2016 Kia Cerato Series Two Launch Review

2016 Kia Cerato update launch road test and review.

Kia has set its sights on skipping ahead of the Holden Cruze in the Australian small car race with a refreshed version of the Kia Cerato.

The Kia Cerato was described as “a very important model for us” by Kia executives at the Australian launch of the newly refreshed model and we can expect to see a bigger focus on the Cerato in Kia’s Australian marketing efforts through the rest of the year.

Overall, especially in such a competitive market, Kia has a good story to tell with the updated Cerato.

Welcoming fresh and (in my opinion) improved front and rear styling, Kia’s 2016 Series Two Cerato gives up nothing on the styling front to its competitors.

Pricing remains consistent as well, starting from $19,990, though if considering the entry-level model Cerato S, you should tick the box for the $500 pack that gives you a 7” touchscreen and reverse camera.

There are two other model grades above the S; the Si and SLi. The Si picks up 16” alloy wheels (same size as the base models steel wheels), as well as blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert.

The flagship Kia Cerato SLi boasts 17” alloy wheels with low profile 45 Series tyres, leather interior and features such as forward collision warning and lane departure warning.

I got to drive all three model grades yesterday and I think the sweet spot is the mid-spec model.

The reason for this is the wheels/tyres. By Kia’s own admission the new revised Kia Cerato Series Two suspension features stiffer springs and firmer bushes and this can be felt when the Cerato hits a bump.

Couple this firmer ride with the low profile tyres and the end result is a ride that is a bit too hard/sports-tuned for a ‘premium/luxury’ model. It also seemed that the lower profile Nexen Tyres on the SLi were also noisier, particularly on any ‘rough’ type road surface.

Under the bonnet of all grades is the same 112kW/192Nm 2.0 litre petrol engine and a six-speed manual transmission comes as standard in the S, a six-auto transmission is standard in all other models.

The engine figures might seem fairly minimal but the engine does an adequate job of moving the Cerato along. Fuel consumption came in at 8.6L/100km in the auto, we did better at 7.4L/100km in the manual version.

While Kia has also introduced the latest version of its infotainment system in the updated Cerato, at this stage though the Korean car company is awaiting licensing approval to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The good news though is that the system in the Cerato is designed to run those applications and when the issue is sorted buyers will be able to have it added to their vehicle at a Kia dealership, free of charge.

If you want Digital Radio then the Kia Cerato won’t be on your shopping list, the feature is not available here and isn’t on the horizon according to Kia’s Product Planning boss, Roland Rivero.

A plus though for the Kia Cerato is the cabin space which is surprisingly large and rear seat legroom, even with the front seats right back, is more than adequate and both the sedan and hatch boast a decent-sized boot.

The seats are comfortable and supportive and the Kia Cerato cabin (in all models) feels nice enough, the leather steering wheel in models above the S is also a lot nicer in the hands than the base-models offering.

Metallic paint, anything above white (which actually suits the updated Cerato nicely) will set you back $520.

Kia has confirmed that the updated Kia Cerato maintains a five-star ANCAP safety rating and the Kia seven-year warranty also comes standard on every Cerato sold in Australia.

Summing it up; the Kia Cerato update welcomes fresh and improved styling and the infotainment system upgrade is welcome (especially when Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are in place).

Top safety rating, competitive pricing and the Kia warranty also make it a small car worth considering.

Again, the best value and best ride/feel comes in the mid-spec Kia Cerato Si and that’s the model I’d be looking most closely at.

NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Kia Cerato Series Two

Engine: 2.0 litre petrol producing 112kW/192Nm

Transmission: Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic

Safety: Five stars

Warranty: Seven years

Origin: South Korea

Price: from $19,990

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