There's nothing like a bit of an afternoon delight, so the Kia Cerato Si sedan and I set off across town for a late lunch and a quiet drink. The weather wasn't ideal, so the thought of some tapas and an open fire was appealing - and the little red Kia an eager starter.
The Cerato is a city slicker, so urban locations with tricky parking are very easy to manage.
The facelifted Cerato is a very smart looking car, but I wouldn't call it a stunner. It's very much the 'car next door' - pretty and pleasant but also unassuming and conservative.
The 'Temptation Red' paint sounds more exciting that it is, and in my mind actually lessens the look of the car. Some of the silver / grey colours available make the car look much more premium than its sub-$30,000 price would have you believe.
There's nothing to not like about the Kia Cerato's interior. It's comfy, roomy, ergonomic and generally more pleasant that you would expect. The LCD display in the middle of the instruments is a bit 1980's but thats if I'm being picky. Again, there is nothing here that makes you say "wow!" but there's certainly nothing to make you want to cut the date short.
I know this sounds silly, but the most impressive thing about the Kia is that it is a Kia. The brand has come so far in the past few years, that to be struggling to find anything non-complimentary about a relatively basic Cerato sedan, is one of the best compliments I can make.
When under load, the engine noise is quite pronounced and not a particularly inspiring note. It's as standard a 2-litre 4-cylinder noise as you can get.
The Kia Cerato sedan is roomy enough in the back for adults, and there are three anchor points for car seats on the rear parcel shelf. It would get squeezy with three across the back, but for one or two rear passengers the Cerato is very comfy. The boot is nice and big for a small sedan and there are 60/40 split seats too.
Well - if awards were given for low maintenance, the Kia would be in with a medal chance... the new Cerato range has an industry leading seven-year warranty and Kia offer fixed price service packages for the Cerato that average less than $400 per year.
Not really. I mean, this is a really nice car in every way. There is nothing it doesn't do well...
...Except it just doesn't have that special 'spark' for me. I like some character in my cars - and so the Kia is almost so good it's boring.
The Cerato also comes in a 5-door hatch and a 2-door Koup, and shares much of its DNA with the Hyundai i30 and Elantra.
The Kia Cerato is for people who need a car rather than want a car. It's an excellent four-wheeled appliance - if it was a toaster it would look nice (and be available in a range of fashion colours), handle bread, muffins and even crumpets, and cook your toast the same way, reliably every day for the term of its service. But no one will stop you in the street (or kitchen) to ask about it.