Meet the Kia Cerato. This European design-inspired sedan makes it clear that the Korean carmaker is producing yet another winner in its line-up of the C-segment cars. We recently test drove it for a few days and here’s what we think about this sedan that replaces the Kia Forte.
While looks are subjective, in terms of exterior design, the new Cerato scores top marks for its daring cutting edge lines and premium up-market look. It features Kia’s signature ‘Tiger Nose’ radiator grille that sets-off the Cerato’s stylish profile along with projection-type headlight lenses and LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) for better visibility.
Around the back, the Cerato comes equipped with a distinctive LED rear combination lamps that can be instantly recognised especially when driving at night. And if you are scared of the dark, the Smart Welcoming Light system presents puddle lamps that automatically sense the Smart Key and lights up the car ground while pocket lights illuminate the door handle when approaching your vehicle in the evening.
Stepping into Cerato broadens up the Cerato’s appeal even more. The driver-centric cabin features high-quality materials and soft touch points throughout. There is a large, easy-to-read instrument cluster that dominates the dashboard, and the secondary controls located on the steering wheel are within easy reach.
In terms of creature comforts, the Cerato’s cabin is a very accommodating and comfortable place to be in especially during long distance journeys. The driver’s seat offers 10-way power driver seat with memory function and there is dual zone full auto air-conditioning with cluster ionizer that cools down the cabin instantly. Oh, did I mention that the Cerato comes equipped with an air-ventilated driver’s seat? The driver’s seat blows cool air through the perforated leather cushion and backrest and I found it very useful as it effectively cools down your body when entering your vehicle on a hot sunny day.
The reverse camera that comes as a standard feature also comes in handy especially when you are parking your vehicle in tight parking spots.
Our test unit is powered by Kia’s 2.0-litre Nu D-CVVT engine that churns out 160hp and 194Nm of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. You can expect a smooth and serene ride in the Kia Cerato regardless of weather you are cruising down the highway or driving around the city. There is plenty of power that lets you zip through an open road and you can also anticipate a little bit of sporty drive feel thanks to its Macpherson Struts suspension up front coupled with a torsion beam axle suspension fitted at the back. The brakes on the other hand are well modulated and the Cerato is very easy to manoeuvre thanks to its 5.3m turning radius.
The steering feel/weight of the motor-driven power steering wheel can be adjusted according to three different modes – Comfort, Normal and Sport depending on the driver’s preference, that’s the Cerato’s party trick I guess. Sport mode is the heaviest while the Comfort mode is the lightest. Although fiddling around with the different types of settings seemed entertaining at first, after a while, you will likely leave it in Normal mode most of the time.
The Cerato’s Drag Coefficient is from as low as 0.27 to reduce fuel consumption and wind-noise. As a result, the Cerato managed a combined cycle of 15.7km per litre during our test run.
In terms of safety features, the Cerato 2.0 comes with ESC, Brake Assist Control (BAS), Traction Control System (TCS), Brake Assist System (BAS), six-airbags, frontal collision and side collision sensors, ISOFIX lock-in child seats, safety power windows and sunroof with speed sensing auto door lock and impact sensing auto door unlock.
In a nutshell, the Kia Cerato has certainly lived up its up-market look, and offers a plethora of standard equipment at a fairly reasonable price. However the question boils down to whether the Kia Cerato is right car for you. Priced from RM99,888, we think that it is a super value for money sedan worth a test drive. And of course if you’re on a tight budget, there’s always the more affordable 1.6 variant that AF highlighted recently to consider too!