“It’s a balanced and well-equipped effort that is genuinely fun to drive”.
“In an import only market now, I was lost for choice and knowledge to meet my needs. Bowen’s Garage gave me a great idea where to start with the podcast, and then some one-on-one advice from the man himself led me to my ultimate choice. The team are relatable, understand all age groups, needs and backgrounds and give THE BEST non-jargon, honest advice. Pity I had to let my wife choose the colour, but no-one could advise against that!
The Cerato hatch reminds me of our new Nespresso machine. My wife isn’t a proper coffee drinker, as she likes to fill a mug with the entire daily takings from a cow. Problem is the machine is unable to warm that amount of milk to her taste. That’s what the Cerato is, it’s no hot-hatch, but at the very least it’s just above room temperature. A 1.6-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder pumps out 150kW at 6000rpm, 265Nm of torque is spread across 1,500rpm and 4,500rpm. A seven-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) delivers snappy and enthusiastic power to the front wheels. The sum of all this.equals a rather fun drive without feeling like a track day is required to make the most of it.
Kia tunes its vehicles for Australian conditions, which is admirable given our small market. The Cerato GT darts around corners with predictable ease. The 18-inch alloys contain most of what our decrepit roads dish up; the ride is firm but acceptable in my view. There’s a good deal of feedback transmitted via the electrically assisted steering. The DCT does what all DCT’s are supposed to do, deliver lighting quick gear changes. Paddle shifters and a flat-bottom steering wheel indicate a “spirted” intent, but in reality the GT lacks a longer leash for some true hot-hatch abilities. The usual drive models are on offer, Normal, Eco, Smart or Sport. These options simply either curtail throttle response or pour water on the transmission to save fuel. Ventilated and larger brake discs are fitted all round. The front-end anchors are 280mm while the rear rise to 305mm. All other Cerato’s have smaller solid discs measuring 262mm and 284mm. I don’t mind the looks of it either. The GT specific body kit adds black gloss, satin, and red accents. There’s a sunroof, dual exhaust and high-gloss black side mirrors.
The GT is well endowered with standard gear. The instrument cluster features a clear 4.2-inch colour display. A wireless charging pad keeps your phone (if it fits) juiced up. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are wired, which is strange because they’re wireless in all other variants. Most duties inside are performed on a large 10.25-inch touch screen. Three USB charging ports are on offer, with two upfront and one in the rear. An eight-speaker JBL sound system dials it up a notch over the standard system.
As is the case with many new vehicles these days, the list of active safety technology is very, very long. So, take a deep breath because here we go…
- RCTA (Rear Cross Traffic Alert)
- RCCA (Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist)
- LKA (Lane Keep Assist) with LFA (Lane Follow Assist)
- DAA+ (Driver Attention Alert) with leading vehicle departure
- AEB (Autonomous Emergency Brake) With FCWS (Forward
- Collision Warning System) – Car & Pedestrian Avoidance
- AEB (Autonomous Emergency Brake) With FCWS
- (Forward Collision Warning System) – Cyclist Avoidance
- Rear Occupant Alert (ROA)
- Safe Exit Warning (SEW)
- Speed Limiter
- LED Daytime Running Light (DRL)
- LED Headlights with LED Rear Combination Lamp
- LED Positioning Lamps
- LED Front Fog Lamp
- Dusk-Sensing Automatic Headlights
- High Beam Assist (HBA)
- Halogen Rear Fog Light
- Child Restraint Anchorage Points – (Three Anchors + two ISOFIX positions)
Value For Money
The 2022 Cerato Hatch has a drive-away price of $36,990, premium paint adds $520 which is an irritant for me. Kia offers a seven-year / unlimited kilometre warranty. Servicing intervals are 10,000km, capped price servicing offer will see you pay $3,234 over seven years up to 70,000km. Fuel economy is rated at 6.8L/100km, the Bowen’s Garage claimed figure was 8.7l/100km. It’s not uncommon for a small turbo petrol engine to escalate this figure, keep in mind there’s only a 50L tank onboard too!.
The GT hatch has leather appointed seats with eight-way and two-way lumber support for the driver, the front passenger can get stuffed with only manual adjustment. Hatch models have 428L of boot space, but you can fold the rear 60:40 down for a bonkers Aldi shop. Dual-zone air-conditioning is always appreciated as is four cup and bottle holders spread around the interior.
What I Love
I love Kia care about what Aussies want their cars to feel like. The Cerato GT delivers that in spades.
Bowen’s Report Card
Personally, I’d go for the sedan as I think it’s far more attractive. As far as the mild Kia Cerato GT Hatch goes, it’s a balanced and well-equipped effort that is genuinely fun to drive. It’s an 84 out of 100 from me.