Reader review: Kia Cerato 1,6 EX and 2,0 SX « CAR magazine Blog

1 Aug 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Reader review: Kia Cerato 1,6 EX and 2,0 SX « CAR magazine Blog
Kia Cerato

Reader review: Kia Cerato 1,6 EX and 2,0 SX

Kia surprised everybody, even its competitors, by replacing the Cerato with a new model range after only three years.

The question that needs to be asked, is whether the new range is a step forward, or whether a facelift of the previous generation would have been enough? The new range consists of the 1,6 EX, the 2,0 EX and the 2,0 SX, all available with either a manual or an automatic transmission. I took the manual versions of the 1,6 EX and the 2,0 SX for a test drive to see whether any progress has been made.

The previous Cerato range, sedan, hatchback and Koup, were all attractive cars, but the new sedan is even more so. The new Kia “family look” works extremely well on the Cerato, and it is possible thatit will remain fresh for longer than its “stablemate”, the Hyundai Elantra. The EX models are fitted with 16-inch alloy whels, whereas the SX has 17 inch wheels, and the good news is that a full-size spare wheel is standard equipment on all models.

The SX also has a rear spoiler which is almost invisible unless you look closely. This is far better than some of the vulgar spoilers some manufacturers insisted on fitting to their cars in the 1990’s.

The interior of both models are very well-equipped, and a full complement of airbags, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, a comprehensive sound system, a trip computer and remote steering wheel controls are standard across the range. The SX does a whole lot better; it adds features like a rear view camera, park distance control, a smarty key with a start/stop button, and paddle shifts on the automatic version, to name a few.

In fact, it must be one of the most comprehensively-equipped cars on the market for less than R 300 000. The interior is spacious enough for five adults, and its luggage compartment is larger than that of its predecessor. A welcome security feature is that the levers for folding down the rear seats are in the boot, and not on the seats.

Therefore, it is impossible to gain access to the boot for anybody who might break into the interior.

Kia Cerato

Unlike some European competitors, Kia resisted the temptation to fit smaller turbocharged engines, although a 1,6-litre turbo version of the Koup is rumoured to be on the way. On the other hand, a normally aspirated engine has definite advantages, especially when it comes to long-term reliability. Both the 1,6 and the 2,0 are very responsive, and either of them would be suitable for urban and long-distance conditions.

Both versions are fitted with six-speed gearboxes, which will have a positive effect on fuel consumption. The power-assisted steering makes the car easy to control without being too light, and anybody who as never driven it, will feel at home immediately. Needless to say, the 2,0 would be more suitable or those who do a lot of long-distance driving.

The new Cerato is a gentle evolution of the previous model rather than a radically new model. This is not necessarily a bad thing; the previous model proved very popular during its short production life. Because South African motorists have begun to realise that Kia’s products are both sensible and desirable, resale value should also not be a problem.

The only hurdle that stands between the Cerato and even greater success than it has already achieved, is the long waiting lists, and the fact that one has to be very patient if you are very specific about the model and the colour you want. If that is not a problem, you cannot go wrong with either model.

The price difference of R60 000 between the two featured models is perhaps a bit steep, and whereas the previous Cerato was a bargain, the new model is still good value for money despite the fact that it bit more expensive. If you can afford the 2,0 SX, go for it, but the 1,6 is also a worthwhile contender in its price category.

PLEASE NOTE: The opinion expressed in this article is the author’s own and publication does not mean it is endorsed by the CAR magazine editorial staff or RamsayMedia, publishers of CAR magazine.

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