Review - Kia Cerato
April 07, 2021
In many ways the Cerato Koup is a coming of age for the Korean carmaker. It’s Kia’s first true crack at a decent little sports car, and at first glimpse it shares many qualities with the vehicles it is designed to compete with.
This test car is the middle-of-the-range Koup Turbo with the 1.6-litre engine, also seen in the Veloster SR Turbo. It produces impressive power and torque, and acceleration quick enough to put a smile on your face.
There’s no denying Kia has stepped up to the plate in the past few years in terms of car design and quality, and the new Koup is proof of that. It features a range of improvements that were first developed for the Cerato sedan, including an all-new body shell structure, tweaks to the electric steering, and revised suspension for dynamic handling.
It’s huge inside, with wide-opening front doors providing simple entry and exit, and a decent gap for passengers to get in and out of the back seat. Most of the trim is mono-tone black, with lots of plastic around as you would expect of a vehicle in this price range. Overall, it’s a pleasant and easy-to-live-with package with good creature comforts.
On the road, the Koup nimbly cuts through city streets and residential areas with ease and it’s also at home cruising at 110km/h on the freeway. Getting up to highway speed is very easy thanks to that zippy turbo motor. And when it comes to suburban driving, the Koup manages an average of 7.9L/100km, which is about on par with the official average fuel consumption of 8.0L/100km.
Sporty driving is enjoyable, but the steering doesn’t provide much feel. It just falls short on excitement and grin-inducing playfulness. However, Kia has only been producing cars for the past two decades and only recently entered the world of compact sports vehicles. So when you compare it to other cars in the segment, it’s really quite a well-packaged vehicle that ticks a lot of boxes.
There’s a lot to love about the Kia Koup Turbo, and the future seems bright if this is just the start of what’s to come for the company. Yes it has its shortcomings and it’s not as pure as the rivals, but that’s to be expected in Kia’s early attempt at building sports cars.
For the general buyer who simply wants a practical runabout with the aspiration of a sports car, this is the ideal product. You also get the peace of mind of Kia’s industry-benchmarking 7-year warranty package.
5 specs you need to know:
- Engine: 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder
- Transmission and drive: Six-speed auto, front-wheel drive
- ANCAP safety rating: Five stars
- Official fuel economy: 8.0L/100km
- Time from 0-100km/h: 7.1 seconds
- Sleek design
- Practical and user-friendly cabin
- Good value, with 7-year warranty
- Surprisingly quick acceleration in turbo form
- Lacks the finesse of a more establishing sports car
- Some low-quality trimmings inside?