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Reader's test: 2012 Kia Cerato

2012-05-18 06:44

Sajit Kalidas, Durban

(CLOSE TO) SHOWROOM PERFECT: Reader Sajit says, give what he received for what he paid for his Cerato, he made the perfect choice.

The 2012 Kia Cerato hatch is a great-looking car. Many of my friends say it looks very similar to the Audi A3 and I agree – after all they have the same designer.

Although the Cerato comes standard with 17” alloys, I decided to change them. I wanted my car to have a more aggressive look and the white with tinted windows and smoked grey rims was the ideal package I felt.  


Since the car comes with almost everything, all I needed to add was the hands-free Bluetooth kit. I have got to wonder why this was not part of the standard equipment since the Rio has it as standard.

The leather seats are comfortable. I am sure that there are softer more premium leather seats out there, but these are good enough.

The instrumentation cluster is well laid out and well lit. One of my mates said it looks like the cockpit of an aeroplane. The most pleasing thing about the interior is the space – it is phenomenal, both in the front and rear – I guarantee that you will not get any complaints about leg room.  

The sports pedals and leather gear knob give the car a sporty look and the engine matches the looks with its performance.  Undeniably, all the good that is said about the interior of this car in all the other articles you read is true.  

So what do they not tell you about the interior?  

Well, I have yet to figure out why the rear doors do not have door pockets or why only the rear of the passenger seat has a pocket at the back. What about the fact that it the power windows have a one-click down but not a one-click up feature? Also the radio is fairly ancient in current standards, no RDS and no ability to show the name of the radio station.  

Forget about changing the radio – I tried to do that but it is integrated into the centre console and cannot be done. That said, the sound is really good. Play around and you will find the enhanced bass option which really livens up your MP3s.  


From a performance point of view I really have no complaints. I travel about 100km every day and get to open it up often enough. The six-speed gearbox mated to the 115KW two-litre engine works well.  

I must admit, that I am still getting used to the gear ratios. I have stalled the car on take-off a few times now. The fuel consumption is not great.  I currently average 10 litres/100km.

For great value for money there is no better car. I bagged mine during the R15 000 off offer during April; add the smash-and-grab film and Bluetooth and I ended up handing over R205 000.   

Knowing what I know now, would I make the same decision again?  It’s such a good feeling knowing that, after handing over a load of cash, I made the right choice.

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