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Kia's new Cerato is now
available in Australia

REVIEW:   Kia Cerato

by Stephen Walker

8th February, 2009

Home > News > Kia > Cerato

Announced during the Kia sponsored "Australian Open" tennis competition in Melbourne, the South Korean firm's new 4 door small car, the Kia Cerato, has now been released locally. The new Cerato replaces an attractive sedan which was a steady seller, but it was never amongst the top sellers in the class.

However, this new model is bound to expand Kia's presence in the small car class.

In fact, Kia is a brand that has global growth foremost on its 'corporate mind'.

The stylish Kia Cerato features Kia's new 'corporate grille' that will form part of the brand's identity for the future.

Kia has made a great deal of the styling efforts of their various design studio teams under the leadership of Peter Schreyer. The new Cerato is the first car to 'hit' the market with the Schreyer influence. As well as the grille, Peter Schreyer's design intentions can be seen on the new Cerato's 'shoulder' line. Schreyer has, correctly, identified that car buyers are influenced by style, amongst other factors. Hence, style is an integral component of the overall design.

Price (RRP)

    Cerato S
    Cerato S (Option Pack)
    Cerato SLi

Premium paint (Mica/Metallic) is available at $300 extra cost.


Power comes from a 2 litre four cylinder engine which features Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT). Power is rated at 115 kW at 6,200 rpm. Torque is rated at 194 Nm at 4,300 rpm. This makes the new Kia Cerato quite competitive in its class. The engine is a 16-valve DOHC unit that provides power and economy and, importantly, quiet 'running' qualities.


The choice of a 5 speed manual or a 4 speed automatic is available with both versions of the new Kia Cerato.

A silky smooth gear change is the absolute highlight of the manual transmission.

The auto has a manual change option, for those who require such a feature.

Self-Catering Holiday
Accommodation in
Denmark, WA
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Trim Level

Two versions of the value conscious Kia Cerato provide buyers with a choice between nice and quite nice.

The base model, known as Cerato S (priced from $18,990), features; air-conditioning, 15" steel wheels with 195/65 R15 tyres, power and heated door mirrors, power windows (front & rear), dual SRS front airbags, front side SRS airbags, curtain (full-length) SRS airbags, active front head restraints, keyless remote central locking, 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS (anti-lock braking system), EBD (electronic brake force distribution) and brake assist, MP3 compatible CD player with power bass, auxiliary input (for external audio device), USB audio input with iPod compatibility, repeater lamps on exterior rear view mirrors, speed-sensing auto door locks, 'Tricot' cloth trim, map reading lamp and sunglass holder.

An important option package is available for the Cerato S. It includes electronic stability programme (ESP), traction control, remote audio controls and cruise control. This package is priced at just $1,000. A very good option for those buying the base model.

The top model, known as Cerato SLi (priced from $22,990), features (in addition to the features indicated for Cerato S); the optional package for Cerato S, 17-inch alloy wheels with 215/45 R17 tyres, front fog lamps, chrome grille, chrome door handles, rear garnish, chrome tipped tail pipe, climate control air conditioning, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, 'super vision' cluster with rear parking assist display, four ultrasonic rear parking sensors, auto light control system, 'Jersey' knit trim, metallic paint console, upper cover and door trim, six function trip computer and exterior temperature display.

Body Styles

The new Kia Cerato is available a 4 door sedan only at this time. The hatch version, which was available in the previous version has been discontinued. Later this year a coupe, based on the Cerato, will be released. This model has the firm excited about sales expansion.


Six airbags are standard in every model in the new Cerato line-up. This is a good move and it is one of numerous reasons why the Kia Cerato will gain ready acceptance in the Australian market place.

ESP is optional (in a package) on the Cerato S, but standard on the top of the line Cerato SLi.

Crash testing for the new Kia Cerato will take place later in the year.

Fuel Consumption

On the combined cycle, the 2 litre Cerato has a fuel consumption rating of 7.8 litres/100 kilometres for the manual transmission version and 7.9 for the auto. (copyright image)

2009 Kia Cerato .....
better value than a Toyota Corolla
and much cheaper than a Honda Civic

The Kia Cerato consumes unleaded fuel. The capacity of the fuel tank is 52 litres.


CO2 output is rated at 186 grammes per kilometre for the manual, 187 for the auto.


    Boot space:
4,530 mm
1,775 mm
1,460 mm
2,650 mm
415 litres


The new Kia Cerato has the capacity to tow a braked trailer up to 1,200 kilogrammes.


An excellent warranty is provided by Kia. Private buyers are supported by a 5 year/unlimited kilometre factory backed warranty. Upon the sale of a Kia with this warranty, the unused portion of the warranty is transferable to the subsequent owner.

Government, fleet and business buyers are covered by a 5 year/130,000 kilometre warranty.


The Cerato is manufactured at Kia's South Korean production facilities.

On The Road

Driving the new Cerato around Melbourne and beyond demonstrated that Kia has made the ride and handling a priority for the design team, because this new model certainly has a good feel on the road. The engine provides adequate power and the steering and braking feel quite good. Those who drive a manual transmission car will be delighted by the light and easy manual gear change. It's silky smooth! The cabin looks good in both models and feels good too. The seating is comfortable, as I determined long before the completion of my two 50+ kilometre drives (I was a passenger for two similar 'runs'). There is some wind noise around the 'A' pillars. Just as you would expect, the Next Car will undertake extensive drives of the new Kia Cerato.


The Kia Cerato sedan is now available from the firm's 120-plus Australian dealers.

A coupe, based on the Cerato sedan, will be released in late 2009. Although, it will not wear a "Cerato" badge. In fact, it may bear the name Koup (excuse the peculiar spelling).

About Kia

In Australia

Kia arrived in Australia in the late 1990s. An amazing 120,000+ Kia models have been sold in Australia in the ten years that Kia has had a local presence.

Kia's next new model for Australia is the trendy Soul. It will be here during March, 2009.


Production of Kia's first vehicle, the K-360, a three-wheeled truck began in 1962. The Titan E-2000 became the company's first 4-wheeler in 1971. Many of Kia's first cars and trucks were based on former Mazda vehicles. In fact, at one time Ford and Kia were 'courting' each other. Two generations of Ford Festivas were manufactured by Kia.

Presently, Kia has 14 production plants in 8 countries. With production running at over 1.4 million units per annum, the value conscious brand is one of the companies that will be changing the automotive world, as we know it, in coming years.

Kia is part of South Korea's Hyundai Group.


Kia's new release, the Cerato sedan, has many fine attributes in its favour. Six airbags, iPod compatibility, good ride and handling, a superb warranty and an excellent pricing structure mean Kia have hit the ground running in 2009.

The conservative nature of forecasting sales numbers seems to indicate that Kia wants 3,000 Ceratos out the door this year. However, reality is sure to see that figure exceeded, because this new Kia Cerato is well designed and well built. That alone will secure a good future for this important new model.

And it looks good too!


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Talk Motoring On
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More Kia News ..... here
More Kia Cerato News ..... here

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