KIA Cerato Review | SLi Hatch | 2014
In recent years KIA have come up with some cracking new designs and we we’ve been fortunate enough to have been given the chance to test one for a week. The All New Cerato.
No sooner had I turned up at school to pick the boys up, than they were saying “Wow dad, can we keep it?”, “This looks cool dad, does it have a DVD player?”, “How fast does it go?” You know, all the usual stuff and I must say that the more I drove it, the more I wished I only had 1 child and not 3. Now which one would I pick…
Enough about the DVD players already, lets take a look at the car. This New Kia Cerato is covered off by the 3 S’s
for me one of the most stylish small cars on the market with looks to die for and an air of, dare I say opulence on the inside. Did I just say opulence when talking about a KIA?? Alright, it’s not a Maybach but they are putting in a LOT of effort to make your surroundings UBER comfortable. That’s not something that could have been said say 5 years ago.
When I first got in the car I noticed that you sit pretty low compared to say a Golf and anyone with a bad back or dodgy hips will struggle a little. The drivers seat, certainly in the SLi tested, moved up a considerable amount for those who might be on the shorter side. To give you an example, with me being 6ft, my neck was well and truly craning over with the seat on full height. This would probably aid any getting in and out issues you might face.
The other thing we thought was cool was when you turn the car off and open the door, the drivers seat automatically goes back to give you more leg room to get out. It then stays back until you get back in and start the car. Brilliant!
The Faux carbon fibre in the SLi gave the interior a Sporty edge along with the chrome surrounds on the instrument pod and the HUGE Start/Stop button adds to the all-round sporty nature and feel of the car.
There’s a decent enough amount of leg-room in the back for adults and kids alike and the boot space is more than generous for a car of this size. Around 421L which means about 2 decent sized suitcases, hand luggage and coats with a little left for the paper.
There’s lots of storage space including cup/water bottle holders in all door pockets as well as 2 in the front centre section and 2 in the rear arm rest (I think?? – Don’t quote me on that)
Visibility is OK. The front has 1/4 windows in the pillars and the rear screen is on the narrow side so you rely on the rear facing camera a lot. This pops up on the satnav screen with a grid system.
Technology & Gizmos
The list is pretty long in the SLi, here’s the one’s I remembered:
Keyless entry, front and rear ParkAssist, Touch screen satnav, bluetooth connectivity, heated drivers and passengers front seats, cooled driver’s seat (I loved the Cooling!), rear safety camera, electric sunroof, paddle shift gear change, multi-function steering wheel, cooled glovebox, alloy pedals, clutch footrest, trip computer.
If you want the full list just head on over to the KIA Australia website and download yourself the specola’s
With all KIA’s they take the cars and tune them for the Australian roads which for me makes them standout from the crowd in the driving stakes. She soaks up the bumps effortlessly and corners like she’s on rails. Why do we call cars ‘She’? *Shrugs*
The engine… it’s strong enough to get you into and out of trouble, yet mild mannered around town. The exhaust note is not what I expected and remains quiet under normal driving. To stir-it-up properly and get the exhaust making a better noise you have to switch the gearbox to manual and use the paddle shift and apply plenty of loud pedal (The Accelerator!). This really gets her singing. Of course I only did this once, for research purposes…
The gearbox is smooth and straightforward with no real lag or gremlins and so takes care of business in an efficient manor. Like I mentioned, the paddle shift is where you go to for ‘Sport’ mode.
Oh yea and the electric power steering has 3 settings which is nifty, Sport, Comfort or Normal. The Sport gives you most noticeable change here and even though it’s electric it gives a pretty good feel.
Moving into the looks department, I love the new look. Edgy and sporty. Nuff said.
Hill start, 6 airbags, 5 star ANCAP rating, ABS, and about a million sensors telling you that you’re getting close to something. Oh and traction and stability control thrown in for good measure.
I’ve borrowed this section from Cars Guide as they’ve written all the jargon that would have taken me an hour or more to research!
“Prices start at a sharp $19,990 for the 1.8-litre S, you will pay $23,990 for the better performing 2.0-litre Si, which is the pick of the range. The top-of-the-line SLi tips the $30,000 barrier by the time you add satellite navigation. It sells for $30,990. The S is well packaged with three adjustments for steering wheel effort, keyless entry, six-way adjustable driver’s seat, heated door mirrors, LCD instrument cluster, MP3 compatible audio with CD, radio and six speakers, iPod connection, Bluetooth and air conditioning.”
“Jump up to the Si and you add alloy wheels, an excellent rear-view camera, dusk sensing headlamps, push button starting, folding door mirrors when you park (a neat trick), a premium steering wheel complete with audio and cruise controls, carbon-look to the dashboard, touch LCD colour screen and air vents for back seat passengers, which is a welcome move in the small car pack.”
“Go the whole hog and the SLi adds bigger 17-inch alloy wheels, auto-dimming rear view mirror, LED daytime running lights, HID headlamps, leather trim, eight-way adjustable driver’s seat with two memory settings, powered sunroof, paddle shifters, dual-zone climate-controlled air conditioning, heated and vented driver’s seat and cooling system for the glovebox to keep the kids’ lollies chilled. All models come with a sensible full-sized spare.”
Our car was the SLi version at $31,510 as it included the satnav and metallic paint.
Thanks CarsGuide :)
We couldn’t fail to be impressed by what’s been described as the ‘Unsung Hero’ of the KIA range. It has all you could wish for in a small car and more.
You have a large pool of cars to pick from in the small cars arena and you can’t afford to be a badge snob any longer. This KIA needs to be put squarely at the top of your ‘Test Drive’ list as it’s a real gladiator amongst the masses. Find your local KIA Dealer and get a test drive booked, you won’t be disappointed.
With it’s sharp looks, great handling, smooth drivetrain and extensive list of equipment as standard, the KIA Cerato SLi Petrol Hatch comes in at a Whapping,
Well done KIA, it’s a star.