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Car reviews - Kia - Koup - coupe

The Car

4 Dec 2009

KIA has followed the local launch of its new Cerato small sedan with a two-door version called the TD Cerato Koup – a five-seater that neatly fills a void in the mid-$20k coupe market.

The Cerato Koup shares only one panel – the bonnet – with the sedan, and is shorter, lower and lighter than the sedan on which it is based.

At $500 more than the equivalent Cerato SLi sedan, the $23,690 Koup comes in just one specification grade with only one major option – a four-speed automatic in place of the standard five-speed manual.

The Koup should be considered a ‘budget sporting’ coupe, minus the high-output engine planned for the two-door Kia, and while not sparse on features, there are no leather seats or sunroof, even as options.

Kia expects to sell about 300 Cerato Koups in what remains of this year and between 600 and 800 from next year, competing against mostly sedan or five-door hatch Japanese rivals such as the Mitsubishi Lancer VRX, Mazda 3 SP25 and Honda Civic Sport.

The Koup is 60mm shorter in stature than the sedan (50mm lower roofline and 10mm lower suspension), and is 50mm shorter and 10mm narrower than the Cerato sedan. While it has the same 2650mm wheelbase, rear leg room is down 28mm on the sedan.

It weighs 20kg less than the sedan, at 1274kg for the manual and 1288kg for the automatic.

The 2.0-litre Theta II engine – identical to the engine in the sedan – produces 115kW of power at 6200rpm and peak torque of 194Nm at 4300 rpm.

The rest-to-100kmh time is 9.3 seconds and top speed is 190kmh. Fuel consumption is 7.7L/100km for the manual (auto: 7.8) and C02 emissions 183g/km for the manual (auto: 186g/km).

Suspension is based on the Cerato sedan – that is, MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam and coil-spring suspension at the rear – but with a thicker front anti-sway bar and revised coil spring and dampers.

The suspension tune is said to be similar to that of the US market variant, but with slight changes based on local Australian input from a local drive of pre-production Koups in May.

The hydraulic power-assisted steering, with 2.6 turns lock to lock, has a quicker rack ratio than the sedan. Turning circle is 10.78 metres.

Brakes are 280mm ventilated front discs and 262mm solid rear discs.

The Cerato Koup has plenty of safety gear, with dual front airbags, dual front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags, active head restraints for front seats, five lap-sash seatbelts, ESC, traction control and ABS brakes with brake-force distribution.

The comprehensive standard features list includes 17-inch alloy wheels with 215/45 R17 tyres, keyless remote central locking, power windows, climate control, trip computer, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob, alloy pedals, front fog lights, speed-sensing auto door locks, remote audio and cruise controls, six-speaker radio/CD player with AUX input and MP3 and iPod connectivity, 60/40 split rear seat backrest, twin exhaust with chrome tips and rear park assist.

New Cerato Koup is available in a choice of four standard exterior colours that include three solid paint finishes (Clear White, Ebony Black and Racing Red) and one metallic colour (Bright Silver). Three metallic colours are also available by dealer order (Sweet Orange, Santorini Blue and Titanium Silver).

Kia executives say the bold interior colour schemes – such as the bright red leather dash and seat treatment available in other markets – may serve as the basis of a special-edition Cerato Koup.

Did you know?

A 2.0-litre direct-injection turbo four-cylinder petrol engine driving all four wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifts powered the 2008 concept car version of the Koup. This combination may yet eventually make it onto the production vehicle.

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