Every year, Kia aims to further silence their critics through creating competitive edges and their hero vehicle, the Cerato, is no exception. Our test vehicle was the Cerato Hatch S Premium powered by a 1.8L petrol engine with automatic transmission at a price of $24,990*.
The Cerato Hatch is a very attractive vehicle which is perfectly proportioned with curvaceous lines creating a ‘bubble-like’ exterior shape. The S Premium features 16” alloy wheels, chrome tip muffler and radiator grille, rear spoiler and electric heated side mirrors. Available in 10 colours, our test vehicle was the classic Bright Silver however my pick of the bunch is Planet Blue.
Step inside and you are greeted with a revitalised interior with little luxury adjustments. Sitting in the driver’s seat you have at your fingertips cruise control, steering wheel mounted audio controls and a very clear information dash. Storage in the centre console is lacking however it makes up for it elsewhere. It is no surprise that the Cerato Hatch is a favourite car of mine; however the one hang-up I always had was the outdated stereo system and its lack of touchscreen. Finally Kia has relented and has given us a fantastic 7” touchscreen infotainment system with satellite navigation, MP3 compatibility, DVD player, Bluetooth, AUX/USB and 6 speakers. It is amazing how much of a difference this makes, not only practically but in terms of appearance – it brings the Cerato Hatch fully into the 21st century and completely eliminates the one downfall it had against its many competitors.
The new touchscreen addition also allows for a reverse camera with parking guidelines, adding to the already impressive list of safety features including front and rear parking sensors, dusk-sensing automatic headlights, Hill Start Assist Control and 6 airbags. The usual long list of safety and security features are as standard however the S Premium does miss out on the keyless entry with push button start. Not a major biggie, but a little extra luxury we have gotten used to.
Of course styling is one thing, but driving ability is arguably more important (depending on who you ask). The 1.8L petrol engine produces 110kW of power @ 6,500rpm and 178Nm of torque @ 4,700rpm. This translates into a vehicle which smoothly delivers power and the automatic transmission is quick and efficient. There are three steering options – Normal, Comfort and Sport – which all suit their purpose however I found myself mainly driving around on plain old normal and comfort seemed to be a little heavy for everyday driving. Fuel consumption around town was 9.6L/100km, a rather acceptable figure considering it does drop considerably on longer drives.
Let’s talk about arguably Kia’s number one selling point – warranty. Every new Kia comes with a seven year, unlimited kilometre warranty with seven years of capped price servicing and road-side assistance. I’ll just let that sink in for a moment. It is unrivalled. Keep in mind that the average length of car ownership in Australia is five years. That means that for the majority of Australians you don’t have to worry about extra costs for roadside assistance programs, no stress about how much that next service is going to cost you or what nasty surprise the mechanic will uncover. Better yet, it’s fully transferrable so the next owner can benefit too and you can get a little more bang for your buck. Essentially Kia now gives you free peace of mind with every car purchase. Thanks Kia!
When my time as a motoring journalist runs out, it’s a pretty safe bet that you will find me at my local Kia dealership with a big smile on my face as I drive away in my shiny new Cerato Hatch.
*driveaway price for postcode 2000 and is subject to change