Kia Cerato Hatchback LX 2011 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” »

Kia KV7 Concept gives glimpse of future mini vans

January 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

First there was the radical POP concept, now Kia Motors has pushed the design envelope even further with the funky KV7 concept vehicle unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show.

Kia designers apparently thought ‘inside the box’ with their radical idea for a lifestyle vehicle that would stand out from the crowd. The design concept of the KV7 takes the distinctive styling of the Soul urban crossover to a new level, in doing so Kia designers have rejected the pseudo ‘sporty’ descriptions that many manufacturers use to describe People Movers or Minivans.

“Everyone seems so desperate to attach the word ‘sporty’ to their minivan, even though vans, at their very core are simply a box,” says Tom Kearns, Chief Designer, Kia Motors America. “Rather than reject the box we chose to celebrate it, just like we did with the Soul, and the result is a vehicle that is meeting the needs and functionality of the modern generation of consumers.”

The KV7 concept’s most striking feature is its passenger-side gullwing door, in place of the usual sliding door, which creates a massive point-of-entry to the interior when opened in conjunction with the pillar-less front passenger door. There’s also a new interpretation of the Tiger Nose grille, which incorporates vertical LED headlamps, plus a continuous line of LED fog lights that spans the entire width of the front bumper lower lip – Kia is evaluating this unique lighting design for possible use in future vehicles. Continue reading “Kia KV7 Concept gives glimpse of future mini vans” »