The latest refinement of Kia’s Cerato has hit the market tasked with being the flag-bearer for Kia Australia’s bold new badge and branding.
Earlier this year Cerato took over the mantle as Kia Australia’s most successful model, passing Rio in historical sales with more than 155,000 sold since launching in 2003.
“Since it was launched almost 10 years ago, Cerato has increasingly been recognised by Australian car buyers as having all the touchstones of a stylish, safe, functional and high-value vehicle,” said Kia Australia Chief Operating Officer Damien Meredith.
“With its new logo, fresh styling cues and additional equipment, the new Cerato provides a compelling argument for consideration which is further enhanced by Kia’s 7-Year Warranty, 7-Year Fixed Price Service and 7-Year Roadside Assist.”
The refreshed Cerato will retain the four grades from the current model _ S, Sport, Sport + and GT.
The S, Sport and Sport + models will be powered by the carry-over 2.0 litre 4-cylinder MPI petrol engine (112kW, 192Nm). The GT will continue to be powered by the 1.6 litre GDI turbo 4-cylinder petrol engine (150kW, 265Nm).
For the new models the six-speed manual gearbox has been deleted and all models, except the GT, will feature a 6-speed automatic driving through the front wheels. The GT retains the current 7-speed DCT.
Pricing starts at $25,990 drive away for the highly specified S model, $27,990 DA for the Sport, $31,690 for the Sport + and $36,990 DA for the GT. Premium paint is $520.
The S and Sport models have an optional Safety Pack (Cyclist AEB, Electronic Parking Brake, enhanced 284mm solid rear disc brakes, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and electric folding mirrors) at $1000, which also includes a premium steering wheel and shift knob for the S to bring it in line with Sport.
As with the current Cerato, pricing for Hatch and Sedan will be the same.
There is a range of innovative design elements highlighting a new-look front visage through styling changes to headlights, radiator grille, front bumper and fog lights.
The hatch will remain largely unchanged from the rear, but the sedan gets a new look with updates to the taillights, boot and rear bumper lines.
Convenience, comfort and safety upgrades will include rear air vents for all models across the four-spec range as well as enhanced suspension for a more comfortable ride and a tilt and slide sunroof on the GT models.
The S grade will gain exterior cues including LED Daytime Running Lights, LED Positioning Lamps, and an LED high-mounted stop lamp on the hatch. The 16-inch steel wheels with 205/55 R16 rubber will remain standard along with Halogen headlights, taillights and rear fog lamps.
The S grade features Dusk Sensing Auto Headlights, an 8-inch AV unit with wired and wireless Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay, a 4.2-inch TFT LCD cluster, rear air vents, rear window defroster, three USB charge sockets, Leading Vehicle Departure, Lane Follow Assist, Driver Attention Alert, Rear Occupant Alert, and High Beam Assist.
Carrying over from the current model is the six-speaker sound system, Drive Mode Select (normal/eco/sport/smart), manual temperature control, keyless entry, cloth seats, six-way driver seat adjustment, 60:40 split-fold rear seats, front and rear parking sensors, rear view monitor with dynamic guidelines, manual speed limiter, six airbags, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Warning, AEB for car and pedestrian and cruise control.
Stepping up to the Sport model will add a new design 17-inch alloy with 225/45 R17 tyres, 10.25-inch AV unit with wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, DAB digital radio, Sounds of Nature, satellite navigation with 10 years map and traffic updates, sport patterned cloth seats, auto reverse wipers for the hatch, driver auto up/down window with safety function, illuminated vanity mirrors and premium steering wheel and shift knob.
Sport + will feature the larger 284mm solid rear discs, electronic parking bake with auto hold, smart key and push button start, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and smart boot auto release (sedan only).
Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist and Safe Exit Warning are new additions to the Sport + safety suite while Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Autonomous Emergency Braking (cyclist) and Smart Cruise Control are also standard on the grade.
Additional carry-over comfort and convenience touches include Electrochromic mirror, leather appointed seats, electric folding mirrors with automatic folding function, soft touch upper trim material, illuminated glovebox and passenger side seat back pocket.
Then most obvious changes when stepping up to the GT are obviously the drive train and performance with the 1.6-litre Turbo GDI in-line four-cylinder engine which delivers 150kW and 265Nm driving the front wheels through a 7-speed DCT gearbox.
The New GT carries over the previous model’s Multi Link Rear Suspension and larger 305mm ventilated front disc brakes but there is an enhanced sports tune for the suspension to improve the balance of ride compliance and handling.
The GT rides on 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 225/40Z R18 rubber and sports a GT body kit along with dual exhaust and high gloss black door mirrors.
New to this model are a high mounted rear LED stop light, LED front fog lamp and LED rear fog lamp (sedan only). For the first time a tilt and slide sunroof is standard along with ventilated front seats and front seat passenger height adjustment.
The seats are sport leather appointed with eight-way power adjustment, two-way lumber support and integrated memory with two seating positions and easy access function.
The sound system is an eight speaker JBL Premium system while paddle shifters, wireless charger, alloy sports pedals and a flat-bottom sports steering wheel are all standard.
Cerato is available in nine colours: Clear White, Snow White Pearl, Silky Silver, Steel Gray, Aurora Black, Platinum Graphite, Horizon Blue, Runway Red and the new Mineral Blue. All except Clear White are considered Premium Paint and attract an additional $520.
Design and Style
The style changes for the latest Cerato are both subtle and functional. The new headlight design extends the new grill pattern’s sleek yet bold look out to the car’s flanks in an unbroken line.
For the front bumper the redesign adds a sleekness while mounting the front fog lights within the restyled air-intake grille gives a new dynamism to the front of the Cerato.
From the side, the even more subtle changes further emphasise the Cerato’s athletic lines with a new 17-inch alloy wheel design for the Sport and Sport + adds differentiation and a fresher look.
From the rear the sedan brings a range of changes to mirror the refreshed front of the car while the hatch design will carry over from the outgoing model.
The taillight styling now emphasises straight lines to accentuate the sleekness of the vehicle, further displayed in the extended boot lid garnish to include the new Kia logo and accentuate the sporty lines of the Sedan.
The rear bumper is a smooth flowing design mirroring the front treatment while the exhaust on the sedan S, Sport and Sport + grades has been hidden for a modern sophisticated look. On GT trims the twin exhausts will remain a design feature.
The Cerato maintains its family safety reputation with a comprehensive passive safety suite, including six airbags, strong body structure and safety-focussed design.
Active safety (threat awareness and avoidance) is a key to Kia’s passenger safety ethos with ABS and ESC standard along with Autonomous Emergency Braking programmed for vehicle, pedestrian and cyclist (Sport + and GT) recognition.
All models feature Lane Keep Assist, now with Lane Follow Assist added, Lane Departure Warning and Driver Attention Alert.
For Sport + and GT Blind Spot Detection is standard with the addition of Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist (BCA), Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist, and Safe Exit Warning.
For S and Sport Cruise Control is standard with the optional Safety Packs (S and Sport), Sport + and GT gaining the Smart Cruise Control system.
All models have Parking Distance Warning (front and rear sensors), High Beam Assist and reversing camera. Safe Exit Warning (SEW) is fitted to Safety Packs, Sports + and GT.
Comfort and Convenience
There are a number of new features across the Cerato range, highlighted by the 10.25-inch Audio Visual Unit with LCD screen for the Sport, Sport + and GT models.
The system features personalised profile settings which are perfect for a shared family car, a rear seat sleep mode which limits the speaker level in the back to allow rear seat passengers a more restful environment, built-in satellite navigation with 10 year MapCare and SUNA live traffic updates, DAB radio, voice recognition, wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and the soothing Sounds of Nature.
For the entry level S model, the Audio Visual Unit features an 8-inch LCD touch screen, Bluetooth hands free, wireless/wired Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay (new to the grade). The 4.2-inch TFT LCD Cluster is shared across the model range displaying information such as speed, drive model, average and instantaneous fuel economy, trip meter and odometer along with fuel range, Lane Keep
Assist status, driver attention level and compass bearing.
All new to the Cerato range are a sliding and tilting sunroof (GT only), Electronic Parking Brake (Sport +, GT and Safety Pack), rear air vents and rear occupant alert for all models.
The GT also features wireless charger, Integrated Memory Seats, a JBL 8-speaker Premium Sound System and heated and ventilated front seats. The Sport + also gets heated front seats.
The drive train for the enhanced Cerato has been carried over from the outgoing model with the Nu 2.0 MPI (112kW and 192Nm) driving the front wheels though a 6-speed automatic gearbox _ the manual option has been deleted. The GT powertrain is the same Gamma 1.6T-GDI engine (150kW and 265Nm) from the outgoing model, also driving the front wheels but through a 7-speed DCT gearbox.
Fuel consumption for the Hatch remains unchanged at a combined figure of 7.4l/100km for the 2.0-litre engine and 6.8l/100km for the 1.6-litre Turbo. Sedan combined efficiency figures are the same for the 2.0-litre but varied fractionally to 6.9l/100km (up from 6.8) for the Turbo.
Suspension geometry and tune will remain unchanged for the S, Sport and Sport + models, utilising the proven McPherson Strut front end and Couple Torsion Beam Axle for the rear. The suspension tune remains focused to deliver optimum road absorption and isolation as well as urban rough-road impact and compliance.
The brake packages for all models feature ventilated front discs with 280mm on S, Sport Sport + and Safety Packs and 305mm for the GT. The solid rear discs are 262mm on S and Sport and 284mm on all other models including Safety Packs.
The GT continues with a multi-link rear suspension which has been further tuned by the KAU local ride and handling team for improved ride comfort while maintaining the sporty and compliant character of the ride. There is improvement to the rough road holding and cornering stability.
Steering is a carry-over of the Cerato’s Motor Driven Power Steering set-up with the benefits of quick steering response, good feedback and weighting and enhanced stability. The GT’s steering has also been carried over to maintain the focus on maintaining good differentiation between Normal and Sport modes.
Exterior and interior dimensions of the enhanced Cerato remain unchanged.
For the Sedan the overall length is 4640mm with a wheelbase of 2700mm. Height is 1440mm for all models except the GT which is 1435mm. Width is 1800mm with a 900mm front and 1040mm rear overhang.
On the Hatch overall length is 4510mm with the same 2700mm wheelbase and 1800mm width. The Hatch stands 1445mm tall in most models with the GT 1440mm. Front overhang is 900mm and rear 910mm.
Boot volume for the Sedan remains at 434 (SAE) and 502 (VDA) with the Hatch unchanged at 741 (SAE) and 428 (VDA).