Kia Cerato Koup Turbo 2014 review

April 23rd, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

kia-cerato-koup-turbo-frontAs Kia’s first truly sporty car (the Sportage most definitely is not sporty), the Cerato Koup Turbo straddles the line between performance coupe and hot hatch(of which it has just released one in New Zealand in the form of the Pro_cee’d GT with the same engine, which hopefully we’ll be driving soon).  Continue reading “Kia Cerato Koup Turbo 2014 review” »

Kia Cerato 1.8 SX Hatchback 2014 Review

January 28th, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

We drove the Cerato sedan a while back, and now the Cerato is back with a hatch version and some new tricks, most notably a sat nav sitting in the middle of the dash.

kia-cerato-sx-1.8-hatch-2014-rear-quarterKia is continuing its modus operandi of providing cars that punch above their weight. The design is well-sorted, and there are no issues with quality. If you want the 1.8-litre SX, like our test car, the price has increased a little since the last version and is now $37,490. There’s a model above – the 2-litre, which is $40,490 (used to be $38,490) and that gets an extra 19kW, 31Nm of torque, alloy pedals, sun roof, paddle shifters and a few other niceties. Continue reading “Kia Cerato 1.8 SX Hatchback 2014 Review” »

Kia Carens EX 2013 Review

September 30th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

Given the hypothetical situation that I had six children I could drive a Mazda Bongo Friendee, or I could give a child away and plump for the Kia Carens with only seven seats. I realise that the Bongo Friendee, which was produced from 1995 to 2005 would be a lot cheaper to buy than a brand new Carens, but the Carens does sit at the bottom of the price range for new seven-seat vehicles and as it’s not a minimum of eight years old like the Mazda, it comes with a raft of safety features like vehicle stability control and better crash protection (5-star EuroNCAP) that will be much more preferable for my remaining five children.

kia-carens-gdi-2013-rqPlus, if I was out at a dinner party and someone asked me what I drove I would have to make my excuses and leave immediately if the phrase I had to mumble was ‘a Bongo Friendee’. How embarrassing!

So, people with prodigious loins, stop producing when you get to five children and you can own the quite astoundingly adorned Kia Carens for the sensible price of a smidge under thirty-eight grand. Sounds great, right? Well, it is and it isn’t.

kia-carens-gdi-2013-sBecause it’s so cheap you will have to accept slightly less engine refinement and fuel economy than you might expect from its 2-litre, 122kW petrol engine. 7.9 litres per 100km on the combined cycle sounds alright, but in reality it’ll be in the 9s. However, when you do the calculations compared to other seven seaters, like the Toyota Prius V, even if they’re a litre or two  per 100km more efficient, you’ll have to do a lot of driving for them to be better in the long run.

The engine can sounds a little strained when you’re trying to wring some overtaking performance out of it when loaded (but then it would, with only 213Nm of torque).

The (only) other problem with the Carens is Continue reading “Kia Carens EX 2013 Review” »

Kia Cerato SX GDi Sedan 2013 – Review

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).

kia-cerato-sx-gdi-sedan-2013-rqFor 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” »

Kia Rio LX ISG Diesel Review

November 16th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

You can hear the silence of this Kia Rio saving fuel every time you pull up to an intersection, put it in neutral and take your foot off the clutch. It’s because the engine quickly shudders to a stop meaning you’re not burning up precious diesel while waiting for all those other idiots who decided to take their journey (inconsiderately) right at the same time you did.

Push the clutch in again and the engine fires into life in a split second – about the same time as it takes to put it into gear – and you’re away. This is Idle, Stop and Go, or ISG in Kia’s vernacular, and it enables the Rio’s to get down to Continue reading “Kia Rio LX ISG Diesel Review” »

Kia Sportage Ltd Diesel 2012 Review

October 1st, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

Massimo Frascella’s chunky wheel arches and chopped roof design gives Kia’s Sportage Ltd the right attitude for a go-anywhere compact SUV.

The exterior is lead by Kia’s Tiger nose. LED daytime running lights underline the headlights, which themselves form a strong pointer along the prominent shoulder line extending to the rear lights. The design of the front is one that is very coherent where others can sometimes be messy and disjointed.

The side profile is enhanced by Continue reading “Kia Sportage Ltd Diesel 2012 Review” »

Kia Unveils Carens ‘Teaser’

July 27th, 2012 by Karen Joy Provo

Kia has released ‘teaser’ photos of the next generation Carens compact people mover, which is to make its world premier at the Paris Motor Show at the end of September.

The photos – shown in a colour negative format – depict a complete fresh and sleek design with a new cab-forward architecture that promises to deliver more room for passengers on the lengthened wheelbase.

The upcoming Carens also looks much sportier than the vehicle it replaces, thanks to a lower roofline and larger (up to 18 inch) wheels that fill the arches.

Kia Motors says the new Carens has been conceived around the theme “responsive space”, a term that describes more spacious functionality within the vehicle.

The company adds that the newcomer’s sporty looks will garner the sort of “emotional appeal” that is becoming a regular feature of Kia products.

The previous seven seater Carens model was sold in New Zealand for a period of time and Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand says the new version is an exciting progression of that concept.

“It has all the hallmarks of advanced design and fresh thinking that we have come to expect from Kia and Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer,” says Mr McDonald, adding that while details of the Carens are still to be released, it will certainly be evaluated for our market.

The new Kia Carens will be unveiled at a special media preview in Paris on September 27 and then remain on public display for the duration of the motor show, which ends on October 14.

Thrifty Diesel Joins Kia Rio Range In New Zealand

June 26th, 2012 by Karen Joy Provo

The diesel version of the all-new Kia Rio has now gone on sale in New Zealand and is one of the most economical new cars in the country, priced at just $24,990.

Equipped with an advanced 1.4-litre diesel engine and Kia’s EcoDynamics package, which includes intelligent Idle Stop & Go technology to significantly reduce fuel consumption and lower carbon emissions, the Rio CRDi achieves an impressive 4.3L/100km (55mpg) and a low CO2 level of 113g/km.

The new generation, four-cylinder 1.4-litre diesel engine was developed especially for Kia in Europe and features a double overhead camshaft design with the latest common-rail high-pressure fuel injection system. With a swept volume of 1,396cc, it is equipped with a wastegate turbocharger that is reduced in size to deliver a more compressed forced air charge into the engine, for greater efficiency and responsiveness.

Derived from Kia’s U2 diesel family, it develops 66kW at 4,000rpm and 220Nm of torque across a broad 1,750 to 2,750rpm range, giving the new Rio a flexible and lively performance, combined with great fuel economy.

In addition to the Stop & Go technology, the EcoDynamics package also includes low rolling resistance tyres, a drag-reducing front grille, a gearshift indicator and rear spoiler. A smooth, six-speed manual transmission is fitted as standard.

Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand, says the arrival of the diesel model provides a further boost to the Rio range, which is already one of the brand’s best sellers in this market.

“Rio is going remarkably well for us in New Zealand, thanks to the desirability of the sporty design, high specification level and attractive price point. And with petrol prices set to rise again shortly, the appeal of the diesel model has just got better,” he says.

Like the rest of the Rio range, the CRDi benefits from a re-engineered suspension system that is based on European specifications, with the emphasis on sporty handling and an assured ride. Brakes are all-round discs, providing superior braking performance. And in addition to the safety of ESC stability control, like all Rio models the CRDi features Hill Assist Control to prevent it momentarily rolling backwards when pulling away up steep gradients.

Equipment levels within the roomy cabin are high and the standard features on the Rio CRDi include high-tech daytime running lights for increased safety, reverse warning sensors, heated/powered door mirrors, remote locking with in-built car alarm, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, two-way steering column adjustment, split folding rear seats, rear luggage cover, trip computer, Bluetooth and a MP3-compatible/radio/CD audio system with USB and AUX ports.

In common with all Kia passenger cars, the Rio CRDI is covered by a comprehensive Five Year/100,000km Warranty Programme and a 24/7 Roadside Assistance Programme.

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