The latest Kia Cerato has cutting edge styling

The latest Kia Cerato has cutting edge styling

From every angle the all-new Kia Cerato sedan displays a sleek, almost futuristic look, but the low sporty appearance belies the fact that there is more space inside the passenger cabin than in the previous model.

Despite being lower, the new Cerato sedan (a hatch is due to arrive in Australia midway through August) is longer and wider and has a longer wheelbase.

Even with the sporty roofline head room has been improved up front by lowering the seat hip line, there’s also more leg room and occupants can spread their wings into increased shoulder space.

2013 Kia Cerato Sedan
Overhangs front and back have been trimmed, yet the boot is bigger than before and takes up to 420 litres of cargo.

All this reshaping, plus smooth panels underneath, give the Cerato sedan with a co-efficient of drag of 0.27 compared with the 0.29 of its predecessor.

Kia Cerato sedan comes in three specifications – S, Si and SLi – all with a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions, the S hooked up to a 1.8-litre four-cylinder multi-point fuel injected (MPI) engine, while the Si and SLi enjoy the extra boost of a 2.0-litre gasoline direct injection (GDI) motor.

2013 Kia Cerato Sedan
Fuel consumption during our week’s test was in the high fives and low sixes on the open road, but 11 to 12 litres per hundred kilometres around town. A generous 50-litre fuel tank has the Cerato comfortably cruising more than 600 kilometres between fill-ups.

The six-speed automatic transmission features fully automatic operation or Sport mode engaged by moving the lever towards the driver when in Drive. Not many drivers ever use this feature, but it’s there for those who like to have a say over what gear the car is in. The steering wheel has tilt-and-rake adjustment. Instruments and controls are purposefully directed at the driver.

Storage is good, thanks to a glovebox that’s grown by 30 per cent, front door pockets capable of holding a 700-ml bottle and rear door holders for 500-ml bottles. The centre console incorporates a covered two-litre multi-box, ahead of the gear lever, twin cup holders, behind the gearshift and on the rear centre armrest a 5.6 litre box between the front seats. Soft-touch materials further enhance cabin surroundings.

Noise, vibration and harshness have been minimised by a stiffer body shell and new vibration-damping front subframe mountings. The rear parcel shelf and cargo bay have insulating filling. In addition, the front side chassis members, A-pillar and side sills are filled with acoustic foam and there is a dynamic damper fitted to the shorter of the front drive shafts.

The electric power steering has three settings to match customer preference with Normal, Sport and Comfort modes, the effort required to turn the wheel varies with mode, while the number of turns lock-to-lock remains the same. It’s hard to go past Comfort mode for day-to-day city driving.

Active safety items include electronic stability control and vehicle stability management that works with the ESC to provide ‘corrective’ steering inputs to help the driver avoid loss of control, especially on mixed wet and dry road surfaces, front corner and rear parking sensors.

Passive safety sees the car with are six airbags and the Cerato has been given a four-star Australian NCAP rating.

All Cerato sedans have projector-style headlamps, powered front and rear windows, keyless entry, cruise control, trip computer with external temperature display, and front corner and rear parking sensors. Connectivity is by a USB/iPod compatible radio/CD player with six speakers and Bluetooth hands-free

Cerato Si adds 16-inch alloy wheels, chrome exterior highlights, electric folding door mirrors, automatic headlights, rear seat air vents, a 4.3-inch touch-screen audio system with LCD display, push button start and smart key and a reversing camera.

Though style is likely to be the big talking point in the new Kia Cerato sedan, there’s a lot more to be considered. It has decent handling that’s tuned for Australian drivers and roads, it’s well equipped and sells at a highly competitive price.

Kia Cerato S 1.8 MPI 6sp manual sedan $19,990
Kia Cerato S 1.8 MPI 6sp automatic sedan $21,990
Kia Cerato Si 2.0 GDI 6sp manual sedan $23,990
Kia Cerato Si 2.0 GDI 6sp automatic sedan $25,990
Kia Cerato SLi 2.0 GDI 6sp manual sedan $$27,990
Kia Cerato SLi 2.0 GDI 6sp automatic sedan $29,990
Kia Cerato SLi manual with sat nav $28,990
Kia Cerato SLi automatic with sat nav $30,990
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Kia dealer for drive-away prices.

Capacity: 1999 cc
Configuration: In-line 4 cylinder, DOHC, GDI3, D-CVVT2, 16 valve
Bore and stroke: 81 mm x 97 mm
Compression ratio: 11.5:1
Fuel type: Regular unleaded petrol
Maximum Power: 129 kW @ 6500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 209 Nm from 4700 rpm

Six-speed manual (automatic optional), front-wheel drive

Length: 4560 mm
Width: 1780 mm
Height: 1435 mm
Wheelbase: 2700 mm
Minimum ground clearance: 140 mm
Turning circle: 10.6 m
Co-efficient of drag: Cd 0.27
Seats / boot capacity: 5 / 421 litres (rear seat back up), 482 litres (rear seat back folded)
Weight: 1299 kg (tare); 1319 (kerb), 1790 kg (gross vehicle)
Fuel tank capacity: 50 litres
Towing: 610 kg (unbraked), 1100 kg (braked)
Max towball download: 75 kg

Front Suspension: McPherson strut
Rear Suspension: Coupled torsion beam axle
Brakes: Ventilated discs (280 mm, front), solid discs (262 mm). ABS anti-skid, with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Traction Control System (TCS), Hill Start Assist and emergency stop signal
Steering: Electric power assist, Flexsteer (Normal, Comfort, Sport)
Wheels / tyres: 16-inch alloy / 205/55 R16. Full-size alloy spare

Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 9.3 sec
Maximum speed: 210 km/h

Combined Cycle (ADR 81/01): 7.4 L/100km, CO2 emissions 136 g/km
Emission standard: EU4

Greenhouse Rating: 7 / 10 Air Pollution Rating: 6.5 / 10
Five years / unlimited kilometres

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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