2010 Kia Cerato

All you want in a family saloon at the right price

Auto Bakkie Race Legend Tests are selected from our extensive road test archive.
This road test was first published in Cars in Action October 2010.

It isn’t too often that we get excited about a car in the Toyota Corolla VW Jetta, Ford Focus and Mazda3, neck of the woods, but Kia has thrown a most significant cat amongst those pigeons in its slick New Cerato.

A most compelling choice in a marketplace bristling with both traditional and newer offerings, Kia certainly has done its homework and anyone buying in this segment needs to be warned – better you take a look at New Cerato or you’ll be cross when you find out what you missed…

This car’s only drawback perhaps, is just history – Kia has always offered a great service in reliable and dependable cars backed up by great service. But let’s be quite frank – you never bought a Kia for its looks or excitement. New Cerato is about to change all that though – its overall package is its strong suite – most everything about this fine new offering borders between very good and excellent – even for buyers looking to drop a segment or three.

Even Cerato’s looks are from the top drawer – penned under the watchful eye of Peter Schreyer, the man previously responsible for Audi style icon, Cerato gets Kia’s new tiger’s face grille ahead of a crisp and honest style.

Powered by Kia's 115kW 194Nm 1998cc turning a specifically tailored gearbox delivers a slick shift feel and easier reverse gear selection, Cerato has subframe-mount MacPherson strut front and coupled torsion beam rear suspension, electro-hydraulic rack-and-pinion power steering and 280mm ventilated front disc ABS brakes with EBS in a 30mm longer, 40mm wider and 10mm lower car riding on a 40mm longer wheelbase to comfortably accommodate five adults.

Cerato is most impressive to drive – the torquey 2-litre is frugal, clean and responsive and revs cleanly through to a lofty rev limit, while out, road tests proved it quick too - eight and a half seconds to 100km/h is pretty impressive. But this car’s strong suit is its ride and insulation, not to mention a top-drawer cabin to make even an entry exec driver who demands the best, at home.

A two-tier dashboard, leather clad pews with a multi-adjustable driver’s seat and a fat tilt, a reach adjustable multifunction steering wheel to run its six-speaker MP3 Radio/CD player with AUX/USB and i-Pod connective audio plus 'Super Vision' gauges set Cerato’s attractive, spacious, comfortable and high-quality cabin design apart. Luggage space is among the best in class thanks to a flat-folding 60/40 split rear seat backrest.

A pleasing car to drive, Cerato handles and rides well and proves a surprisingly rewarding experience on the road, but its pricing and spec is really the cherry on the top, so this one really is worth a look… — Mario Lupini
LEGEND TEST: 2010 Kia Cerato 2.0 Manual 
Engine: 115kW 194Nm 1998cc petrol I4 
Drive: 5-speed manual FWD
TESTED (2010)
0-60km/h           3.92  sec
0-100km/h:              8.69 sec 
0-160km/h          21.66 sec
400m:                  16.2 sec @ 144km/h
80-120km/h:            10.58 sec
120-160km/h            11.52 sec
Vmax:                      200 km/h
Fuel:                  7.7/100km
CO2:                        185g/km
NEW PRICE 2010:    R199K
RATED:                    80%