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Cape lift-off for Kia Cerato hatch

2013-10-03 20:34

Les Stephenson

HATCH HATCHED: Kia SA has already launched the Cerato sedan - now, for the sportier and younger, comes the four-door hatch with the same specs as the two sedan models. Image: KIA


Kia is running its international launch of the third-generation Kia Cerato in Dubai - and this is what the car looks like on the streets of the desert city. Watch the video!

Two models down, one more (perhaps two) to go, in Kia's brilliant new Cerato range. The brand's marketing men see the sedan and hatch as must-haves for two groups - the first for the more mature, the hatch for the still maturing.

OK, you've seen the Kia Cerato* sedan (nice, hey!) from the design pen of Peter Schreyer; this week (Oct 3 2013) it was the turn of the Cerato four-door hatchback to be exposed to a limited audience of Cape-based journalists in the area's awesome winelands.

Kia Cerato hatch image gallery

Kia's Cerato sedan was launched in South Africa back in May 2013 and Wheels24 was at the international launch of the 2013 Kia Koup at the end of September. The latter will be here in by year-end or early 2014 - world demand will determine the date and Kia SA has historically always been short of stock early in a model's life due to a combination of local demand and restricted supply.

Whatever, the day was not so much a launch (want the glitz and flashing lights, get to the upcoming 2013 Johannesburg International Motor Show) as a refresh for those of us who'd already driven the sedan because, sitting at the wheel, there is absolutely no difference between the two body styles - EX or SX.


There's also no difference, front-wise, from the outside in this the third generation of the Cerato. But I'd only driven the spunky two-litre 118kW/194Nm version; we were each of us piloting a hatched unit with the alternative 1.6 95kW/157Nm engine because the two-litre stock will only arrive towards the end of November. The performance difference is obvious but certainly not unacceptable: 10sec to 100 for the 1.6, 8.5sec for the two-litre. Both can top 200km/h.

Each has a six-speed gearbox - manual or auto. I've only driven the manual and the 'box is one of the best in the world. The clutch is super-light and the shifts require mere guidance from your left hand. Let the car idle in neutral and I promise you'll strain to hear the engine.

The major body change is in overall dimensions: the hatch is 21cm shorter than the sedan's 4.56m but 1.5cm taller. The wheelsbase is the same, the lost length deducted from the sedan's boot whose luggage volume is 482 litres to the hatches (seats in place) 385 but then the hatch scores with its rear seats flattened and no boot wall to impede the loading of bicycles, 'boards or beds.

Its volume then becomes 657 litres; the younger market at which the car is aimed will be thinking carry-cots and baby buggies.


The Cerato, Kia SA's operations chief Zian van Heerden reminded us, has been around since 1998 when it was introduced to the C segment as the Shuma and cost R66 000. The name Cerato surfaced when Schreyer became involved in 2004 and the car became a serious market contender but now - well, then - costing R130 000.

Prices for the latest hatch? The 1.6 is listed as R230 000 and the two-litre at R290 000. Add ten grand for the auto box.

David Sieff, Kia SA's marketing boss, described the C segment as "the sweet spot in the market". Lesser or more expensive cars depended, respectively, on volume or profit margin - the Cerato, he believed, worked both ways.

All Kia Cerato units are sold with a five-year or 150 000km warranty, a five-year or 90 000km service plan and three years of roadside assistance.

Here’s what the Cerato EX and SX, variously, offer:

Kia Cerato 1.6 EX
16-inch alloy wheels with 205/55 R16 tires
Black mesh radiator grille
Projection-style headlights
Chrome inside door handles
Body-coloured bumpers and side mirrors
Manual-adjustable headlamp levelling
Side mirror indicators
LED Daytime running lights
Rear spoiler

Comfort & Convenience
Automatic locking doors
Automatic light control with escourt function
Cruise Control
Electric chromic mirror
Tilt-and-telescopic adjustable steering wheel
MDPS electric power steering
Electric adjustable heated door mirrors
12 V power outlet
Manual air-conditioner
Radio/CD front loader with MP3/iPod/USB connection
Rear air-vents
Remote fuel-filler flap release
Steering wheels remote controls

3-spoke leather wrapped steering wheel
Woven cloth-covered seat upholstery
Segment-type LCD instrument cluster
Electric front and rear windows
Six speakers
60/40 split rear seats

Safety & Security
Active headrests
Central locking and immobiliser
Dual front, side and curtain airbags
3-point seatbelts
2-point seatbelt for centre rear seat
Height-adjustable head restraints for front seats
Isofix child seat anchors
Passenger airbag on/off switch
ABS with EBD
Fog lights

Kia Cerato 2.0 EX
Additional factory-fitted standard equipment over 1.6 EX model
Dot Matrix LCD cluster
Leather seats
Flex-steer system
Optional sunroof
Front and Rear Parking Sensors

Kia Cerato 2.0 SX
Additional factory-fitted standard equipment over 2.0 EX model
17-inch alloy wheels with 215/45 R17 tires
Alloy pedals
Dual zone climate control
Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
LED rear combination lamp clusters
Rear-view camera
Smart welcome lighting system
Supervision TFT LCD cluster
HID Xenon headlamps
Start/Stop button with smart key
Steering-wheel mounted paddle shift (automatic models)
Vehicle Stability Management
Hill-start Assist Control (HAC)
Optional sunroof

*Raise this one in the pub: What does Cerato mean? It's Greek for 'horn', meaning 'rise up without rival'. Should win you a beer.

For more in-depth information on the Cerato hatch, go to Kia SA.
Read more on:    kia  |  cape town

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