Kia has announced pricing and specifications for the all new third generation Cerato sedan which touches down on Australian shores later this month.
The Cerato range kicks off with the S, which starts from $19,990 drive-away for the 6-speed manual or $21,490 drive-away for the 6-speed automatic. Above that is the $23,690 drive-away Sport and $26,190 drive-away Sport+.
The S comes standard with a comprehensive suite of safety gear, including near-compulsory autonomous emergency braking (AEB), forward collision waring, lane-keep assist, driver attention alert, a rear view camera and front and rear parking sensors. It also gets 16-inch steel wheels, 6 airbags, an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, a 6-speaker audio system, DAB digital radio, cloth seats with 6-way driver’s seat adjustment, manual air-conditioning (no climate control here), cruise control, a drive mode selector (more on that later), power windows, speed limiter and tyre pressure monitoring.
In addition the features of the base S, the $23,690 Sport adds 17-inch alloy wheels, satellite navigation with SUNA live traffic and 10 years of Kia Mapcare, a premium leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear selector, sport patterned cloth seats and aero blade windscreen wipers.
Finally, the top-spec $26,190 Sport+ adds AEB Fusion II with pedestrian and cyclist recognition, adaptive cruise control, LED daytime running lights, keyless entry, push-button start, leather seats, electric folding mirrors, rear seat air vents and dual zone climate control.
All third-gen Ceratos use the same engine as the previous generation, a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated 4-cylinder petrol that produces 112kW of power at 6200rpm and 192Nm of torque at 4000rpm. Drive is sent to the front wheels through one of the aforementioned transmissions, a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic. Fuel use is rated at 7.4L/100km for the auto and 7.6L/100km for the manual.
Ceratos equipped with the 6-speed automatic transmission get Kia’s Drive Mode Select system, which lets drivers choose from four tailored driving modes: Comfort, Sport, Eco and Smart. Comfort is designed for everyday use and finds a middleground between Eco and Sport, Eco optimises throttle response, steering and shift points for maximum fuel efficiency, Sport makes the car as sporty as possible by weighting steering, improving engine throttle response and holding gears for longer and Smart shifts between Comfort, Eco and Sport based on the situation and conditions.
The exterior is where the third-generation Cerato has received the most updates. Designed by Kia’s American design centre in Irvine, California, the new Cerato borrows styling cues from the larger Stinger liftback sedan. The new car features a longer bonnet and lower roofline than its predecessor, creating a liftback look. The front bumper features Kia’s signature tiger-nose grille and muscular air vents, complemented by LED daytime running lights on the Sport+. At the rear, the taillights are connected to a long piece of red trim, making it look as if they run across the entire width of the bootlid – the rear bumper is also more aggressive than before. Drag coefficient has been reduced from 0.28Cd to 0.27Cd, thanks to specially shaped body parts and air curtains in the bumpers which channel air around the wheels.
Dimensionally, the new Cerato is larger than its predecessor. The wheelbase is unchanged, but length comes in at 4640mm (up 80mm) while height is now 1440mm (up 5mm). Passengers are treated to more space – headroom is up 4mm and shoulder room is up 10mm. Boot space is rated at 502 litres, and the rear seats fold flat in a 60:40 configuration to make loading long items easy.
Inside, the dashboard is 18mm wider and is much cleaner than the outgoing model. The 8.0-inch infotainment display is mounted 68mm higher in a floating tablet style – these layouts are becoming increasingly popular. Soft-touch surfaces are also spread throughout the cabin.
The new Cerato has also received some structural upgrades that improve safety, including an increased use of ‘Advanced High-Strength Steel’, increased structural adhesive, hot-stamped steel components as well as reinforced side members around the engine bay. In addition to the standard safety kit mentioned earlier, two option packs are available: the $1000 Option Pack 1 adds AEB Fusion II, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, folding mirrors and a leather steering wheel to the S and Sport variants, while the $500 Option Pack 2 adds blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert to the Sport+.
As with all Kias, the third-generation Cerato has received an in-depth local ride and handling tune to better suit Australian roads. This involves altering the Cerato’s MacPherson front and tubular beam rear suspension components as well as the electric power steering system. Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) has also been improved, through the addition of extra soundproofing materials and new subframe bush axle mounts.
It will be available in 9 colours: Clear White, Snow White Pearl, Silky Silver, Platinum Graphite, Gravity Blue, Aurora Black Pearl, Steel Grey, Horizon Blue and Runway Red. All colours except Clear White demand a $520 premium.
The 2018 Kia Cerato goes on sale later this month. A full pricing rundown can be seen below.