Kia launched a GT version of its popular and successful Cerato in early 2019. We reviewed this when it was launched, but now have a chance to spend some more time in the GT version. This continues the move to sport versions of their range with the Stinger GT and Picanto GT.
So with the benefit of more time behind the wheel, what are the features we like the most?
Cerato GT – Obviously the Engine/Transmission combination
Kia added a 1.6L turbo 4 cylinder engine to the GT, that produces 150 kW at 6000 rpm and 265 Nm of torque from 1500-4500 rpm all directed to the front wheels through a 7-speed DCT gearbox. Sport mode is accessed by tipping across the gearlever towards the driver with aggressive gear shift characteristics and sharper steering maps.
In eco mode there is a touch of hesitation when asked to run hard, but in sport mode it just lifts it skirts and runs hard. This combination allows normal economical cruising and the sport mode when desired.
In cruising mode we achieved 5.9L/100k on the freeway and around town, with some sport bursts thrown in, around 8.9L/100k. That is quite respectable
Cerato GT – Australian tuned suspension.
Kia has for a while now developed specific Australian tuned suspension on their cars, through the genius of engineer Graeme Gambold.
The local ride and handling team were able to optimize the advantages gained from the car’s multi-link independent rear suspension while maintaining a reasonably compliant ride over Australia’s multiple road surfaces. On some goat tracks we refer to as roads, the suspension can be a little harsh, but again in sport mode the balance between compliant handling and ride is well beyond the price paid for the vehicle.
The overall combination of engine/transmission, suspension retune, larger brakes and 18-inch sport rims shod in grippy 225/40Z R18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber, and steering dynamics provide a responsive package.
Cerato GT – Packed with features
Kia has always been pretty good with offering value in their vehicles. The Cerato GT goes even further. Actually the hatch is outstanding value. A fact brought home to me when I swapped from the hatch into a “prestige” European brand hatch/SUV of similar size and cost nearly $19,000 more. The Kia ran rings around it in every aspect. For $19,000 you could also buy a Picanto GT.
Standard specification level includes: Autonomous Emergency Braking Pedestrian and Cyclist), Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Rear View Camera with dynamic guidelines, Driver Attention Alert Warning, front and rear parking sensors, 18-inch alloy wheels, Drive Mode Select, six airbags, tyre pressure monitor, speed limiter, 8-way driver seat adjustment with two memory positions, smart cruise control, 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with voice recognition, wireless phone charger, 8-speaker JBL Premium sound system with Bluetooth connectivity, climate control air-conditioning and ventilated front sport seats (big tick Kia).
Adding to the character of the GT is a subtle yet distinctive body kit, dual exhausts, paddle shifters (that move with the steering wheel), alloy sports pedals and a flat-bottomed leather sports steering wheel.
Cerato GT – Hatchback Practicality
When you compare a sedan to a hatchback and experience the practicality differences, you can understand why sedans are a dying breed. The space available is impressive for the size vehicle. Add to that fold flat 60/40 rear seats and there is quite the load area available. I also personally think the look of a hatchback is more appealing.
Cerato GT – Kia Care package
It’s hard to ignore the Kia 7 year warranty with unlimited kilometres as well as a conditional 8 year roadside assist and capped price servicing
Cerato GT – Things that niggle a little
Like all cars there are a couple of things that niggle a little. Such as the fact that the brake and accelerator pedal are a little far apart. They require a deliberate shift in foot position between both, rather than a swivel. Not a major thing but noticeable and a little annoying.
The stuck on look of the centre screen, looks like an afterthought and brings the general ambiance down a little. It works a treat, just looks a little tacky.
Whether it was a fault with my key or not, but the hatch refused to open when I pushed the button on the key. It was also a little hard to find the button on the boot as well.
Like most modern cars the ‘A’pillars are obstructive. They restrict side view, especially at corners and roundabouts. Something to be aware of.
Cerato GT – Summary
Overall the Kia Cerato GT is excellent. It represents outstanding value and typical Kia quality. As I mentioned I jumped from the Cerato GT to a similar sized ‘Prestige’ European Hatch/SUV that cost $19,000 more and the Kia ran rings around it in every aspect, standard features, performance, economy, ride and handling and arguably, looks.
Don’t think of it as a hot hatch, rather a comfortable hatch with attitude and an edge. Perfect for drivers that want to drive normally and economically for most of the time, but when the mood takes you, find a nice twisty undulating piece of road and have a little sporty fun.
Also Look At
- Outstanding value
- Economy/performance balance
- Overall build quality
Not so Good
- Pedals a little far apart
- Some hesitation under acceleration in eco mode
- Ride can be a little harsh on some surfaces
Model: Kia Cerato Hatch GT
- Model Price: $31,990 RDAP
- Engine: 1.6L 4 Cylinder turbo petrol
- Drivetrain: 7 Speed DCT
- Power: 150kW @ 6000 rpm
- Torque: 265Nm @ 1,500 – 4,500 rpm.
- Safety: 5 Star ANCAP
- CO2 Emissions: 158 gms/km
- Economy: 6.8 l/100km(ADR comb)
- Servicing: Fixed price
- Warranty: 7 years/unlimited kilometre 7 yrs. Roadside Assist
Kia Cerato Hatch GT Review-
Overall the Kia Cerato GT is excellent. It represents outstanding value and typical Kia quality. As I mentioned I jumped from the Cerato GT to a similar sized ‘Prestige’ European Hatch/SUV that cost $19,000 more and the Kia ran rings around it in every aspect