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Being a hatch review, do the rear seats fold flat? and what are the basic luggage area dimensions, such measurements should be included in all car reviews. Luggage space measured in litres may as well be expressed in cans of beer. Is the 385L of luggage space measured from floor of hatch to hatch roof lining?
Nice looking car both visually, on paper and price wise, excluding impractical interior dimension claims IMO.
Reads awfully more like an ad than a review.
This ‘review’ seems far too defensive, taking stabs at other cars instead of reading like other reviews where positives are based on its merits. A lot of ‘feels better than this, looks better than this, safer than that etc’
Kim, I believe it justified.
The things I don’t like about the Cerato hatch are its lack of diesel engine, clutch uptake point, overly firm ride and Kia’s unwillingness to do a performance variant. Apart from that, if you’re looking for a small hatch you should road test this against the Impreza, Lancer, Mazda3, i30 and you’ll see that it comes with more for your money – Also, I believe it looks better than them too.
Alborz, you noted the Golf feel to the interior. It’s funny you mention that, I read recently the new Rio is going to match the Polo for interior quality as well.
There are also some spy shots of it floating around too. It looks quite similar to the new Optima from the front.
Yes, one things the Koreans do well is quickly learn and ‘adapt’ the best technologies for their cars, it seems a lot of ‘adapting’ was done from the Germans! Which is good for the market really.
Don’t get me wrong Alborz, I enjoy your reviews. But I agree with Kim, it sounds like you have to prove to us that Kia is better than its competitors.
This is the general view I have gained from other publications and personal experience: Hyundai/Kia have improved their cars rapidly; they make (sometimes very) attractive cars; offer many standard features; are not better to drive than class leaders, have not as good quality interior as class leaders, and are now not inexpensive enough to excuse it. Hyundai clearly aimed the i20 at Fiesta, but is still not a complete alternative.
Thanks Baddass, however I do have to prove to you that Kia is good. Because the brand does suffer from considerable negative brand prejudice and hence the tone of the review.
It’s hard to convince buyers to test drive Korean cars, all I can suggest is that if you’re in the market for a small hatch back, you at least road test the Cerato, you might be pleasantly surprised. The NVH levels in this are significantly better than pretty much all the Japanese hatches, bar the Impreza.
Sure this is not as good as a Mazda3 or Volkswagen Golf as an overall car, but it is cheaper, and it is a good alternative.
Alborz, you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I think people need to realise that as a professional motor writer your opinion holds a little more sway than the net trawlers who feel they know more than everyone else.
I worked in a Kia service department in 1999-2002 and at that point they were disposable, unsafe, unreliable rubbish. In saying that though i would happily go and at least explore what they have to offer in 2010 based on your review. I can then form my own opinion but as a professional i am sure you wouldn’t commit yourself to a brand/product if it is rubbish, you would lose credibility and then probably lose your job.
I think people need to just relax with the accusations, they are borderline calling you a “pay for comments” case, which is borderline defimation?!
I would however like to see the same open minded approach to products like Skoda, it suffers from a lot of fence sitting in the media with comments like “it’s really good buuuuuut”
So can you tow anything with this hatch or not. I would love to own a koupe but you can’t tow anything with it.
John i purchased the 2007 cerato hatch and had a toe ball put on. It quite comfortable pulls a 6×4 trailer with garden rubish on. I bought my cerato and at the same time my wife wanted the ford fiesta.The cerato is far superior to the fiesta.I am in the process of upgrading to the new cerato hatch,and rather than trade in my 2007 my wife wants to trade the fiesta and keep 2007 cerato because she has noticed that it is a better car..
Towing capacity unbraked (kg) 550 (manual) 500 (auto) braked (kg) 1,200 (manual) 1,000 (auto).
Not much, but then again arguably not designed for it.
1200kg braked is good. You can tow a trailer to the dump and move stuff around and the dirt bikes on weekends. Even a tinnie so you can go fishing.
Some of us aussies need a towbar.
Doesnt look as good as the koup version, but still not bad for a small hatch, I am surprised Kia doesnt sell more koups here as it has no competition in the budget koup market and it looks good!!
Have they done many improvements to the handling?
I’ve never driven one but from what I’ve heard the ESP calibration on the Cerato is poor, so much so that it really affects the handling of the car.
Other than that I think this is a great offering. It still has good value, it’s safe and it looks great. I hope it can beat the i30, the Lancer and the Corolla in the sales race. It deserves to.
They’ve further re calibrated the suspension, changes to the spring rates shock absorbers and sway bars.
You are right however, ESP is still a little too intrusive for my liking. Most people won’t notice this though.
I must agree the ESP kicks in way too early for my liking (usually occurs on this one turn as I get home). Hatch looks quite good and with a 6-speed it seems that they have tried to learn from their faults. The 6-speed in auto has slightly improved the 0-100 time (From what I remember). Decent car with only a couple of problems that I have noticed, firstly 15000 km’s till the first service. This is large for me and is doing my head in as I am not even halfway there and it has nearly been 2 years. Secondly the steering wheel I think needs to be looked at, other then that strong reliable car has faulted yet.
It’s 15,000kms or 12 months – Which ever comes first. Most manufacturesv are like that.
there is a 7,500km service offered, however not mandatory. Will satisfy both ends of the market this way.
“the Kia Cerato hatch now sets the benchmark for small-hatches in Australia”
Do you guys really think its that good? i’ve never seen the Golf as the best, for me its more the Mazda 3. if you guys think its that gud, ill consider it to replace the Cruze, if i dont like the hatch when it arrives.
I doubt you have ever driven either the Golf or the Mazda. I have driven both and the Golf is definately the better steer. The thing is that the Mazda3 is a damned good car. It’s just there is something special about the golf.
However if I was chosing between them I’d buy the Mazda. It may only be 9/10′s of the Golf but the VW reliability issue is still difficult for me to move past. The golf is a beautiful drove though. I challenge anyone to test one and come away disappointed.
I tested the Kia Cerato sedan with the 4 speed auto and was largely impressed. It doesn’t have the interior quality of the mazda or the golf but it is a good car nonetheless. It should be even better now it has the 6 speed auto. I also agree the diesel should have been in the mix. Maybe KIA want a decent price divide between it and the soon to arrive Optima?
Next year they will be landing an all new RIO too and they are promising some big things with that car. Alfonz nailed it when he said they are learning at a rapid rate. Not only are they learning fast, they are quick to pass that on to the motorist. Toyota have done barely any advancement with the Corolla in ten years by comparison and are reactive rather than procative.
If KIA start shaking up the bottom end of the market it will force the others to react and that is a win for anyone that drives.
Personally though I think the hatch is priced about $2k too high. Australians are yet to embrace this brand in the way it deserves to be embraced. They will continue to flock to the crapolla because the Jones’ have one. Not because it is a better car. Which it isn’t. I think KIA should have had a few more years of selling on price to get he brand out there rather than pricing in line with Hyundai. They may be more stylish but they don’t yet have the public on side. Hyundai do and that’s the most telling difference between the two.
KIA need to do more advertising also. they tend to launch a car and then stop all advertising.
This Kia is now the go to option for small hatches… well done Kia. All this model now needs is the 94Kw 1.6 diesel from the Soul with the 6 speed auto to start offering a fantastic alternative to a small Euro diesel (read Golf)
I thought it was a good review. Alborz does have a good point. While they are not class leading they are certainly a strong competitor and people do not give them the time of the day they deserve. Toyota and Mazda, watch your backs!
Is this Kia really that good value in year 2011? The Megane/Fluence Privilege is about $4k more than the SLi, but it has leather, sunroof, Tomtom, Bluetooth all standard. The Renaults have every thing the Cerato has otherwise so to $4k premium is justified.
To my eyes the Megane looks better than the Cerato. Admittedly the Fluence looks boring but like the Kia it’s built in Korea. The Megane is from Turkey, I don’t know if they are good quality. Comparing brand name Renault has a lot more history on their side.
All in all it seems to me that in year 2011 the Japanese small cars will have to respond in a big way, both in prices and in equipment levels. It is going to be a great year for shoppers.
The Renault may have all this extra kit for not much more coin, however the Korean and Japanese offerings in this class have reliability records that Renault can only dream of. Not as much of a factor if you only plan to keep it during the warranty period though…
The suspension and drivetrain updates make the Koup seem like an even better prospect now I quite like the look of the Cerato – all 3 versions.
Six-speed manual and auto are welcome upgrades indeed, but poor dashboard lets down an otherwise very worthy car.
How is the dashboard a let down, if it’s quality is likened to the Golf?
Really, I’m interested to hear your reasoning. Did you even read the review?
Personally, I believe it looks dowdy. The dash is not very attractive and that steering wheel is horrendous!
It’s quite funny how they found Golf-like quality here. I sat in a showroom SLi and its dash is so poorly painted there were heaps of scratches already. It’s anything but German, and not all reviews are necessarily true.
Hey I’ll take a slightly inferior kia dash to have rock solid reliability. I guess VW owners get plenty of time to get acquainted with the quality of their plastics as they wait on the side of the road for NRMA to resolve their electrical issues.
Did you sit in a hatch or sedan? Because I am pretty sure the hatch received revised interior materials along with the transmission upgrades, that the Sedan and Koup don’t get until next year.
After owing a lot of European cars, I finally switched to a kia and the cars are great. Sit in any other car in the same price brackets then sit in a kia and you will see why they are good cars. Not only that the cars themselves, handling, engine, etc are great. I personally reckon better than most european cars. Any everytime my mates look at my koup and they take it for a spin, they say dam kia has stepped up should have bought one of these!
M planning to buy the Cerato Koup, m seeking your experience and suggestion in the Koup that you own, please advice, much appreciated, Thank you!
The 1.6 CRDI engine from the I30 should have been an option for this hatch. It is a better looker than the I30 and with a gutsy diesel engine it would steal even more sales from the competition just like the I30 has!
That 1.6 diesel would also be welcome option in the Cerato Sedan.
Looks pretty good to me. Disappointing there is no diesel option though. I also think the rear end looks like a Mitsubishi ASX.
No diesel is a disapointment. I am glad they did not follow the i30 with a 1.6 petrol as the entry spec price leader.
Don’t get me wrong I’m not talking about badge snobbery but I really don’t understand their badge, simply ‘KIA’ in an oval. It looks really outdated and unsophisticated. Obviously they did fantastic job inside and out. I think new Kias are one of the best looking vehicles on the road. However, their badge is one of the worst. I believe redesigning of the badge will make their cars more appealing.
KI stands for rising, or, to rise out of. The A is for Asia. Its simple and it has a message. Thats more than some.
Where is the 7 year guarantee?
Kia offer 5 years unlimited km’s guarantee here as opposed to the 7 yrs 130,000km? i dont think theyre unlimited overseas…..australian drivers tend to drive alot and opt for the unlimited option.
Very nice! great job KIA! Gives Corolla a run for its money…
I looked at a Cerato sedan this year before buying a Lancer – was very impressed by the Cerato, but didn’t drive it. I just could not get over, in my head, the issue they’ve had with reliability in the Carnival. Not so much the issues as the way Kia handled it – badly – and what I thought that said about the company as a whole.
But this hatch could have changed my mind, if it had been available at the time. I’d have one of these over a Corolla, that’s for sure.
Yonny, good point.
However it’s fair to point out that at the time of the Carnival issues, the distribution of KIA was not handled by KIA themselves but by a third party company in AUS.
The Korean company is now fully in charge of its own distribution network here, the reason they offer the five year warranty is to help eliminate any doubt over the Carnival dilemma and because they believe in their cars.
Also the engine issues were caused by a Rover engine which had the same problem in other cars it was used.
Our second car is a Kia Rio as posted elsewhere. 32,000 k’s and not a single issue. Sure the car is a little crude in some areas and underpowered but for what we bought it for it has proven to be spot on. At $14,000 new it represents good value.
Since Hyundai got their hands on the company their reliability has improved dramatically. I expect that those that had the carnival will never buy a Kia again but after the problems I had with my $42,000 Navara I will never by a nissan again. I will certainly be looking at the Cerato later next year to replace my partner’s Rio which I will sell private with 18 months warranty remaining.
Does he know your going to sell his car? He might be a little annoyed if he comes out one day and finds it missing?
Alborz, the issue with the Carnival engine is still a bleeding sore for many people. It really doesn’t matter who distributed the car in the past, when Hyundai took over it, they assumed reponsibilty for the issue and they are still neglecting the poor owners who have a car with often less than 80,000km on it and needing $8,000 for a new engine. The faults are well known and I believe that the only option is to replace the engines as required with the new 2.5L V6 at no cost to the owner. It is expensive, but the alternative is to continue trashing their reputation for customer service. If they really believed in the cars, they would support them.
The comment that the Rover engine had the same problems in other cars only highlights the fact that these problems are endemic to the engine and are design and manufacturing faults. The fact that they changed the engine supplier proves they know it is a dud. Kia were happy enough to put the Rover engine in the car and put their badge on it, therefore it is their responsibilty. They should acknowledge the fault and look after the poor sods left paying for a car that they can’t drive because Kia/Hyundai have abandoned them. If you tell some to Google “Kia Carnival engine failure” they are unlikely to ever consider the brand.
Ok, let me offer some insight from someone who will actually be putting money on a small hatch in the next month or two. Recently went to the Sydney Motor Show to have a look at all options and start culling so I didnt have to go to dealers and test drive them all. Had a look at the i30, Corolla, Mazda 3, Impreza, Cerato Hatch, Lancer, Megane. I am looking to keep the car for 2-3 years then trade up to something better, so resale is important to me. Firstly, all the equipment levels etc are pretty lineball between the cars – am looking at entry level models – and regards to pricing I found that currently the recent updates and price-cuts to the Corolla make it competitive (now has all the safety gear for 20,990 i would add cruise pack for $750 – bringing it to 21,750) this was actually my first stumbling block with Cerato. I like the look (actually prefer the sedan) but at only about a grand less than a similarly equipped Corolla I was surprised. The base model interior to my taste was very cheap looking, bland and plasticy and “old fashioned” to me felt like a budget car. I know the corolla cops a ribbing on these sites but I much prefered the finish and style of its interior, felt a lot more modern and “airy”. The lancer I did not like, the impreza just felt DULL and too dear (i understand the AWD benefits tho) I was pleasantly surprised by the i30 felt a class bigger and very confy seats, was dissapointed by the mazda 3 – it felt plasticky to me and i cant stand that big plastic smile at the front. End of the day – the Kia in base form needs to be around 19k drive away to interest me – people poo-poo brand snobbery but really, i would not feel proud saying i drive a kia, you would always be defending your choice which is fine if it is actually as cheap to purchase as people will think it is. Everyone here bags the corolla (tall poppy perhaps) but to me it was the most attractive small car proposition I saw at the show. Also, resale is a big thing for me – corolla accroding to redbook dolks 69 percent in 3 years, cerato gets just 50 percent!!! I will next week test drive them. will test a corolla, mazda 3, i30…dont think i will bother with lancer or impreza or megane – MIGHT try the cerato, but not overly motivated to. Just my thoughts, keen for any feedback!
“I am looking to keep the car for 2-3 years then trade up to something better, so resale is important to me.”
It’s your life, therefore your choice.
If resale is the only interest, buy the one with the best resale in a safe colour (white?), get some K-Mart floor mats and seat covers, don’t eat, drink or smoke in the car, avoid unnessasary milage and remember that you are just looking after the car for the next owner.
I bought a stop gap car myself and traded it after 3 years for what I really wanted. I lost $7,000 along the way in depriciation. Would have been better off getting what I wanted in the first place.
If your current car is still serviceable, keep it for a few more years and save up at the same rate that you would be paying off a car loan to get the car you want to buy for yourself first up. (ie: save $100 a week = $5200 saved in a year)
Consider your options before buying.
I have considered my options. And resale is not the soul importance of course but will play a big factor – In this class of car why would someone buy it to keep for more than say 5 years? unless they are skint – so all should be looked at with resale in mind. My arguement regarding resale is this. The Kia may be a great car – but regardless their presence in the marketplace is near the bottom – hence not achieving much better than 50% resale over 3 years. To ask 20,490 plus onroads for a base manual cerato hatch I think is a bit rich..when toyota have been advertising the corolla at 20,990 driveaway (granted without cruise pack) – and according the redbook the corolla holds nearly 20% more value over 3 years. I just can’t see how Kia is the value option in that equation – regardelss if it is a better car people (a vast majority) will only shop this car as a value option. Of course test driving them all next week may totally sway my opinion, but that is where I got to viewing them in the flesh at the motor show.
I had a current model Corolla as a courtesy car earlier this year. It had 5,500 kilometres on the clock and the floating centre console had an area the size of an orange w0rn away on the fake chrome to reveal a white plastic patch where previous drivers (hire car) had rubbed it off with their left leg.
The auto was a very poor match to the engine and the rear parcel shelf rattled annoyingly. The Cerato sedan will be getting the six speed auto in the near future. Knowing how long toyota take to catch up I wouldn’t hold my breath in the corolla. It’s interesting you found the corolla’s interior modern.
I agree on the cheap feeling inside the Cerato but I got the exact same impression in the toyota with the mazda being the best of the 3. It shows that different people have different tastes. The most telling difference to me betwen Corolla and Cerato is the warranty. The kia may well have lower resale but at 3 years old it won’t be out of warranty so there is no need to get rid of it. At 5 years old you will find the gap has closed again between them and with the KIA you can extend to 7 years. No-one wants 5 year old cars anymore and there are a million of them in car yards around the country.
I also understnad that the Mazda 3 has been outselling the Corolla recently so I’m not sure why you think tall poppy applies. Pretty much every publication rates the 4 speed Cerato above the Corolla also and I’d hardly say they are all “pro-Korean”.
$100′s of Millions on advertising over the past 20 years is why toyota are number one. Not the product itself. They have redefined mediocrity.
I agree on the mazda’s grill but I’d still take it over the Corolla. It’s a far better drive and I have driven both.
Agree that things like styling etc are totally subjective, the favourite interior of the small cars to me was by far the Corolla – I was hopeful that the Mazda would have felt a bit better considering I had a Mazda before and it was well built and quite stylish – but I just did not like the Mazda interior – i think for me the bridge console in the Corolla looked unique and wasnt monotone grey like in the other vehicles. I am not looking at Autos – If I was I would not consider the Corolla I would not buy anything with a 4 speed auto this day and age – am looking at manuals, corolla has a 6 speed and from reviews I have read has a nice action. But again this could change when I drive them may be swayed by the Mazda (though will be hard to get over that plastic smile haha) Just saying at that price I could not justify paying similar money for a KIA, Hyundai possibly…im not anti Kia tho was mighty impressed with the Sportage in base form it had a really good solid premium feel but would want the diesel and AWD and not in a positiion to stretch to that at the moment…I will not be driving the car much, just need to replace my 99 honda civic, do not want to buy used, and want good resale when 2-3 years comes up. If the Cerato had an interior like the Sportage (which to my eye was one of the best at the motor show) I would consider – interior feel is important to me i mean its where u spend the most time and the cerato was just not up to par in my view. However your comment about the wearing on the Corolla dash is noted, will look into that further. Cheers
Oh and i think the extra warranty on the Kia is great – same with mitsu and hyundai?? but I would not want to keep any of the cars I am looking at for that amount of time – also the toyota capped price service deal looks ok to me.
I was in the same situation as you a couple of years back, In my mind the mazda 3 is probably number 1 but they are asking a bit too much (and I can’t look past the frog face). My brother has a lancer and I have the cerato (I might be a bit biased but hey I bought it for a reason ;D ).
The way I look at it the lancer drinks more petrol has less power (just) but has more flavour to it. The cerato packs more features then the Lancer and considering I got my car alot cheaper then my brothers. I feel that the cerato is smoother then the Lancer also.
In regards to the corolla I think its to underpowered, fuel economy isn’t as good as it should be and the warranty should be up to 5 to compete with the others. I honestly don’t find any problems with NVH and comfort when driving my car and I have grown accustomed to the dash. I have to say though that the I30 does have a better interior IMO but the cerato has a better exterior.
I suggest go to a dealer try them out see which one gives you a great drive then see how much it is going to cost you to buy. I knew when I went to buy my cerato (only released for a couple of weeks) that I would be able to negotiate a great price. I went to the other dealers and found that value for money was with the cerato and with the warranty to back it up.
Sorry for the long-winded comment just hope it helps.
I recently drove a Corolla Ascent hatch, auto, for a few hours recently. Here are my impressions:
1. it is underpowered as an auto, and this makes it hard to maintain a constant cruising speed. Any hill knocked off 20 km/h leaving you going way under the speed limit
2. the A pillars are quite wide and hard to see around – a common fault I know, but some cars are better than others. Whole cars disappeared into this blind spot!
3. had noisy rattles coming from somewhere
4. interior space is a bit tight
5. fit & finish not all that good, some interior fittings didn’t work
And this was a 1 owner, privately owned, immaculately kept car with 37,000 on the clock! I was surprised, as I owned the previous model Corolla and it was a much better car.
There are much better cars than the Corolla out there for Corolla money.
^^ The above was meant to be a reply to Genki – doesn’t make much sense as a standalone comment.
i agree test drove the new toyota carolla sport auto and it is gutless
Wow, thats a KIA?? I can see this causing the Cruze hatch some issues. Nice package and well priced.
Wow, I’ve got to say I’m impressed with the vehicles coming out of Korea right now. My sister owned an Excel (the rounded one in that metallic turquoise, looked like a Christmas beetle) for 7 or 8 years. It never missed a beat the entire time she had it My cousin bought a Carnival and it broke down on the way home from the dealership. There were too hit and miss, and were deservedly cheap and cheerful
Korean cars have a huge stigma to overcome in Australia, despite the fact they seem to have risen above the earlier issues. I’d love a Cerato hatch as the daily runabout for kids duties/shopping trips/mum’s taxi. My wife is a brand snob, and refuses to look at anything outside of a Mazda or a Honda (thank goodness no Toyota!)
I think a zippy performance hatch might turn her around. I hope Kia is planning on something with around 150kW, since the Mazda will be going in a couple of years, and I really think the Kia is worthy of consideration.
yeah shame about the carnival the early models used crappy rover v6s known for a wide range of problems. Even the guys I talked to at kia regret that car.
I own a new cerato sedan its now 10 monthes old it is a fantastic car. My wife also has a 2008 cerato hatch which while not as modern is a great car and far better than the corolla its quieter reves at a lower speed at 100kmh and has more power as its a 2 litre also comes with lots of extras People should also have a look at the Kia magentis which is so much car for the money also equally as good as a camery or mazda 626 check out the road tests.
i agree i just traded a corolla in on a 2012 cerato hatch and toyota has a lot of catching up to do watch out here comes kia
Certainly more of an Audi A3 shape vs. the i30 BMW 1 series hatch in comparison. A bit more power and maybe a more neutral look than the i30, but initially I would prefer the i30 over the Kia if just for the fact that the i30 is a proven entity with regard to reliability and having the kinks worked out.
As for the i20 compared to Fiesta comments above, for the moment the i20 is priced too high, but certainly the better option is the i20 1.6 with auto vs. the manual only version of the same sized engine in Fiesta. I think the Fiesta/Mazda 2 are good vehicles, but I would give the style points to the i20 over the Ford & Mazda, but not by much.
The Kia Cerato is indeed an impressive car that has the ability to out-sell similar cars in its class, like the Astra.However, don’t think it looks remarkably like the Subaru Imprezza hatch?
With regards to Avis, we have insider info that they will be introducing 150 Kia Cerato’s across their Australian car rental fleet. This comes as a result of 5% improvement in profits for the 3rd quarter of 2010 and a 5% reduction in car depreciation. Will the Kia Cerato continue to help them reduce depreciation? I’d like to think so.
I bought a metalic Orange one from the dealers floor ( apparently a special order colour ). Got the special price for being the first 50 in australia sold ( 26K on road for a SLI ). I really like the car , the handeling is nicer than the I30 and the steering is much better , still electric and light but seems more responsive than the i30. The standout though is the 6 speed , I rarely use the paddle shifters but when I do ( going up hills etc ) just being able to tap the downshift without taking my hands off the wheel then letting it go back to auto after by itself….. nice.
I agree quietman i bought an SLI Cerato hatch in december and its fantastic i like the interior the 6sp auto is great and recently test drove the polo,mazda3 and i30 with my sister and i have to say the cerato hatch stood out above them all and my sister agreed she bought the hatch as well.
I recently purchased the 6spd auto SLI Cerato Hatch having previously owned a 2006 Rio that gave me no problems at all with 132000 kms on the clock.
I have to say the hatch is a fantastic drive managing 6.9l per 100 kms on highway and about 7.8 city driving.
I cant fault the new Cerato Hatch its well equipped and certainly gives some competition to other car manufacturers,ive owned many cars from toyota to subaru and let me tell you the new Cerato hatch SLI is up there with the best of them.
I bought a 2010 (MY11) Si Cerato Hatch yesterday. Here are my first impressions.My comparisons are with a Mazda 3 Sedan (previous car)
1. Really quite cabin.
2. Spacious interior
3. Ample rear leg room (I’m 5’10)
4. Good boot space (enough space for a large pram and weekly grocery shopping and more)
5. Bluetooth (had trouble syncing my phone though, maybe its just me)
6. Good audio output (good thump)
7. Ride was firm.
8. ESP can be switched off.(Default is on)
1. Only one reverse light (felt wierd to me)
2. Interior plastics not refined (compared to Mazda)
3. Steering & hand brake plastic looks cheap.
4. Steel wheels (when most cars come with alloys)
5. New Car smell (made me sick) (not really a con )
My recommendation after reading all reviews (trust me I’ve read all of them) and initial impressions, this is a good car, value for money, and beats the Corolla and Mazda 3 (just slightly) in my opinion. Shame that Kia’s advertising is crap at the moment.
Will post another review after a couple of months.
Getting our new kia in a couple of days time after we ordered in the sedan manual instead of the hatch. We reviewed and test drove a lot of cars in the same size and price range. This was the better choice by far. Will keep you all posted on how it goes.
recently purchased a brand new kia rio sports hatchback 1.4. Looks and goes great. Not much power up hills but good for around town or on the freeway. Bluetooth, airbags, radio all good, alloy wheels etc.
Trouble is the hatchback door rattles and its driving me nuts. This should not happen with a new car. Have tried tightening number plate and putting foam rubber underneath, tightening spare wheel, ensuring jack is not rattling, so its now booked in to be checked. Has anyone else had a similar problem? Sat in the back with seat down and wife driving, noise is definately from the middle of the door, I hope it can be fixed or its going.
Picking up SLS auto Koup in Titanium Silver tomorrow. I’ve driven the ’09 model Koup and this is a vast improvement.How many of you have driven both? The three things every reviewer of the original car baulked at were the steering,the suspension and the 4sp auto. Well Kia listened and the result is there for all to see. This is one great ride and at $29,500 drive away(that’s what I paid anyway),IMO an absolute bargain.Perhaps there needs to be an updated review of this car by Car Advice et al.
I’ve driven a Kia Carnival for the last 7 years(no engine issues,but mine was manual and I think the autos gave most of the problems)and it’s been a great car which I intend keeping because of it’s versatility.
I’ve read with interest a lot of comments from a lot of people about Kia in general and the Koup in particular and my advice to most of you is to get over your petty preconceptions about cars whatever the marque,keep an open mind when looking at cars and then buy whatever works for you.
Will keep you posted regards the new Koup.
I own the current Kia Cerato sedan and its a great car…Better looking and classier than the i30 and being designed by the ex Audi/VW designer at has that distinct European flavour to it… Apart from previous quality issues that Kia had in the past, it is a good value for money car.. I have owned, new car ranging from $13000 to $40000, holdens, fords, nissan, mazda and toyota and let me say that if a car is going to play up and give you trouble it will happen. The problem with barnding is that people do not realize that some of these so called lower standard car companies are used by the well know branded car makers to manufacture their cars and re-badged. So that highly loved Subaru, Mazda
great review. I’m lucky to have one of these. Great car everyone is suprised to find it’s from KIA. I too thought the interior looks Volkswagonesque. even the rear when lit up looks a bit audi. very happy.
We are looking for a hatch which will take a full size set of golf clubs SIDEWAYS in the back . This amazingly ruled out Focus , Corolla, Tiida ,Mazda 3 and as expected Fiesta, Polo and Jazz . We drove those left (omitting French cars) Lancer (could not live with that CV transmission, Honda City (a competitor to the Camry for the most boring drive),Impreza (ready to sign on the line except the test drive turned up a total blind spot over driver’s right shoulder formed by the headrest aligning with the “B” pillar – only a problem for short people) , Hyundai i30 (OK, but car of the year ??? and a soggy 4 speed auto), Golf (beautiful car with low level of std equipment, stodgy 1970′s styling and a high price tag)and Cerato Sli hatch (Good price , styling , handling, equipment , ticked virtually every box ). drove all
its not a soggy auto , its a mismatched auto for the very strong petrol engine (works fine in a diesel) and should be 5 or better still 6 speed..but it IS a sports auto and can be driven hard to ring the revs out of the VERY willing engine…the car is set up for high speed running as it doesn’t even get going till 120kph, as final gear is too tall imho…but as such 700 kms to a tank is not hard….look at all the standard safety features…the wagon is far better looking and the Trophy is the standout. Its a EU car made by Korean robot production techniques…$25000 drive away in a better equipped wagon with 5 star ANCAP…yep, it deserved Car of the Year.
Try to find an unhappy owner!!
Update on the SLS Koup purchased 9th March. Extremely happy with the car. Even my wife who wasn’t keen on the 2 doors and sporty looks has come around. Fuel consumption is around 8.6 l/100 km so not as good as quoted but still acceptable as car has done only 2000km. Turns heads everwhere we go and gets lots of comments. Sound system is excellent, all controls very user friendly, suspension is a little harsh but I knew that from the beginning. Handling/steering is top shelf and 6sp auto with paddle shifters is a beauty. Takes a bit of getting used to the paddle shifters but is worth using when wanting a bit more fun. No issues with the car at all, I highly recommend it.
I have a 2011 Kia Cerato Hatch and I have a problem with the gearbox, there is a hard shifting at low RPM(1500) between all gears and also when being on park and shifting from Park to Rear and from Neutral to Drive, the problem come and goes and unfortunately it didn’t appear at the workshop or on the scanner, what should I do? Give a solution, should I change the gearbox?
<Kia service manager “They all do that”
<Thats why God invented superior Made In Japan vehicles.
<Korea have LOTS to learn, just because the car has a <pretty face, does not make it a leading/superior car.
<They are DECADES behind the Japanese
<Historic saying “You get what you pay for”
my 2011 cerratto hatch has big flat spot on take off nothing as press acellerator then shoots off have keep foot on brake happens now and again whats up
Kia service manager “They all do that”
Thats why God invented superior Made In Japan vehicles.
Korea have LOTS to learn, just because the car has a pretty face, does not make it a leading/superior car.
They are DECADES behind the Japanese
Historic saying “You get what you pay for”
electronic accellorator cabelling
absolute nonsense …You are firstly>> forgetting the massive price differences in each category<<, you are forgetting about the Koreans confidence in their build quality offering 5 year unlimited warranty on even their most basic cars, and just which popular 'made in japan' cars are you referring to?
Most people would regard Honda as the premiere Japanese mass production builder..Honda? such revered Nippon maker… Honda Jazz, City, Civic, CR-V and the all-new Accord…ALL made in Thailand.Suggest you wander into a Hyundai dealer and take a gork at the new i40…it compares to any Japanese made car at any price. They are not behind the Japanese at all..they are changing the paradigm (sorry a much overused word) and pre-empting the changes in the use and meaning of a vehicle to younger generations, To whom some weird elitist crap about where a car is made warrants paying a 10-15 percent premium, without offering the peace of mind of cheap running costs, a 5 year unlimited warranty, and modern super safe design.
Yep, I have a Hyundai i30 Trophy Wagon, petrol, sports auto. Its my second Hyundai, after 7 years 135,000kms trouble free cheap running of a Getz 1500 manual, which I had no trouble getting $6000 for, meaning I ran that Getz for less than $2000 depreciation a year!! Korean cars, highest build quality, highest safety levels, inexpensive to maintain, totally reliable and great value for money. esp Hyundai. Try to find an unhappy owner, they have the highest owner satisfaction of any manufacturer, worldwide.
the totota corolla does the same thing
love the kia cerato its one of my dream cars.love to have one.
I recently purchased a 2011 Cerato 2.0L sedan, loving the car , drives great, have to admint that Kia stil has a little way to go before matching VW interior quality but Im sure they willget there. My one issue is when accelerating as soon as it gets between 3500 -4000 RPM and you change down from either 1 to 2 or 2 to 3 there appears to be a flat spot in the tourque and the appears to loose power at first thought it was my driving but when chatting to the dealer they eventually said admited there is a problem withthe 6 speed varients apparently there is an issue withthe software for the onboard computer, does anyone else know of this? btw I live in South Africa, is this just an issue here in SA or do other ppl have come accross this as well.
@frugalone =GARBAGE. Try Hyundai i30 in any variation and the only thing lacking is a 5 or 6 speed auto in the petrol to make it sublime family car.. The i30 wagon we own as a second car is SO impressive build quality/safety/warranty/ and VALUE its changed our thinking on on now redundant and expensive Camry. Simply not needed. However the 4 speed auto was geared for the diesel engines torque and sadly misses grunt at certain conditions..give it its head on the highway however and its a real goer, with second gear roaring to 120kph after hitting the magic 5000rpm is just flies to 6500rpm easily…the big plus is the sports-auto which allows you to drive it as a greared car, and thereby overcoming the gaps in the 4 speed. 5 year unlimited warranty..hows your Jap build quality going against that !!
Just bought 2011 Cerato Hatch. After my experience with Honda, Hyundai, Ford, Mazda, 6speed auto Cerato hatch is an absolute winner
Recently test drove the Cerato hatch, Lancer, Mazda3 & Corolla all in Auto. I must say that I was shocked at how good the Cerato 6sp auto is! I was trying to find a reason to buy the lancer or corolla but couldn’t. For the most part, the other brands autos just don’t cut it. The corolla was by far the worst and I just don’t think that I could live with the CVT lancer. Looks like I will have to swallow my pride and actually buy the Cerato. For the price, it is leaps and bounds ahead of the others that I considered for around $20000. I believe that the i30 is good but …..ugly.
Did you buy the Cerato hatch, as I am considering purchasing a SLI auto. They are a good car, and I am interested in your feedback please. Ted
I bought a cerato hatch 2011 sli auto 6 speed has done 28,000 km , am very happy with it what so ever. i test drove corolla, mazda3 , focus, and hyundai i30 and wasn’t impressed with either of them. great 5 year warranty and servicing. drove my cerato from adelaide to sydney without any hiccup , so quiet and smooth on the road. good power for a small car as well.