Now in its third generation, the all-new Cerato still embodies many elements of the Kia brand’s design philosophy. The most noticeable, of course, is the new and instantly recognisable tiger front grille, which has become the ‘face’ of the Kia brand.
Upfront, this Korean aims to offer a masculine design profile with emotional appeal and it’s easy to see why Kia believes it has yet another winner.
The lines are certainly slick and free-flowing, as the coupé-like roofline complements the overall design.
In a segment primarily focused on practicality - and with very little attention to the vehicle’s looks - Kia has flipped this market on its head. Admittedly, it does have some rather fierce competition from the likes of the ever-popular and oh-so-dull Toyota Corolla and of course the Hyundai Elantra, last year’s Car of the Year winner. But it already has an impressive line-up on offer and more derivatives will be launched in the upcoming months, including the hatchback and deviously naughty looking Koup, which will become available in November.
Currently, the all-new Cerato sedan range will be offered in three trim variants and two engine options: the 1.6 EX, 2.0 EX and 2.0 SX.
The 2.0-litre Nu engine creates 118kW of power and a handy 198Nm of torque. This translates into a 0-100km/h time of 8.5 seconds with the six-speed manual gearbox and 9.3 seconds in the automatic model, while the top speed is a claimed 210km/h.
The slightly smaller and popular 1.6-litre Gamma engine produces 95kW of power and 115Nm of torque. In this guise, the manual Cerato can go from standstill to 100km/h in 10.1 seconds and the automatic model will do the same in 11.6 seconds, before going on to reach a top speed of 200km/h.
There’s no denying that the car produces the comfort levels Kia has now become renowned for and it’s fully loaded with all the latest creature comforts. These include the likes of air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity and a 4.2-inch screen (on the SX model), to name but a few.
Designed around the driver, the Cerato’s cockpit places all the major and minor controls within easy-to-operate reach. For enhanced elegance, soft-touch materials are applied to the upper door trims, dashboard, door armrests, door-centre trim panels and the centre console.
On the safety front, the Cerato benefits from technologies such as ABS with built-in EBD, active headrests, impact-sensing auto door unlock, a passenger airbag on/off switch, six airbags consisting of driver, front-passenger, side and curtain airbags, Isofix child-seat anchors and fog lights.
The higher-spec SX model will also enjoy features like Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill-Start Assist Control - which prevents slip-back during stop-start driving on inclines - and a vehicle stability management system that works with the ESC to provide ‘corrective’ steering inputs to help the driver avoid loss of control, especially on asymmetric (wet and dry) road surfaces.
Unfortunately, we were only able to get behind the wheel of the 2.0-litre auto guise at the launch and the car undoubtedly does deliver on what it promises too: the power to surprise. The Cerato is anything but dull, particularly in its design profile and overall practicality.
Like all models in the Kia family, the Cerato comes with a 5-year/90 000km service plan, as well as a 5-year/150 000km warranty and 3-year/unlimited roadside assistance plan.
|Cerato 1.6 Man||R219 995|
|Cerato 1.6 Auto||R229 995|
|Cerato 2.0 Man||R249 995|
|Cerato 2.0 Auto||R259 995|
|Cerato 2.0 Man SX||R279 995|
|Cerato 2.0 Auto SX||R289 995|