Kia Motors Australia has revealed the details and pricing of the all-new Cerato sedan, the first of a series of new models it will launch over the next two years leading a product revolution for the Korean brand.
The Cerato leads the Soul, the funky city car that Kia hopes will reinforce its new youthful image, and the Koup, a two-door version of the Cerato, that the company today confirmed will be released in Australia later this year.
Kia Product Manager, Nick Reid, said the final details of the Koup were still to be confirmed and he also declined to give indications of pricing.
Mr Reid said the Koup, which is a strong part of Kia’s youthful image push, would in effect replace the Cerato Hatch, which had been marketed on and off in Australia.
The all-new Cerato sedan is keenly priced with a starting figure of $18,990 for the five-speed manual base spec S model, which is also available with a $1000 Option Pack that includes Electronic Stability Program (ESP), traction control, cruise control and remote audio controls on the steering wheel.
All these features are included in the top-spec SLi model, which is priced at $22,990 for the five-speed manual and 24,990 for the four-speed automatic.
Kia has conservatively estimated it will sell 3000 Ceratos this year, while also claiming that the car is capable of challenging the market leaders in the small car segment, all of which sell in much larger numbers.
Kia national marketing manager, Steve Watt, said the company realised it needed to change the perception of the Kia brand from just a price conscious brand to one that embodied both good value and good design.
The Cerato uses an all new chassis and introduces a new styling look for Kia that has been developed by the company’s global design officer, Peter Schreyer, who joined the Korean company from Volkswagen in 2006.
Most significant is the new ‘Schreyer Line’ grille that will become a corporate identity for all Kia vehicles going forward.
The grille design, a Schreyer feature that he developed with previous companies, including VW and Audi, is said to embody the roaring mouth of a tiger.
The Cerato range is equipped as standard with dual SRS front airbags; side front SRS airbags and full-length curtain SRS airbags; active headrests and seatbelt pretensioners for front seats; and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution) and Brake Assist.
The range-topping Cerato SLi comes standard with ESP and traction control, which is also available as a low cost option pack for the Cerato S.
Longer and wider than its predecessor, the new Kia Cerato has a spacious and comfortable interior with room for five occupants and a bigger boot.
New Cerato features an all-new, efficient 2.0-litre engine with Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) for class-leading power and torque, delivering the pulling power and responsiveness of a 2.2-litre engine without the fuel consumption of a bigger engine.
The engine, previously seen in the larger Magentis sedan and the Rondo7, revs smoothly to produce 115kW of power at 6200 rpm and 194Nm of torque at 4300 rpm to take the mantle of class-leader in the power stakes.
The class-leading, Euro IV-compliant Theta II engine is mated to a short-throw five-speed manual for optimum driver control as standard, or can be optioned with Kia’s gated, four-speed automatic gearbox for a smooth and relaxed drive with the choice of Sportsmatic manual-shift capability.
The 2.0-litre Theta II engine delivers good fuel economy with an official combined fuel consumption of 7.8 litres/100kms.
The all-new Kia Cerato is larger than its predecessor in both length and width and can rival all small segment competitors in overall size.
Kia says the chassis has been tuned to deliver the European feel favoured by many Australians, with excellent steering response, roadholding, ride comfort and braking the aim.
The combined result is precise steering and sure-footed roadholding, matched with a composed and supple ride, that offers driving enjoyment without compromising passenger comfort.
We’ll be better able to comment on this after tomorrow when we will get to drive the all-new Kia Cerato for the first time, look out for our First Steer on Saturday.