Review: Kia Cerato Sedan

Pros

  • Starting price under $20k

  •  Bang for your buck

  • Advanced Safety features standard

Cons

  • Engine lacks punch

  • Unrefined ride quality

With the Cerato as one of the most popular Kia vehicles, it’s no wonder the South Korean manufacturer decided to bring out a new version of the sedan variant first. Though produced at a lower rate than its smaller Hatchback brother, the Cerato Sedan has a lot to offer and provides more space, while keeping a sharp price tag.

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Initial Impression

Having taken inspiration from the sporty Stinger, Kia has improved the looks of the new Cerato Sedan drastically. It’s no longer the dull ‘safe choice’ for the elderly, but transformed into a rather good looking vehicle a younger generation would feel good to be seen with. A sharp and aggressive grill, tight lines and a rear with the light bar across as seen in many higher end vehicles. The blacked out front lip and rear diffuser tie in together with the accents around the blinkers and give the car an even more modern flavour. You have to opt for the Sport version to get rid of the out-dated hub caps and upgrade to 17” alloy wheels.  Otherwise, even the base S version is pretty well equipped. Especially the safety features stand out with autonomous emergency braking (AEB), forward collision warning (FCW) and lane-keeping aid (LKA) as standard. Plus of course, a boot that holds 502 litres (up from 482) – the main reason to pick the Sedan over the Hatchback.

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Driveability

Where the looks are obviously trying to mimic the Stinger, the engine unfortunately doesn’t. Kia has opted to carry-over the 2.0-litre ‘Nu’ multi-point injected normally aspirated petrol that puts out 112kW of power and 192Nm of torque. Sufficient, but not exciting. When overtaking on the highway it will roar and shift back abruptly, but it misses the confidence to do so with a B-Double. When cruising about it’s a quiet and fuel efficient power plant though, getting about 8L/100km.

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The Drive Mode Select software that comes standard with the automatic gearbox lets you choose between Smart, Eco and Comfort mode, which changes the throttle calibration and gearbox mapping. The difference is marginal, but the Kia Cerato Sedan seems most pleased to drive in Comfort, providing the smoothest shifts and almost no over-revving. The manual version of the Cerato equates to just five per cent of sales at best and is for those who insist on a stick or want to save a few coins.

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Liveability

Step into the new Cerato Sedan and you’ll be greeted by a nice ‘opening tune’. The same happens when shutting off the car. You either hate it or love it; there is an option to turn it off. It does make you feel somewhat at home in the car, a task the conservative and almost Spartan interior itself doesn’t fulfil.  A hard plastic dash and seats that aren’t particularly suitable for a long road trip. It does the trick though and this way Kia manages to keep the price down. In exchange they have fitted a floating tablet-style touchscreen, three USB inputs and a sporty steering wheel with all controls imaginable. And the stereo sound turns down automatically when reversing; smart.

Everything in the Cerato Sedan feels descent, from the solid and stylish vents to the air-conditioning buttons and gear lever. They tried to improve the trim by putting some soft-touch materials on the dashboard and doors, but if you want a simply improved interior the only way to go is for the Sport version. Better, more supportive seats, satellite navigation and a ‘premium’ steering wheel make all the difference. The Sport+ variant even comes with leather and rear air vents, for those who want to really indulge.

Space definitely isn’t an issue in the Sedan, which is now 80mm longer than before, 20mm wider and 5mm taller. Noticeable larger inside whilst keeping the same wheel base, so still easy to manoeuvre around the city. Four adults with some luggage for a weekend away would fit in the car easily and because the back seats are made of easy-to-clean hard plastic, they also don’t form any issue when transporting the kids.

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Cost

Kia’s seven-year warranty with unlimited kilometres is hard to beat. Add that to the capped price servicing and the fact you can buy a decently sized sedan for just under $20k drive-away and you know you’ve got a great deal. That would be for the base S version with a manual though, so it’s wise to add a few thousand and opt for the Sport variant with an automatic; more comfort and options and still a lot of bang for your buck. The combination of price, space and features is at the top of its range.

Conclusion

If you’re in the market for a sedan that delivers a decent ride, has a range of options, is packed with safety features and looks the part, there is no way you want to pass by the new Kia Cerato Sedan. With its looks resembling his sporty sibling the Stinger, no one can knock it for not looking good. Inside it might be a bit boring, but when you go for the Sport version that problem is easily overcome. The Cerato Sedan provides a lot of bang for your buck, especially with all the perks that come with every new Kia.   

Interested in a test drive?  Come and see the Motorama Kia team at either Moorooka or Browns Plains.