The new Kia Cerato has arrived in Australia packed with features and technology, but the Koreans have dropped the manual due to poor sales and low demand.
The 2022 Kia Cerato hatch looks almost identical from the rear, but the front has been handsomely restyled. The back of the sedan is also new and marks the first appearance of Kia’s new minimal badging.
Reflecting the Cerato’s additional equipment, pricing has climbed across the range. The increases are between $1,000 for the entry-level S to $2,800 more for the range-topping GT.
Kia has effectively cranked the price of entry up by $3,800 by ditching the manual gearbox. However, the marque cited dwindling sales of the do-it-yourself gearbox which made it not worth bringing back.
For the facelift, Kia has added equipment across the range to justify the price increases. While it retains 16-inch steel wheels, the $25,990 S model gets LED DRLs and third brake light.
There is nothing new under the bonnet – the two-litre naturally aspirated petrol motor makes an identical 112kW of power and 192Nm of torque. Every Cerato employs a six-speed torque converter automatic gearbox – except for the GT.
Inside, an eight-inch touchscreen features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The S also a six-speaker stereo, cloth upholstery, keyless entry and basic air conditioning.
Safety and convenience are strong with front and rear parking sensors, lane-keep assist, AEB with pedestrian detection, rear-view camera and cruise control.
Moving up to the $27,990 Sport adds 17-inch alloys, navigation, DAB radio, auto up-down driver’s window, a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen – though CarPlay and Android Auto require a cable. Premium cloth upholstery, and vinyl-appointed steering wheel and shifter finish off the specs.
Both S and Sport grades offer a safety pack for $1,000. This pack adds cyclist detection to the AEB, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring and an electronic parking brake. It also sees larger 284mm rotors fitted to the rear axle.
The Sport+ packs push-button start, heated leather-appointed front seats, soft-touch materials and electric folding mirrors for $31,690 driveaway. Additionally, it gets all the features in the $1,000 safety pack.
Rounding out the Cerato range is the sporty GT. As before, this car benefits from a more athletic 1.6-litre turbo petrol motor that sends 150kW and 265Nm to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. That makes it a direct competitor for the i30 Sedan N Line.
The GT benefits from a more sophisticated multi-link rear suspension, while setting have been further revised in the updated car.
A set of 18-inch alloys with red accents and a sportier body kit with additional gloss-black trim sets the GT apart. Behind the wheels, the GT also benefits from 305mm ventilated front discs.
The seats are leather-appointed, electrically adjustable, heated and feature ventilation for the first time. The Cerato GT is now equipped with a sunroof, going some way to justify the extra $2,800 asking price.
Finally, Kia’s headline-grabbing seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty backs all Ceratos. The refreshed Cerato range is on sale in Australia now with hatch and sedan variants from $25,990 driveaway.
Prices are national driveaway prices.
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