Kia Cerato grows up, still keenly priced; sat nav optional only on SLi

The new Cerato is bigger than before, but the entry price is still pegged at under A$20k. Well equipped, but sat nav is an option only on top-spec SLi.

The third generation Kia Cerato range kicks off with the A$19,990 S, which comes equipped with a 110kW/178Nm 1.8-litre petrol engine — the old model featured a 115kW/194Nm 2-litre engine as standard. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard; a 6-speed auto will add A$2,000 to the price.

Standard equipment on the S includes 16-inch steel wheels, a full size spare tyre, air-con, stability and traction control, power windows all around, 60:40 split-fold rear seats, six airbags, and rear seat arm rest and cupholders. The audio system has 6 speakers, USB port, auxiliary jack, CD player, AM/FM radio, Bluetooth for audio streaming and hands-free, and steering wheel audio controls. The S also features the awful Hyundai/Kia driver adjustable electric power system with three settings (Comfort, Normal and Sport).

Next up is the A$23,990 Si that is motivated by a direct injection 129kW/209Nm 2-litre petrol engine. Again a 6-speed manual transmission is standard, with the 6-speed auto adding A$2,000 to the asking price.

Additional equipment on the Si includes 16-inch alloys with full size spare, automatic headlights, push button start, proximity key, exterior puddle lights, electric folding wing mirrors, extra exterior chrome, faux leather on the steering wheel, door lining, shifter and instrument panel top, air vents for the rear seats, seat back pockets, carbon fibre-style trim, and illuminated sunvisor mirrors. The audio system is upgraded with the addition of a 4.3-inch touchscreen that’s also responsible for displaying images from the reversing camera.

At the top of the tree is the A$27,990 SLi. The extra dosh buys you 17-inch alloys, a full size spare, xenon headlights, LED driving lights and tail-lights, leather seats, 8-way power adjustment on the driver’s seat and two memory settings, tilt-and-slide sunroof, colour display in the instrument cluster, alloy pedals, dual-zone climate control air-con, chilled glove box, heated front seats, cooling system for the driver’s seat, air filtration system, automatic demisting, and paddle shifters for auto models.

Options for the SLi are limited to the 6-speed auto (A$2,000) and sat nav package (A$1,000), which nets you a high-res 7-inch touchscreen, sat nav with Suna traffic messaging, DVD audio and video player, and a shark fin GPS antenna.

Engines, fuel economy, performance

  1.8-litre petrol 2-litre petrol
Power 110kW 129kW
Torque 178Nm 209Nm
Economy 6.6L/100km (man)
7.1L/100km (auto)
7.4L/100km (man)
7.4L/100km (auto)
Top speed 205km/h (man)
202km/h (auto)
210km/h (man)
210km/h (auto)
0 to 100km/h 9.3s (man)
10.2s (auto)
8.5s (man)
9s (auto)

Dimensions and weight

Length: 4,560mm (+30mm compared to previous gen Cerato)
Width: 1,780mm (+5mm)
Height: 1,435mm (+25mm)
Wheelbase: 2,700mm (+50mm)
Weight: 1,287kg – 1,319kg (-70kg approx.)

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Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]