2019 Kia Cerato GT Review

2019 Kia Cerato GT Road Test Review

It’s an interesting model sharing symbiosis between Hyundai and Kia with some ticks and some crosses.

They share the essentials of a performance small car…. Elantra Sport and I30 N-Line from Hyundai and Cerato GT sedan or hatch from Kia.

Externally they’re different but are the same underneath.

Subject of this test is the Cerato GT sedan.

It boasts a new look but is still recognisable as a Cerato with styling links to the previous model.

Selling for $32,990 for either variant, Cerato GT is Kia’s top of the range small car and comes with pretty much everything on the features list including advanced driver assist technology, luxury kit and a potent 1.6-litre, turbo, petrol four cylinder engine driving the front wheels through a 7-speed dual clutch “manumatic” transmission.

Like the Hyundais, Cerato GT sports a “proper’ multi-link rear suspension offering superior ride and handling characteristics along with larger front brakes and sundry sporty upgrades.

It’s a good thing with the looks and performance of a car priced at more than the $33K ask.


Just to confuse the issue, the hatch looks more like a wagon and the sedan looks like a hatch.

Doesn’t really matter because the Cerato GT is a good looker with my vote going the sedan’s way. It has a distinctive Kia look to the frontal area and smooth sides counter to the current heavily sculpted idiom.

The roofline extends almost to the tip of the boot or tailgate culminating in a neatly executed tail with fairly generic looking tail lights and dual exhaust tips.

It’s not what you would call a ground breaking look in terms of styling but is neat, effective and undeniably Kia. A subtle body aero kit and larger 18-inch alloys set the GT apart from other Ceratos.


Same again, pretty much generic Kia with a sporty flavour that includes a D-cut, multi-function steering wheel complete with paddle shifter, leather sports seats with red piping and the obligatory large centre control screen.

Its’s easy on the eye and easy to use with most controls operated through the touch screen and assorted dials close to the driver’s space.

There are smatterings of satin metallic fascia and the overall dark tones are in keeping with a sporty car.

There’s room for five inside at a pinch with the hatch having slightly more due to the “five door” format.

Plenty of luggage space is provided in the sedan and the critical rear seat legroom measurement is pretty generous.

Like the alloy pedals and the perforated leather.


As the range topper, Cerato GT scores plenty of goodies including the full range of advanced driver assist tech. It also gains stuff like;

  • SUNA satnav
  • Drive mode select
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Paddle shift
  • Michelin Pilot Sports 4 tyres
  • LED headlights
  • 8-way power driver’s seat adjustment with ventilation
  • 8-speaker JBL audio system
  • Smart cruise control

Drive and Engine

Plenty of poke comes out of the high-tech, 1.6-litre, turbo, petrol engine that bristles with efficiency boosting tech’ like dual variable valve timing and direct fuel injection assisting the claimed 6.8-litres/100km on regular unleaded.

It’s in many Hyundai/Kia models and generates 150kW and 265Nm output all capably harnessed in this case by a slick shifting 7-speed, dual clutch “auto” transmission.

The engine has been around for a while and is great fun to drive especially as it has minimal lag between putting your foot down and the engine getting on boost.

Aussie engineering was used to calibrate the car’s dynamics yielding a good compromise between comfort and control in suspension and steering.

Noise inside is minimal and the overall dynamic package is impressive for a small sporty sedan.

The bigger diameter 305mm front brakes are appreciated as are premium Michelin tyres.

It’s no lightweight though at between 1370kg – 1395kg.

Balanced against that is the Cerato GT’s towing capacity of 1100kg braked.

The feel is sporty and there’s plenty of fun to be had from this car for a keen driver.


Five stars of course but taking matters further is a full suite of “sensible” driver assist technology like AEB with pedestrian and cyclist recognition, forward collision warning, lane keeping assist and blind spot monitoring.

Cerato GT gets smart cruise control too along with driver attention alert among other things.

Doesn’t get any of the really silly stuff that plagues some other brands and the car’s well-honed reflexes will aid in collision avoidance anyway.

The chassis is stronger than before and the front and rear park sensors are handy.

Good Bits

  • Punchy engine/ Fun to drive
  • Runs happily on 91 regular unleaded
  • Snappy 7-speed transmission

Not So Good Bits

  • Temporary spare
  • Some over pessimistic driver assist features
  • Could be described as a touch derivative in styling


Yep, I’d have one of these in a bright colour to sex it up a bit. There’s plenty of kit and plenty of performance and it runs on regular unleaded.  Good price too when you compare apples with apples.

Also Look At

Facts and Figures: 2019 Kia Cerato GT sedan

  • Engine: 1.6L four-cylinder turbo petrol producing 150kW/265Nm
  • Transmission: Seven-speed sports automatic
  • Warranty: 7/ unlimited km
  • Safety: Five stars
  • Origin: South Korea
  • Price: from $32,990

*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.

Kia Cerato GT

Kia Cerato GT

It’s an interesting model sharing symbiosis between Hyundai and Kia with some ticks and some crosses.

They share the essentials of a performance small car…. Elantra Sport and I30 N-Line from Hyundai and Cerato GT sedan or hatch from Kia.

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