Kia has got its tagline « The Power to Surprise » on the money; and every time Kia sets out to introduce a new model or simply a facelift, we are all ears, and ready to expect the unexpected. With this new Cerato, the South Korean carmaker will send shockwaves across the family sedan segment. We went all the way to Dubai, to give you a « first hands on » review.
While the onboard screen of the aircraft displayed the security measures and how the flight was going to be pleasant and all, we just couldn’t wait to get there ASAP and test drive the new Kia. Well still had six and a half hours of flight ahead, so meanwhile we decided to review the aircraft! Emirates’ service was excellent, and the airhostesses, well we could not actually say which was, well…the most sultry. The seats were well supportive, instead, the legroom was not at its best, yes « economy » can take its toll on long flights. Anyway we are not here to talk about the aircraft, nor the hostesses (except we already did), so we got touch down, and after a night’s rest, a long day of sight-seeing and shopping in Dubai (this is still work yes!) we finally got our hands on the new Cerato !
With the introduction and press conference with Kia representatives done, we had the choice of vehicles – and we had almost 30 new Ceratos to choose from. We got into convoy, and start off to what was going to be almost a 300kms drive across Dubai and the desert. As we walked to our vehicle, the new Cerato is definitely better looking than its predecessor, and maybe even better looking than some its segment rivals!
The aesthetic appeal of Kia vehicles is in a league of its own, and with this new Cerato, they have upped the design game a notch – with a bold and coupé-like proportions. This new Cerato has got the right amount of eye-catching lines and curves. The front is dressed up in what Kia calls the “tiger-nose” and we may just say that it does have a little bit of an aggressive look to it. A look further enhanced by the LED daytime running lights. The overall silhouette of the car is accentuated by a sweeping roof line, shortened front and rear overhangs (the coupé-like proportions we talked about) and with lines cutting through the door panels giving the right amount of light play thus giving the Cerato a distinctive side view. The aggressive look has an added value brought to it by the big wheel arches (home to the 17” rims of our test vehicle), an option that you should definitely pick to suit the aesthetics of the car. From certain angles, you can see how this new Cerato is some kind of a baby or teen Optima.
The aesthetics are re-created on the inside, where we can actually see that Kia worked hard to make a driver’s car. It’s nothing extravagant, in fact, it is just simple and pleasing to the eye; so the aesthetics are really in terms of ergonomics as the driver-oriented cockpit delivers an intuitive instrument layout offering good functionality. No extra effort is ever required to access the what ever the instrument and other buttons; much helped by the on-steering wheel functional keys! Oh and the plastic, the finishing & the touch – it has nothing Japanese to it (if you know what we mean) it is actually very pleasant both to the hand and the eyes! The dash will give real time performance of the drive with what Kia calls the Supervision Cluster and has all the information you will ever need, and the equipments to go with it. Kia strives to meet the needs of a young drivers target market, and goes on to offer some nice equipments as standard in the likes of Ipod/Iphone connectivity, Bluetooth, dual climate control, etc. Although for our review we got the full option package with heated steering wheel and seats that is a real treat.