1 Jan 2009
KIA launched its second-generation Cerato – the TD series – in early 2009.
Sharing virtually nothing with the old LD Cerato except for its name, the Hyundai-owned subsidiary’s three-box four-door sedan emphasises European design, courtesy of ex-Volkswagen Group stylist Peter Scheryer, whose other credits include the 1999 Audi TT.
Equipped to eclipse all rivals, it includes dual front, front-side and curtain airbags, four-wheel disc brakes, ABS anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist, active front head restraints, powered and heated door mirrors, power windows for all four doors, air-conditioning, MP3-compatible CD/radio audio with a USB and iPod connectors, tilt and reach-adjustable steering, remote central locking, a quintet of lap-sash seatbelts and a full-sized spare wheel.
ESC stability control is part of an Option Pack on the ‘S’ that also brings with it traction control and remote audio controls mounted on the steering wheel, as well as the previously-standard issue cruise control.
The top-line Cerato SLi includes the Option Pack plus 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, climate control air-con, different instrumentation, rear parking sensors, auto-on headlights, a trip computer, an external temperature display and more salubrious trimmings inside and out.
Clean, proportioned styling is backed up by highly competitive aerodynamic qualities (Kia says it has tested a drag co-efficient of 0.29), in a vehicle that is 30mm longer at 4530mm, 40mm wider at 1775mm (exceeding the class norm) and 10mm lower at 1460mm than the old LD Cerato sedan.
Kia has also stretched the wheelbase by 40mm to 2650mm, while the front and rear track – at 1557mm and 1564mm respectively – are wider for improved stance and roadholding, says Kia.
The front-wheel drive platform is an amalgam of the Kia Ceed’s MacPherson strut suspension system up front and an evolution of the MC light-car architecture in the rear, complete with a new torsion beam rear suspension unit specifically designed for the TD Cerato.
Kia says front legroom and overall shoulder room are best in class, rear legroom matches many medium sedan contenders, and that wide-opening doors aid entry and egress.
Moving forward, the engine is a revamped version of Kia’s Theta four-cylinder petrol engine.
Dubbed Theta II and touted as providing the performance of a 200cc larger powerplant, this 1975cc 2.0-litre twin-cam 16-valve Euro IV-compliant unit includes CVVT Continuously Variable Valve Timing to help produce 115kW of power at 6200rpm and 194Nm of torque at 4300rpm.
The five-speed manual version can sprint to 100km/h from standstill in 9.3 seconds (1.2s ahead of the new, lighter four-speed automatic gearbox, which comes complete with a Tiptronic-style sequential shift function Kia calls Sportsmatic), on the way to a 200km/h top speed (auto: 190km/h).
Fuel consumption is a mixed bag, with the manual rated at 7.8 litres per 100km (auto: 7.9L/100km) in the combined average run on standard 91 RON unleaded, when the old car did it in 7.6 and 8.2L/100km for the manual and auto respectively.
Meanwhile the TD Cerato’s carbon dioxide rating is 186 grams per kilometre (auto: 187g/km), elevating the series to an Australian Government’s Green Vehicle Guide figure of 4.5 stars out of five.
SEVEN months after Kia launched its second-generation TD-series Cerato small car in Australia, the South Korean marque has introduced a Limited Edition offering a claimed $1200 in extra value for no additional cost.
Based on the Cerato S Option Pack manual and priced from $20,990, the LE adds 15-inch five-spoke polished alloy wheels (with 195/65-section tyres), a chrome grille and front and rear floor mats. A four-speed automatic gearbox is available for an additional $2000.
When it was new