MY13 Kia Cerato Si Sedan.
Kia is determined to stay ahead of the pack. The South Korean automobile manufacturer recently set its rivals on their backsides with the most comprehensive warranty around.

The seven-year unlimited kilometre warranty is bolstered by a seven-year capped-price service program and seven year roadside assist,

Now Kia has taken to its most popular model, the Cerato, to add even more appeal to an already well specified small car. The MY15 Cerato S Premium sits between the S and the Si grades, and comes in four-door sedan or five-door hatch guise.

The S Premium adds satellite navigation, rear view camera, 7-inch touch screen, 16-inch alloy wheels, auto headlamp control, DVD player and more for a keenly priced $24,590, only $2300 over the entry-level automatic.

The new Cerato S Premium carries all the advantages of the S model, including 1.8-litre GDi engine, six airbags, ABS anti-skid brakes, Electronic Stability Control, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, six-speaker audio system with remote control, Bluetooth streaming and hands-free, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, trip computer, air conditioning, 60:40 split fold rear seat, power windows and keyless remote.

MY14 Kia Cerato 5 door

The 2015 Cerato upgrades see satellite navigation as standard in S Premium, Si and SLi while the six-speed manual transmission is available only on the S model. All other grades have the six-speed automatic as standard.

Si and SLi models in sedan and hatch continue to offer the 2.0-litre GDi engine.

Not much has changed. And why should it, the Cerato looks as fresh these days as it was when the present model hit our shores two years ago. Created at Kia’s Seoul design centre under the direction of Kia’s Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, Kia says its European lines are designed to portray ‘dynamic muscularity’ and provoke an emotional response.

A wide, low stance and distinctive concave door contours promote a no-nonsense sense of a sporty vehicle, while the addition of front and rear quarter glass panels gives the car a sense of spaciousness and improves visibility by eliminating blind spots. The MY15 S Premium adds new 16-inch wheels.

2013 Kia Cerato Sedan

Inside, the new model accommodates a dash-mounted 7-inch touch screen among driver-focused instruments and controls within easy reach. However, such is the angle of the screen it is susceptible to reflection in bright sunlight and annoyingly loses clarity.

The addition of satellite navigation, rear view camera and DVD player, all accessed via the 7-inch touch screen, puts the Cerato S Premium ahead of the small-car field.

The computer itself goes to great depths to deliver an amazing array of information including fuel economy, temperatures (in Celsius and Fahrenheit), distances (in miles / kilometres and their shorter measures).

However, it is with speed that the electronic brain begins to show off, going beyond metric and imperial measure, with equivalents in knots (US), knots (UK) and for the frustrated fighter pilot among us, a Mach figure, which as you can imagine at Cerato speeds, forms a long line of zeroes behind the decimal point.

There’s also a trip monitor, calculator and Help function, if the technology becomes too much.

The 100kW 1.8-litre Nu MPI engine in the S Premium is mated with a six-speed automatic transmission with two modes – fully automatic or Sport. The selector gate is a straight P-R-N-D arrangement, with Sport mode engaged by moving the lever towards the driver when in D mode.

For city driving, fully automatic mode is ideal, while Sport mode allows for clutch-less sequential manual gear changes – one ratio at a time – for greater driver involvement. Steering wheel-mounted paddles are not an option.

As well as the use of high-strength steel in the body, active safety technology includes Electronic Stability Control and Vehicle Stability Management that works with the ESC to provide ‘corrective’ steering inputs in tricky road conditions.

The new S Premium comes standard with six airbags including dual front airbags, front side airbags and side curtain airbags offering head protection to both front seat and rear seat occupants.

Having broken my right ankle 18 months ago, every car I drive becomes a measure of my recovery and the Cerato S Premium produced a pleasing result. The floor-mounted accelerator pedal was fitted, says Kia, to follow the natural movement of the ankle, providing stress-free operation. It did.

Indeed, unduly heavy pedal pressure had the ultra-responsive engine firing the car off the mark with surprising haste, which probably went some way to the 1.8-litre motor returning a surprisingly high fuel consumption figure of 10 litres per 100 kilometres in city driving, while recording a much more satisfactory 4.8 L/100 km on the motorway.

Another addition to a Kia favourite can only help the South Korean company to further gains in the increasingly tough worldwide automobile market. The maker appears to know what the buyer wants.


Cerato S hatch and sedan: $19,990 (manual), $22,290 (automatic)
Cerato S Premium hatch and sedan: $24,590 (automatic)
Cerato Si hatch and sedan: $28,490 (automatic)
Cerato SLi hatch and sedan: $31,490 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include dealer or government charges. Contact your local Kia dealer for drive-away prices.

Six airbags
Tilt and telescopic steering wheel
Six-speaker audio system with remote control
Bluetooth streaming and hands-free
Cruise control
Front and rear parking sensors
Trip computer
Power windows
Keyless remote
Satellite navigation
Rear view camera
7-inch touch screen
16-inch alloys
Auto headlamp control
DVD player

SPECIFICATIONS: (In-line 4-cylinder DOHC MPI1 1.8-litre petrol engine)
Capacity: 1.797 litres
Configuration: In-line 4-cylinder
Maximum Power: 110 kW @ 6500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 178 Nm @ 4700 rpm
Bore / stroke: 81.0 mm x 87.2 mm
Compression ratio: 10.3:1

Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive, six-speed automatic transmission
Length: 4560 mm
Width: 1780 mm
Height: 1435 mm
Wheelbase: 2700 mm
Ground clearance: 140 mm
Kerb weight: 1308 kg
Gross vehicle mass: 1770 kg
Seating capacity: 5
Cargo capacity 421 litres
Fuel Tank Capacity: 50 litres
Turning circle: 10.6 m

Suspension: MacPherson strut (front); coupled torsion beam axle (rear)
Brakes: Ventilated discs (front); solid discs (rear). ABS anti-skid brake system with Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Vehicle Stability Control. Traction Control. Hill-Start Assist. Emergency stop signal
Steering: Electric power assisted rack and pinion Wheels / tyres: Alloy 16-inch / 205/55 R16

Acceleration 0 to 100 km/h: 11.6 sec
Top speed: 200 km/h

Fuel type: 91 RON unleaded
Combined Cycle (ADR 81/01): 7.1 litres per 100 km. CO2 emissions 170 g / km

Greenhouse Rating: 7.0 / 10
Air Pollution Rating: 6.5 / 10

7-year / unlimited kilometres, roadside assist, capped price servicing

About Derek Ogden

On graduating with an honours degree in applied science in London, Derek Ogden worked for the BBC in local radio and several British newspapers as a production journalist and writer. Derek moved to Australia in 1975 and worked as a sub-editor with The Courier Mail and Sunday Mail in Brisbane, moving to the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1980 where he continued as a production journalist. He was the paper's motoring editor for more than 20 years, taking the weekly section from a few pages at the back of the book to a full-colour liftout of up to 36 pages. He left the publication in 2009.
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