The Kia brand is no doubt on fast lane in regional markets of the globe where it is sold. And since the pitching of tenth by Peter Schreyer of the erstwhile Audi, almost all the models in the Korean product line has undergone many metamorphosis and one of such that has witnessed real time transformation is the Cerato.
Sporting a sleeker profile with futuristic and dynamic styling, the all-new Cerato sedan is longer, lower and wider than its predecessor. It features a re-engineered bodyshell structure and boasts improved quality, upgraded equipment and a host of additional convenience and safety features.
New Cerato drivers will experience a more spacious and refined cabin as well as an upgraded power-train line-up. The sleeker new Cerato has cab-forward styling, a lower coupe-like roofline, distinctive eye-catching concave door contours and a rising beltline with a chrome window moulding extending into the C-pillar to project an aura of elegance.
Moving the A-pillar forwards and the C-pillar backwards allows the addition of front and rear quarter glass panels which enhance the car’s sense of spaciousness. It also improves visibility by eliminating blind spots while enhancing the car’s premium image. At the rear, the boot lid is shaped to reduce aerodynamic drag and the rear combination lamps smooth the airflow while reinforcing its wide stance. The new Cerato is slightly longer, lower and wider than before but despite this, it comes with a boot capacity that has been increased by 67 litres to 482 litres.
Depending on the market and customer preferences, the new Cerato will be available in a range of 10 exterior colours and will be offered in three different equipment levels and across two engines. In case you don’t know, the model features three different types of instrument cluster designs across the range. A segment-type LCD cluster is standard on the 1.6 EX model, while a dotmatrix LCD cluster, standard on the 2.0 EX model, offers a broader range of information.
The 2.0 SX model is fitted with a high-tech TFT colour LCD cluster that features a new and more ergonomically designed GUI (graphics user interface) with a 4.2-inch screen and high-intensity white lighting.
The 1.6 EX model has an array of standard convenience features including a manual air-conditioner, automatic light control, built-in Bluetooth, steering wheel mounted cruise control, front and rear electric windows, LED daytime running lights, an MP3/iPod/USB compatible radio with CD front loader, rear air vents, six speakers, steering wheel mounted remote controls and 60/40 rear split seats.
Upgrading to the more powerful 2.0 EX model gets you a dot-matrix LCD cluster, leather seats as well as the option of a sunroof. An advanced flex steer system allows the driver to individualise his driving style by the flick of a switch. Three settings are available and they comprise normal, sporty and comfort.
Top of the range 2.0 SX model features various high tech features including HID xenon headlamps, a rear view camera, a smart key with stop/start button, a smart welcome lighting system, front and rear park distance control and a supervision TFT LCD cluster.
True comfort when travelling by road is not just dependent on a car’s interior space and convenience features – it can be enhanced or undermined by the level of NVH (noise, vibration and harshness). Consequently, Kia’s engineers worked hard to ensure that the third-generation Cerato would deliver even better refinement than the previous model.
The all-new Cerato is manufactured in Korea and is available in a choice of two petrol engines – a 118 kW 2.0-liter Nu engine and the popular 95 kW 1.6-liter Gamma engine. Every new Cerato model will feature a six-speed transmission and drivers are offered a choice of manual or multi-mode automatic gearboxes.
To reduce fuel consumption and lower carbon emissions, both feature high top-gear ratios even as the auto features two operating modes – fully automatic or ‘Sport’. The selector gate is a straight P-RN- D arrangement, with the Sport mode engaged by moving the lever towards the driver when in D mode.
To ensure responsive steering ‘feel’ and precise vehicle control, every new Cerato comes with Kia’s MDPS (Motor Driven Power Steering) system. Electric power assistance, rather than hydraulic assistance, delivers a significant fuel saving. For maximum stopping power, all new Cerato models can be equipped with an all-disc braking system featuring large diameter (280 mm) ventilated front discs and (262 mm) solid discs at the rear, backed up by ABS.
Safety technologies standard on all models include ABS with in-built 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 SX model features ESC (Electronic Stability Control), HAC (Hill-start Assist Control), which prevents slip-back during stop-start driving on inclines, and a VSM (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 anddry) road surfaces.
All the new Cerato models come standard with a five year/90 000 kilometre service plan, a five year/150 000 kilometre warranty and a three year/unlimited roadside assistance plan, although this differs according to respective dealerships.