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Range reshuffle: The Kia Cerato Premium S gains all the standard gear of the S base variant (left) but adds more equipment.

New Cerato Premium S arrives, but Kia cuts manual versions of all but one variant

1 Jul 2014

KIA has announced running changes to its Cerato small car line-up, with the introduction of a new variant as well as some price and spec increases.

The South Korean car-maker has added a new S Premium grade, from $24,590, excluding on-road costs, which will sit above the base S and below the mid-spec Si variants in the range.

Kia's range reshuffle means the base S is still priced from $19,990 in manual guise, but rises by $300 to $22,290 when optioned with an automatic transmission.

The mid-spec Si sedan and hatch cop a $2500 increase to $28,490, while the range-topping SLi is now priced from $31,490, which is a $500 boost.

Kia said in a statement that as a part of the minor update, it had made satellite navigation standard on the S Premium, Si and SLi variants, which could account for the price rise.

The Korean brand has discontinued manual versions of all variants except the S, meaning the S Premium, Si and SLi are all available with a six-speed auto only.

The company will continue to offer the S with a six-speed manual gearbox as its range-opener, but is focussing on autos in other grades due to the low take-up of the self-shifter.

Cerato sedan variants are priced identically to corresponding hatchback variants.

This new S Premium variant builds on the standard gear found in the S, with the addition of a reversing camera, a seven-inch touchscreen, dusk-sensing headlights, a DVD player, 16-inch alloy wheels instead of steel, and satellite navigation.

Equipment included as standard on both the S and S Premium includes a six-speaker sound system, Bluetooth connectivity with hands-free controls, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control, air conditioning and power windows.

No changes have been made to the engines, with Kia continuing to offer the 110kW/178Nm 1.8-litre “MPI” petrol engine in the S as well as the new S Premium, while the Si and SLi are powered by a larger 129kW/209Nm 2.0-litre “GDi” petrol unit.

Kia Motors Australia chief operating officer Damien Meredith said the new S Premium variant would appeal to people looking for a bit of extra kit without having going all the way to the top of the range.

“Cerato not only highlights the Kia commitment to safety and value but is one of the most stylish small cars in the Australian market, sharing cues with a range of Kia’s design award-winning models,” he said.

“The addition of the S Premium grade again underscores Kia’s philosophy that you needn’t go to the top of the tree to find the best fruit.” Kia launched its Cerato sedan in April last year, ahead of the hatchback which arrived in August, while the sportier Koup and Koup Turbo made their local debut in October.

Sales of the Cerato range are up by 10 per cent for the first five months of this year when compared with the same period last year, with Kia shifting 2636 units so far.

This figure is well behind heavy hitters in the segment, such as the mechanically related Hyundai i30 (12,449), but it also trails other smaller volume players such as the Honda Civic (3758), Mitsubishi Lancer (3455) and the Nissan Pulsar (3883).

Kia Cerato hatch and sedan pricing*
S $19,990
S (a) $22,290 (+$300)
S Premium (a) $24,590
Si (a) $28,490 (+$2500)
SLi (a) $31,490 (+$500)
*Excludes on-road costs.

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