Loading indicator
News & Reviews
Last 7 Days
  • Pleasing performance; improved fit & finish; spacious & comfortable
  • Four speed auto; steering wheel size & feel; dated instrument cluster

OUR RATING
5 / 10



2009 Kia Cerato Review & Road Test
2009 Kia Cerato Review & Road Test
by Matt Brogan

Kia Cerato Review & Road Test

A to B cars usually aren’t this good

Model Tested:

  • 2009 Kia Cerato S 2.0-litre automatic sedan – $20,990 (RRP)

Options:

  • Option Pack – ESP, traction conrol, cruise control and remote audio – $1000; Metallic Paint $300 (Fitted – Santorini Blue)

CarAdvice Rating:

It has been my experience that most people baulk at the idea of owning a Kia, though I’m not quite sure why, for as I found out this week the all-new Kia Cerato is a solid contender when it comes to shopping the small/mid-sized sedan market.

Traditionally style and Kia aren’t two words usually synonymous with one another, unless “lack thereof” is somewhere in between, but the 2009 Kia Cerato has changed all that.

Clean, flowing angular lines, high shoulders and a more purposefully modern perspective have made this car an attractive and well proportioned vehicle seemingly no matter the angle from which it is viewed from.

2009 Kia Cerato Review & Road Test
2009 Kia Cerato Review & Road Test
2009 Kia Cerato Review & Road Test
2009 Kia Cerato Review & Road Test

Inside too a blend of colour and materials lifts the ambiance for a more bright and airy feel, complimenting the sense of available space nicely.

Layout, although rather simple, is very practical and almost elegant, though personally the large urethane steering wheel and instrument cluster design do tend to cheapen an otherwise pleasing decor.

Red and white back lighting makes night vision sharp and easy, with all information from the dated-looking instrument cluster easily read at a brief glance. The centre stack, clock and audio control buttons are uniformly illuminated in red. Additionally the multi-reflector halogen headlamps provide an excellent field of vision on country roads.

At the heart of the all-new Kia Cerato is Kia’s 2.0-litre, DOHC, Theta II engine, which provides class-leading power, 115kW at 6200rpm, and adequate torque, 194Nm at 4300rpm, for just about any situation.

The engine loves to rev and is free flowing, offering a linear spread of power delivery across the entire rev range. Consequently the car feels quicker zero to 100km/h than the claimed 10.5 seconds and manages excellent performance both around town and on the open road.

Unfortunately there is one slight let down in this equation, and that’s the automatic transmission.

Coupled to a somewhat antiquated four-speed unit, the Kia Cerato suffers from being disallowed a ratio between third and  the upper limit of fourth, the result of which is a large gap that leads to over zealous kick-down under even slight throttle input.

This calibration issue does not pose any great bearing on the car’s overall performance, and the tall fourth ratio certainly improves Cerato’s fuel economy, but for the sake of a smooth transition both when up and down shifting, the six-speed unit currently in development will make what is already a very good car great.

Otherwise Cerato is surprisingly smooth to drive and the longer wheelbase, compared to the previous model, certainly helps to iron out bumps. Handling levels are fluid and capable while highway cruising is both comfortable and quiet – on all but the roughest coarse chip asphalt.

If you really get enthusiastic the front-wheel-drive’s tendency to understeer will become apparent, but as this is an issue confined to sudden high-speed cornering, it is not something I should imagine too many Cerato owners experiencing.

Kia utilises a strut front/torsion beam rear suspension arrangement under the Cerato, and despite some competitors offering a more modern multi-link rear end, this is one car that actually manages to make the most of its more basic set-up, and it’s this smooth ride that enhances what is already a comfortable and generously proportioned cabin.

Seating is well cushioned and very supportive with the associated adjustment from both the seat and the tilt/slide steering column being well thought out. In turn an enjoyable driving position has been created that, coupled with well placed primary and auxiliary controls, makes the whole driving experience a far more rewarding than the bargain price tag would have you believe.

Rear seat passengers too are afforded comfortable seating and generous leg-room – as well as excellent visibility – which makes long distance travel more enjoyable, especially if your little ones are prone to car sickness.

As far as the specification list in concerned Cerato S features cloth trim, manual air-conditioning, MP3 compatible CD tuner with iPod interface, power windows and mirrors, remote central locking with panic alarm and can also be fitted with optional cruise control.

I’d be rather inclined to tick the cruise control box as Kia Cerato can tend to roll over the speed limit with very little fuss. Similarly I’d also opt for reverse parking sensors as shorter drivers may find the higher rear window a little bit of a hindrance when backing up.

Safety equipment is surprising in standard form with dual front, side and curtain airbags included in the list price. ABS with Electronic Brake Force Distribution is also on the included check list though you will have to find an extra $1000 to have the peace of mind of ESP(coupled with traction control, cruise control and remote audio controls), which in my opinion is well worth the additional outlay.

Cargo capacity is a generous 415 litres, and with the added benefit of one-touch 60:40 split fold rear seats, this can be increased two-fold from inside the boot area meaning no more awkward jumping in and out of the back seat. Kia Cerato can also tow up to 1200kg, braked.

So if you manage to set aside what ever brand bias you might have, and a small/mid-sized sedan is on your shopping list, then jump into a Cerato and take it for a test drive. I’m sure that just like me you’ll come to the same conclusion: A to B cars usually aren’t this good.

It’s a pleasant drive, is good on fuel and has adequate power for just about any situation. What’s more it’s roomy, comfortable, quiet, well built and, most of all, affordable, making the new Cerato pretty hard to pass up.

CarAdvice Overall Rating:
How does it Drive:
How does it Look:
How does it Go:

Kia Cerato Specifications:

  • Engine: 1975cc DOHC four cylinder (16-valve)
  • Power: 115kW @ 6200rpm
  • Torque: 194Nm @ 4300rpm
  • Induction: Multi Point
  • Transmission: Four-speed automatic
  • Driven Wheels: Front
  • Suspension: Strut(F)/Torsion Beam(R)
  • Brakes: Discs with ABS & EBD
  • Top Speed: 190km/h
  • 0-100km/h: 10.5 seconds
  • CO2 Emissions: 187g/km (Combined)
  • Fuel Consumption: 7.9 litres/100km (ADR)
  • Fuel Consumption: 8.3 litres/100km (As Tested)
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 52 litres
  • Fuel Type: 91RON petrol
  • ANCAP Rating: Not yet tested
  • Airbags: Dual front, side & curtain
  • Safety: ESP & Traction Control (Optional)
  • Spare Wheel: Full-size steel
  • Cargo Capacity: 415 litres
  • Tow Capacity: 1200kg (Braked)
  • Turning Circle: 10.3 metres
  • Warranty: Five Year/Unlimited Kilometre
  • Weight: 1359kg
  • Wheels: Steel 15 x 6.0-inch


  Submit an Owner Car Review

KIA CERATO BREAKDOWN

2009 Kia Cerato Review & Road Test
  • 5
  • 4
  • 6
  • 6
  • 7
  Submit an Owner Car Review



Kia Cerato Specs

LD : 2.0L MULTI POINT F/INJ - 4 SP AUTOMATIC - UNLEADED PETROL - 4D SEDAN
Car Details
Make
KIA
Model
CERATO
Series
LD
Year
2009
Body Type
4D SEDAN
Seats
5
Pricing
New Price
N/A
Private Sale
$7,040 - $8,000
Dealer Retail
$8,330 - $9,900
Dealer Trade
$5,400 - $6,400
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
MULTI POINT F/INJ
Engine Size
2.0L
Max. Torque
185Nm @  4000rpm
Max. Power
101kW @  6000rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
76.5W/kg
Bore & Stroke
82x93.5mm
Compression Ratio
10
Valve Gear
DUAL OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
4 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive Type
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
3.77
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
55Litres
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
9.3L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1320
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1470mm
Length
4480mm
Width
1753mm
Ground Clearance
160mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:850  Unbrake:450
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
10.4
Front Rim Size
6x15
Rear Rim Size
6x15
Front Tyres
185/65 R15
Rear Tyres
185/65 R15
Wheel Base
2610
Front Track
1495
Rear Track
1485
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Coil Spring, Hydraulic double acting shock absorber, Anti roll bar
Rear Suspension
Dual link, Coil Spring, Hydraulic double acting shock absorber, Anti roll bar
Standard Features
Comfort
Air Conditioning
Driver
Cruise Control, Power Steering
Entertainment
Radio CD with 6 Speakers
Exterior
Fog Lights - Front, Power Mirrors
Interior
Power Windows
Safety
Dual Airbag Package, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats
Security
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Exterior
Metallic Paint
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
Warranty
60 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Driver Side Front Floor
Country of Origin
Korea