2017 Kia Cerato is much of the same, just a little better
What we like:
- Solid interior quality
- Refined engine
- Excellent ride and handling compromise
- S Premium package tempting value
Not so much:
- No Apple CarPlay
- Interior too dark
- Update perhaps not significant enough
- Still a little bland
When we sampled the Kia Cerato last year we quickly learnt that it was a comfortable, spacious, frugal small hatch that was a little on the conservative side.
Kia has given the Cerato a face lift for the 2017 model year, which includes a sharper front end with long, raked headlights, new and improved interior trim, refined suspension tuning and higher-end Si gains Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert while the flagship SLi adds Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Warning.
All models in the 2017 Kia Cerato range are powered by a 2.0 litre petrol engine that develops 112kW @ 6200rpm and 192Nm @ 4000rpm. The 2017 Kia Cerato is offered with a six-speed manual as standard with the option of a six-speed automatic. All other models are fitted with the automatic as standard.
We tested the 2017 Kia Cerato S Premium, which is priced from $24,990 and adds a six-speed automatic as standard, satellite navigation and a multifunction entertainment centre with a 7” touch screen, reversing camera, automatic headlights, leather wrapped steering wheel, interior finishes such as chrome door handles and softer touch materials over the base Cerato S.
In terms of value and practicality, the 2017 Kia Cerato S Premium trumps its relative and rival the Hyundai i30 Active X which features leather trim and polished alloys, but misses out on the infotainment system and has an inferior engine.
Inside, the 2017 Kia Cerato feels solid, and it is apparent that Kia has put considerable resources into ensuring that the cabin feels just right. And it does, although one passenger commented that there was an excessive use of dark plastics.
However, the chrome door handles and new chrome touches do break the monotony slightly and the addition of a sunglasses holder for the 2017 Kia Cerato is a small but very welcome change.
The touchscreen infotainment system and satellite navigation on the 2017 Kia Cerato S Premium is of impressive quality, especially for a car at this price point but the Kia does without voice control and perhaps disappointingly, Apple CarPlay is not available, a feature which is available in the Cerato’s cousin, the Hyundai Elantra.
The 2.0 litre engine that is now standard across the range produces 112kW @ 6200rpm and 192Nm @ 4000rpm. The engine is reasonably hushed at low revs and generally allows the Cerato to go about its business quietly. However, prod the throttle to quickly overtake and the engine can take on a harsh and noisy persona, which we felt could be partially attributed to the six-speed automatic, which at times was slow and indecisive with shifts, and at other times held gears for too long.
Claimed fuel consumption figures are 7.1 litres on a combined cycle, but we found around 8.5 litres to be more realistic.
Kia Australia’s suspension engineering and development team are to be applauded for the way they tailor Kia models to meet the needs of Australian customers. The 2016 Kia Cerato was a fine drive, but the engineering team has revised the front springs and adjusted the power steering for greater feel.
And, the changes have seemed to have paid off. Around town it’s easy to thread the Cerato through city streets and that upgraded suspension absorbs road imperfections with aplomb. In sum, the ride is excellent, without having an adverse effect on the neutral handling.
The Kia Cerato is backed by Kia’s seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty
Name: Kia Cerato S Premium
Engine: 1999cc petrol engine with DOHC with VVT, 112kW @ 6200rpm and 192Nm @ 4000rpm
Price: $24,990 plus on road costs
Country of Origin: Korea