bring that blend of value for money to the British family car market. And while we do not get a 10-year warranty, Kia UK does offer a 1.5-litre diesel version, driven here, priced at only £10,995.

This is the most frugal model in the Cerato line-up, and features a 100bhp oil-burning powerplant which develops 235Nm. With peak torque arriving at a lowly 2,000rpm, the Kia provides decent performance and refined acceleration. The manufacturer claims the car will sprint from 0-62mph in 12.5 seconds and hit a maximum speed of 107mph.

Yet while it is comfortable and quiet, the Cerato can feel underpowered on the motorway. By far the biggest letdown, though, is the gearbox.

The CRDi is available only with a five-speed manual transmission, and the lever has a long, imprecise throw. Drivers aren’t likely to take any pleasure from making hurried changes, but at least the transmission is light and easy to use. Few things about driving the Cerato are challenging.

Kia Cerato

The steering will feel over-assisted to those looking for feedback through the wheel, although it is ideal for low- speed town driving. Free of traffic on a twisty B-road, the Kia is still capable, but against European rivals it is underwhelming. There is no entertainment on offer – just a basic efficiency.

One thing few buyers can complain about is fuel economy, as the Cerato returns an impressive 57.6mpg on the combined cycle. The CO2 output is also competitive, but the Kia only complies with outdated Euro III emissions regulations. Not only is that bad news for the environment, but it also means the CRDi incurs hefty tax penalties.

Otherwise, the diesel Cerato is a decent family hatchback package. Its styling is perhaps not as attractive as Citroen’s C4, but it is a big step forward from Kia’s previous models, looking more purposeful and contemporary. And the interior is spacious, thanks to the long wheelbase, while the build quality on the whole is solid.

However, the quality of fabrics and plastics used lags behind that of established rivals. Although we are sure it is hard-wearing, the beige and grey trim does little to lift the car’s visual appeal. At least it is extremely well equipped, and the LX trim includes six airbags, air-con, remote central locking and powered windows as standard.

The lower-spec CRDi is an even more tempting £10,245 – but that does not make it a family hatchback class leader. While the Cerato has the lowest prices in its sector, the competition is better in every area. Just because it is cheap does not mean you should buy one.

Kia Cerato
Kia Cerato
Kia Cerato
Kia Cerato
Kia Cerato
Kia Cerato
Kia Cerato
Kia Cerato
Kia Cerato
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