KIA CERATO 2013 – 2021

2013 Kia Cerato sedan

Kia Cerato is a small-medium South Korean car that’s becoming ever more popular in 
This has been partly due to the stunningly long seven-year warranty, but the car itself 
has been significantly improved since the first models arrived here in 2004.
Kia’s seven-year unlimited distance warranty is proving a masterstroke in that it is 
attracting new buyers who may have had any lingering doubts about the quality and 
reliability of Korean cars.
Originally, Cerato was rather plain it is shape but the third generation, launched here in 
April 2013 has a lot more oomph its lines and sales were strong from day one. These 
are the models we will be covering in this week’s Used Car Checkout.
Kia Cerato is sold as a four-door sedan and five-door hatch. The sedans were 
sometimes introduced or updated before the hatches so there was an overlap of new 
and old bodies at times. 
Cerato has pretty good interior space for its class and can carry four adults without the 
folks in the front seats having to compromise to any real extent.

2017 Kia Cerato hatch

Suspension is reasonably supple, though rough Aussie country roads can occasionally 
trouble it. Noise and vibration are well damped.
These gen-three Korean models are almost up with the Europeans due to their driving 
dynamics being uprated to suit Australian drivers’ tastes. 
The Cerato from April 2013 has a new design 1.8-litre engine in place of the old 2.0-
litre. It provides more performance and as a bonus uses less fuel. A sort of about face 
saw a new 2.0 replace the 1.8 in 2016. The latter is a good powerplant and we suggest 
shopping for one if your budget is up to it.

2021 Kia Cerato S

Six-speed automatic transmissions are more common than the six-speed manuals in 
this country. The latter well engineered unit with a good choice of ratios and is pleasant 
enough in its feel through the gears. However, manuals are fast falling from favour in 
Australia and may be harder to resell as the years go by.
The third generation, Kia Cerato sedan arrived here in June 2018 with the hatchback 
due towards the end of the year. The biggest change is styling, with more than a hint of 
the looks of Kia’s headline-grabbing Stinger sedan. It has a wide grille, sculpted bonnet 
and coupe-like roofline.
Three models are offered: S, Sport and Sport+. Don’t get too excited about the use of 
the Sport name, all three get the same 2.0-litre petrol engine with the same outputs, 
indeed the S is the only one to get the option of a manual gearbox. 
The latest, relatively minor, upgrade came in mid-2021 but there hasn’t been enough 
time for many to reach the used car market yet so we won’t cover them here,
Ceratos have a simple mechanical layout and can be serviced and repaired by good 
amateur mechanics. Having a workshop manual at your side is a smart move. 
Unless you’re confident in yourself it’s smart to have your car serviced by a 
professional. A full logbook showing all work has always been done by a Kia dealer is 
likely to make it easier to sell the car, and probably get more money for it.
Kia dealers are mainly in metropolitan areas, but some of the bigger country towns now 
also have multi-brand dealers with Kias on their lists.
Spare parts and professional repair costs are reasonably priced.
Insurance is usually in the lower half of the premium scale and we haven’t seen any big 
variations from company to company. However, it’s worth shopping around, just make 
sure you’re making a fair comparison.
Former crash damage usually shows up as ripples in body panels, colours that don’t 
match correctly and even wheels out of alignment. If you’re in the least bit unsure call a 
Look for body damage in areas such as the rear bumper which often gets scarred by 
people carelessly resting stuff on it while loading the boot. 
Check that the engine starts easily and idles smoothly pretty well straight away. 
Ideally the engine should be started stone cold first thing in the morning to check on 
this. Make sure the oil warning light goes off within a couple of seconds.
Manual gearboxes that are noisy and/or sticky in their changes may be due for major 
repairs. It may be just that the clutch needs adjusting, if so, have that work done before 
opting to buy the car. 
Automatics should go into gear almost at the moment you move the selector.
Handbrakes can be over adjusted causing premature pad wear on the rear brakes. You 
may feel and hear the pads rubbing slightly on the discs during your test drive.
Expect to pay from $5000 to $9000 for a 2013 Kia Cerato S; $8000 to $13,000 for a 
2014 SLi or a 2016 S; ; $9000 to $14,000 for a 2015 S Premium or  2017 S; $11,000 to 
$16,000 for a 2015 SLi; $13,000 to $19,000 for a 2017Si; $15,000 to $22,000 for a 
2018 Sport+; $17,000 to $24,000 for a 2019 Sport+; $20,000 to $27,000 for a 2019 GT; 
and $22,000 to $30,000 for a 2020 GT.
RECALLS: To browse recalls on all vehicles go to the ACCC at: 

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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