KIA has updated its popular Cerato sedan and hatch ranges, which now sport a fresher look, improved equipment levels and sharper dynamics, while retaining their competitive sub-$20,000 starting price.
Still available across four trim levels (S, S Premium, Si and SLi) and as either a five-door hatch or four-door sedan, the biggest mechanical change is to the Cerato’s engine range, with Kia ditching the old car’s 1.8-litre petrol engine.
Instead, all Kia Cerato models are now offered with a more powerful 112kW/192Nm multi-port injection, 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine that offers improved performance and fuel economy.
Every model in the Cerato range is paired with a six-speed automatic, with only the base S available with the choice of a six-speed manual.
Visually, the most obvious differences for this mid-life update are a more aggressive front bumper that houses a larger Tiger Nose grille, sleeker wrap-around headlights and a deeper front air intake with integrated fog lamps.
Inside, Kia has changed the materials on the doors, dash and seats, and also made small alterations to the centre console and gearstick.
More notable, though, are boosts to equipment levels. Si models now score blind spot detection, lane change assist and a rear cross traffic alert systems as standard, while range-topping SLi models add lane departure warning and forward collision warning, which alerts the driver if a frontal impact is imminent.
Other technical improvements include an updated 7-inch touch screen with sat-nav and reversing camera on S Premium models and above.
Base S models make do with a dated-looking 3.5-inch LCD centre screen, though customers can upgrade to the 7-inch head unit, which is compatible with Android Auto, for $500.
Kia has also tweaked the Cerato’s suspension for Australian roads, with the Korean brand’s local engineers fitting stiffer springs, different suspension bushes and new dampers for better road holding and a more composed ride.
The steering is improved over the existing car too, thanks to an upgraded system that improves the driver’s sense of connection to the front wheels.
Kia is offering sharp drive-away pricing on all Cerato models from launch, plus the option of a free automatic upgrade on the entry-level S model, which Kia expects to be the top selling variant.
|S manual:||$19,990 drive away|
|S auto:||$22,290 ($19,990 drive-away)|
|S with AV and auto:||$22,790 ($20,490 drive-away)|
|S Premium auto:||$24,990 drive-away|
|Si auto:||$28,990 drive-away|
|SLi auto:||$32,490 drive-away|