July 20th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham
Kia’s website instructed me to expect the unexpected regarding the Cerato, and I certainly didn’t expect the driver’s seat to be both heated and cooled in a car that costs a paltry $38,490. The passenger’s is only heated, so you will be able to gloat on a hot summer’s day as your unclad legs will not stick to the leather seat (which is also 10-way adjustable with two seat memories).
For your money you get a two-litre sedan packing a 129kW, 209Nm CVVT petrol engine with a theoretical fuel economy of 7.4l/100km. In reality Continue reading “Kia Cerato SX GDi Sedan 2013 – Review” »
April 21st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
The Cerato is proving to be the slow burner of the Kia range with another variant now on offer – a hatchback. The four-door hatch will join the sedan and Koup in the Cerato range. But there’s more to this story than just whacking a different body shape on to Kia’s well serving Cerato platform. Kia’s new hatchback represents its full-scale entry into the most popular and hardest fought market category in NZ. Facing down more established rivals like the Mazda3, Ford Focus and VW Golf is no easy task, so how can the Cerato hatch expect to hold its own? By implementing the same strengths that run throughout the entire Kia range, distinctive design, high equipment levels and aggressive pricing. Car and SUV spent some seat time in the new Cerato hatch LX to see if its got what it takes.
In the past few years Kia has become intensely design-focused with very good results and the Cerato hatch doesn’t let the side down. While it uses the same wheelbase as the sedan, the hatch body is 190mm shorter due to less rear overhang.
At the front the two variants look almost identical both using a chrome-ringed Kia corporate grille and recessed fog lamps in a wide lower air dam. From the A-pillar back the hatch is its own car and has been styled with a modern, sporty focus. Broad shoulders, an upswept window line and bulky bumpers give the Cerato hatch a wide, athletic look and genuine road presence. At the rear the angles sharpen, and there’s attractive features like large two-piece taillights, a hatch spoiler and a black plastic diffuser. Continue reading “Kia Cerato Hatchback LX 2011 Review” »
November 23rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
The long-awaited 2011 model Kia Cerato hatchback has just been launched for the New Zealand market.
There’s a good serving of new technology in the hatched Cerato with the 5-door Cerato coming with a 6-speed sequential shift automatic transmission, fitted as standard on all models and sporty steering wheel paddle gear shifters on the top version.
The 5-door Cerato hatchback joins the 4-door sedan and 2- door Koup to boost the range of mid-size cars, all powered by the Theta II, four-cylinder, 2-litre CVVT engine.
According to Kia Motors New Zealand General Manager Todd McDonald, the new Cerato hatchback “is designed to appeal especially to consumers who prefer a five-door hatchback for its style and enhanced practicality, in particular those with young families.”
Whilst sharing the same front profile, overall width, height and wheelbase as the sedan, the new hatchback’s roof, rear side panels, C-pillar, tailgate, rear bumper, light clusters and roof spoiler are all new.
At the front, bold styling incorporates a new radiator grille, new lower air-intake grille and new-shape fog lamps. The door mirrors now come with LED repeaters and the two hatchback models sold here in New Zealand, LX and SX, wear re-styled ‘double five-spoke’ 16-inch and 17-inch respectively. The rear combination lamps, which have etching-processed lenses, are split across the tailgate shut line and a sporty rear diffuser allows the exhaust tailpipe to be displayed.
In addition to its high standard equipment level that echoes the sedan and Koup models, the 2011 Cerato 5-door’s interior offers customers several new comfort and convenience features, depending on model. Among these are steering wheel ‘paddle shifters’ are fitted for the first time with the automatic transmission in the SX model and Bluetooth hands-free for mobile phone use, which comes with both models.
Continue reading “Kia launches Cerato hatchback in New Zealand” »
July 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Kia Motors focus on style is starting to pay dividends in the New Zealand market.
Latest figures show new models like the Kia Cerato Koup and Kia Sorento R are being purchased from Kia Motors dealerships as buyers fall for their designs as much as their value.
The arrival of the sculptured Cerato Koup has given Kia the lead in the sporty vehicle segment of the New Zealand market, outselling other 2-door vehicles like the VW Eos, Audi A5 and Nissan 370Z. In fact, the Cerato Koup has revitalised the sports segment, helping to lift sales by almost double in the first five months of 2010.
“Cerato Koup has been an outstanding success for Kia in New Zealand and, at times, we have run out of stock completely,” says Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand.
“The excellent response from customers has caused us to lift our target for Cerato Koup sales by 50% for 2010.”
Continue reading “Kia’s style focus pays off in NZ market” »
April 1st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
‘Fortune favours the bold’ is how the old Latin proverb goes and Kia’s new Cerato Koup is attempting to prove a new relevance for the dated sentiment. The two-door coupe is a body shape that many carmakers have dabbled with in the past but in the current economic climate are weary of. Kia has recognised a gap and seen an opportunity to reinforce the message of its Soul model — that Kia now makes design-focused vehicles. The Koup represents Kia’s first foray into the two-door sports car market and while there is little doubt it’s a ballsy move, is it one that will see fortune follow? Car and SUV got the tyres spinning on the low-slung Koup to find out the bottom line.
Exterior styling is without doubt the Koup’s biggest strength and even the harshest badge snob will admit it’s a handsome machine. The Koup is lower, shorter and lighter than the four-door Cerato sedan on which it’s based and shares a single body panel — a scalloped bonnet. The ascending beltline, high rear deck and low roof give the Koup genuine presence and an athletic stance. The aggressive styling kicks off from the front with Kia’s corporate grille sitting above a gaping lower bumper inlet and fog lamps. Out back, flattened rear lights and a pronounced boot lip draw the eye, with a twin exhaust tip blowing out street cred. The sporty look is finished off with bespoke silver/black 17-inch alloys that highlight the black exterior trim. Overall, the Koup’s styling is boldly unique and works as a rolling billboard to inform the world just how far Kia has developed.
Continue reading “Kia Cerato Koup SX 2010 Review” »
February 15th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
A futuristic Plug-in Hybrid car has been unveiled by Kia Motors at the recent Chicago Auto Show.
The Kia Ray, revealed at the Chicago Auto Show, takes its striking shape from the current Kia Cerato recently launched in New Zealand (it’s built on the same platform) and projects it into a future where electricity will be the dominant fuel for motor vehicles.
According to Peter Schreyer, Chief Design Officer of Kia Motors Corporation: “Being green doesn’t have to be an obvious statement anymore and Kia Ray exemplifies a viable blend of modern, eco-minded features for today’s environmentally conscious consumers. It is important to imagine what people will want in the future from a green perspective early in the design process. People want to reduce their carbon footprint without driving carbon copies.”
As the world demands more efficient vehicle designs that combine modern looks with functionality and fuel economy, the Kia Ray concept is seen as a bold new collaboration between design and engineering, he adds.
Kia Motors New Zealand General Manager Todd McDonald says the Kia Ray concept is a stylish and exciting development of the Cerato design and cleverly links it to the company’s environmental research and development technology.
“It’s a smart piece of thinking and indicates how far the company has progressed in design and technology, as well as being a global green technology leader,” he says.
The Kia Ray concept is the latest development in a special alternative fuel and power research programme set up by Kia Motors under its sub-brand ‘EcoDynamics’ — the most efficient vehicles produced by the company will wear this badge. Other projects developed under ‘EcoDynamics’ include the Kia Borrego Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) followed by the Forte LPI Hybrid, the petrol Kia cee’d Hybrid and the twin-turbo diesel Kia Sorento Hybrid.
Ray is the fore-runner of a prospective plug-in hybrid vehicle that Kia Motors is considering for production. Designed with light-weight and recycled materials, as well as hexagonal roof-top solar cells embedded in the glass roof panel that power extra lighting or climate control systems, the Kia Ray also demonstrates the progress in the evolution of Kia Motors Design DNA.
Power comes from an all-aluminum 114kW Gasoline Direct Injected (GDI) 1.4-litre engine mated to a permanently-engaged fixed ratio Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), used in combination with a 78kW electric motor. Depending on driving conditions, power is sent to the wheels from the petrol engine, the electric motor, or both together.
December 19th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
Kia introduces the new Kia Forte (Cerato)
December 14th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
Kia’s new crossover the Soul is already recording strong sales, just a few weeks after making its debut in major markets.
The quirky five-door Kia Soul is doing well in Europe and the US as the Korean manufacturer is working hard to keep up with demand.
Company officials in the North American markets are already working on plans to increase their orders by 20%, after sales of the Soul in the first two months following its launch beat predictions. Kia had planned on selling 40,000 Souls in the US and Canada in its first full year but are now looking at adding another 10,000 to that total.
And in Europe sales of the Kia Soul are around 13% higher than predicted in its first two months, in spite of the recession that has seen car sales in general slump by more than 35%.
Here in New Zealand consumer interest in the Kia brand is increasing, with dealers reporting that the launch of the Soul in April is driving significantly increased numbers of people into showrooms to see the highly styled model, even though the car industry locally reported its worst sales month in 34 years.
“All car brands suffered in April in New Zealand, including Kia, but we are fortunate that we have two exciting new models in the Soul and Cerato that are boosting enquiries with our dealers and although it is taking longer for deals to be closed we are confident of turning the increased interest into sales,” says Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand Ltd. “People are now talking about Kia in terms of ‘freshness’ and being a ‘design-led brand’, which is creating a real buzz that can only be good for us in the long term.”
Mr McDonald says that now Easter, the school holidays and the disruption of having two new models launching very close together are behind them, Kia dealers are back in the groove and May sales are already looking significantly better than April.