$19,390 – $26,555
Good: Smart design inside & out; decent handling – excellent value.
Not so Good: Average fuel economy; unrefined auto transmission.
Design and Engineering
Good : This Cerato kicked off the brands excellent new design direction: contemporary, modern looks, wide stance and stylish 17” alloys (on the SLi grade).
Not so good : Nothing groundbreaking here; fat rear pillar makes the exterior appear chunky from the rear…
Interior and Styling
Good : Modern design; USB audio input with iPod compatibility. There’s a quality ‘feel’ to the dials and buttons. Many storage options up front and a large 415 litre boot down back.
Not so good : Hard interior plastics (however, at this price it should be expected); doors close with a cheap sound; lack of storage options for rear seat passengers; lack of manual release for boot lid.
Good : Class-leading 115kW of power (for a 2.0L naturally-aspirated engine) and impressive torque; relatively quiet engine when cruising.
Not so good : Doesn’t like to be hurried and therefore struggles when pushed. The engine lacks refinement and is unnecessarily coarse and loud under heavy acceleration. Manual gearbox is a bit ‘notchy’ and the auto tends to be a bit imprecise.
Ride and Handling
Good : Handling has significantly improved compared to previous Kia’s; relatively refined at highway speeds.
Not so good : Steering is a touch too light for spirited driving (but fine for city driving) and could do with greater accuracy; base-model ‘S’ is a tad unsettled on coarse surfaces.
Buying and Owning
Good: Excellent value for money – competitors will struggle to offer this amount of equipment for the same price PLUS 6 standard airbags and a generous five-year unlimited kilometre warranty.
Not so good: Question mark over whether it will hold its value as well as Japanese competitors.