8 March 2018
Cerato Si hatch
Cerato has had a mid-life makeover . It was launched in the surrounds of NSW’s beautiful Hunter Valley. Read about it here.
We liked it a lot. Since then, we drove the Si for the week and found the midrange model starting at $28,990 comfy and spacious and great to drive. It is as good as ever.
The hatch segment is crammed full of great offerings and jostles with SUVs for attention. In fact, last month SUV sales overtook passenger car sales for the first time signaling a confirmation of a cha
nge in the way we choose and the way we drive. However, the biggest selling vehicle is a car which shares Cerato’s segment, the Toyota Corolla.
Other hatches/sedans include the Ford Focus, VW Golf, Peugeot 308, Mazda 3 and Subaru Impreza to name but a few, and all offer something buyers crave, perceived value for money. We keep trying to define this for buyers, but buyers are far smarter now and demand to pay less, for more stuff.
The only extra on the test car was metallic paint at $520, the rest was standard gear. Although the 2.0 multi point injection engine puts out a respectable 112kw/192Nm, the 6 speed auto races to as high a gear as it can manage which feels like it robs Cerato of much of its performance. You can wring more out of it by changing gears manually using the floor shifter.
It is not too keen to kick down unless you mash your foot to the floor, but this gives you an economy figure of a very respectable 5.6 L/100k on the highway. Kia sells Cerato as a spacious city car, and that’s what it is. But this Kia is equally at home on the open road.
Like all Kias, Cerato is jammed full of value including lane departure and blind spot warning. The only thing missing from the range is Emergency Autonomous Braking.
Lights front and back have a modern look with LED DTRL (daytime running lights) to accent the new grille. The top model gets HID headlights and LED taillights which look even better. The 17” wheels on the top model look amazing, but the ride on the 16” is what I’d rather have.
The Euro-look is becoming more pronounced as time wears on. If you were to remove the badge I’m willing to bet punters would have no idea where Cerato was made, but might suggest Europe as a place to start looking.
I’m a fan of hatchbacks over sedans, and there is a handle inside so that closing the hatch doesn’t get dirt on your hands. You can lower the seat backs to increase the luggage space vastly.