Kia Cerato tested | TopCar

11 Oct 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Kia Cerato tested | TopCar
Kia Cerato

Kia Cerato


November 8, 2013

I understand that it’s unrealistic to expect all cars to wow with their glamour and good looks, but a little bit of styling goes a long way when it comes to cars. Take the all-new Kia Cerato sedan, for example, with its veritable smorgasbord of safety and convenience features and its sexy new look.

The sedan is the latest Korean to take on the established prize fighters in the C-segment, such as Toyota’s Corolla, VW’s Jetta, Honda’s Civic, Chev’s Cruze and cousin Hyundai’s Elantra, and this time it’s making a rather determined go at it.

The Cerato hatch has since joined the party, if sportier performance is more your thing because, it seems, athleticism and family sedans are not meant to go together. The Cerato, while it proved itself to be very capable as a family shuttle over the test period, did little to inspire any kind of emotion in its driver. Even with the extra power on offer from the flagship’s 2.0-litre, the urge did little to up the sedan’s dynamic appeal.

An overwhelming thought bubble throughout the Cerato’s test period was the word ‘capable’. Kia would, however, like to appeal to drivers using the sedan’s sportier angle. Shorter overhangs and a Flex-Steer steering system with a more rigid Sports option alongside softer Comfort and Normal modes are said to push these ideas.

Instead, Cerato’s sizable boot (482 litres with the rear bench up) and an array of sensible gadgets (such as Bluetooth, automatic light control and MP3 connectivity) are dead giveaways to its family-focused realities. So too, oddly enough, is Flex-Steer, which really only adjusts the steering feel from not-that-light to varying degrees of very-slight feedback. The throttle response and powertrain characteristics are unaffected by the steering system.

It#8217;s unexpected and a little odd.

Overall, Cerato’s six-speed manual transmission, with its limp linkages, and  compliant MacPherson and torsion beam suspension arrangement did little to release any sort of rebellion within me. Kia claims the suspension has been tweaked for added agility, although it was rather cossetting in regular driving stints while feeling stable and unwavering at speed. I do, however, see the appeal for frugal families looking for a softer, more comfortable ride, a quiet cabin and the latest range of modcons, at a fairly reasonable price.

That reasonable price, for the range-topping manual 2.0 SX priced at R289 995, buys you auto xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights and an LED tail light cluster, park distance control, Bluetooth and keyless start-stop, and cruise control. Safety features include six airbags, ABS and EBD and electronic stability control.

Amongst all that kit, another shining light in Kia’s arsenal is the implementation of the manufacturer’s corporate ‘tiger grille’. Designed under the direction of Peter Schreyer, who also happens to be responsible for the design endeavours at sister Hyundai, the current Kia face is becoming increasingly distinctive and memorable.

That’s not to say the Cerato is not memorable, but with so many very decent options available in that segment, how you spend your money really boils down to personal preference. There really is a car to suit every need. If your needs require you to be able to carry a small family and its goods, the Cerato is definitely a sedan worth considering.

Kia Cerato


PRICE | R289 995

ENGINE | 1999cc, 16v 4cyl, 118kW @ 6200rpm, 194Nm @ 4300rpm

TRANSMISSION | 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive

SUSPENSION | MacPherson strut front, torsion beam rear

PERFORMANCE | 210kph,6.9ℓ/100km, 164g/km

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