Good Korean value and design is evident in the recently launched Kia Cerato Hatch. Kia's newest offering benefits from a number of mechanical improvements while boasting a sassy new shape. Despite its apparent size the Cerato Hatch’s cargo volume of 550-litres (including storage of a full-size spare wheel) is amongst the biggest in its class and is 135-litres larger than its older sibling, the Sedan.
The new 5-door Cerato Hatch has the same overall width, height and wheelbase as the Sedan, but at 4 340 mm long the Hatch is 190 mm shorter. The Cerato Hatchback is not simply a sedan with the boot cut off, rather, Kia designers have focused on enhancing the style, efficiency, comfort and safety of the new car. As a result, the Cerato Hatch sports a “tiger nose” front end, a gutsy rear-end, complete with a dummy diffuser-look bumper insert and an exhaust tailpipe of admirable diameter. Additionally the car has an all-new roof, rear side panels, C-pillar and light clusters. In front, updated styling incorporates a new radiator grille, new lower air-intake grille and new-shape fog lamps. Re-styled ‘double five-spoke’ 16-inch alloy wheels can be found on the Cerato Hatch 1.6 EX and 17-inch alloy wheels on the Cerato Hatch 2.0 SX.
The interior on the 1.6 litre is finished in a black one-tone fabric, while the 2.0 litre is fitted with a leather interior. The door handles, steering wheel, door trims, transmission console and centre stack all have an alloy-look metal finish and provide contrast with all black cabin trim. Red stitching comes standard on the 2.0 SX model. Cerato Hatch features multi-adjustable front seats, and the steering wheel is tilt and reach adjustable. Controls for the 6-speaker radio/CD/MP3-player are incorporated into the steering wheel and the Cerato comes with an aux-in, USB and iPod connector as standard. The interior character of the Cerato Hatch has been upgraded to feel noticeably more solid. The reason for this is the additional insulation added around the A, B and C-pillars, the luggage compartment, as well as thicker padding for the dashboard, rear parcel tray and boot carpeting. The added insulation results in a quieter ride and improved perceived build quality.
Buy a car like this and you will have a choice of two naturally aspirated engines in the Cerato Hatch. The first is a 16-valve DOHC, 4-cylinder, petrol engine, the other is a bigger 2.0-litre unit. The 1.6-litre engine churns out 91 kW and 156 Nm of torque at 4 200 rpm. A 0 – 100 km/h sprint takes 10.3 seconds, average fuel economy is a claimed 6.6 L/100km and CO2 emissions are 158 g/km. The bigger 2.0-litre unit generates 115 kW and 194 Nm of torque at 4 300 rpm. Kia claims a 0 – 100 km/h sprint in 9.1 seconds and a 190 km/h top speed, with average fuel consumption of 7.6 L/100km and 180 g/km of CO2. The most noted change in the Hatch's specifications is the addition of a sixth gear which is a new standard in this sector. As an alternative, both engines are available with a six-speed automatic transmission and the Cerato Hatch 2.0 SX is available with ‘paddle shifters’.
With safety at the forefront the Cerato Hatch comes standard with ABS and EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution). It has dual front, side and full-length curtain airbags. The Cerato Hatch is also equipped with active headrests which swiftly and securely catch the back of the occupant's head by moving diagonally upwards during a rear-end collision to help reduce the degree of impact to the occupant's neck and lessen the severity of a whiplash injury.
The Kia Cerato Hatch is hard to ignore. It offers great value especially when you consider the five-year/100 000 km warranty and four-year/90 000 km service plan that come as standard. In terms of pricing for the Kia Cerato Hatch 1.6 manual transmission you can expect to pay around R185 995 and about R195 995 for the automatic. For the Kia Cerato Hatch 2.0 the price isaround R205 995 (manual transmission) and R215 995 for the automatic. As part of their marketing campaigns, Kia often offer savings of up to about R15000 on these vehicles so if you about to buy a car which fits these specifications it may be wise to contact your dealer and check if the iron is still hot. (All prices are subject to change and the reader is advised to consult a dealer for final pricing)