Stuck on the Kia Cerato GT

How much tech and features can Kia plug into the Cerato GT? The answer is lots! This mid-sized sedan offers a viable alternative if you don’t want to join the SUV crowd. It has a zippy 1.6 litre petrol engine and in this Sunset Orange colour it really lives up to its title as a warm hatch.

To start with it looks great thanks to the GT body kit and the size on the outside is very deceiving and when you get in the Cerato you’ll notice it has ample room for four adults to fit comfortably, five in a squeeze, and the boot is huge and would easily pass the weekly shop and full size pram test.

The plastics used in the Cerato are appealing to look at and touch and they don’t smell bad either. The GT comes sports leather appointed seats with contrasting red stitching and GT embroidered into the top of the seat. The driver gets 8-way power seat adjustment with 2-way lumbar support and two seating memory positions, if you have to share your Cerato. The passenger only gets manual seat adjustment, but both do get heated and cooled seats, that do work quite well.

The sporty nature of the Cerato GT continues with the flat-bottom leather sports steering wheel and the 4.2” digital instrument cluster. There are four drive modes in all including Comfort, Eco, Smart and Sport. When I first got into the Cerato I couldn’t find a Sport mode, which I thought was very disappointing for a car with a GT badge. But then I discovered in order to access Sport mode you don’t use the button near the gear lever you actually push gear lever to the right once you are in drive mode to select it.

When you put the Cerato into Sport mode the little in-line four cylinder engine revs out hard and holds the gear you are in until you are ready to upshift using the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters that control the 7-speed DCT automatic gearbox. This is a nice change from most cars that automatically change up for you and means you will get the full 150kW @ 6,000rpm and 265Nm of torque @ 1,500-4,500rpm. This all adds up to lots of fun to be had in what is a surprising car. The official combined fuel consumption for the Cerato GT is 6.8L/100km and for my week of sporty driving I achieved 8.6L/100km.

I did find the accelerator to be a bit ‘on and off’ in Sport mode and it was hard to modulate. So once I had finished having some fun I put the Cerato back into Comfort mode for a more elaxed drive. This also meant I could explore the inside my Cerato a bit more.

All models in the Cerato line-up come with the 8” LCD infotainment touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and you can only operate the voice control function in the Cerato if you are connected to these via a USB. The GT does come with a premium eight speaker JBL sound system so you can enjoy your music while driving. Media options include Bluetooth, USB, AUX, AM/FM and DAB, but in the area where I lived the DAB reception was not great.

At the front of the centre console you get wireless charging for compatible devices, one 12V oulet, two USB ports and one AUX port and there is a small storage cubby under the central arm rest with another 12V outlet. In the back seat, the centre seat folds down as an arm rest with two drink holders and there are another two good-sized drink holders in the rear doors also.

The rear seats offer ample leg and head room for adults and they also have two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points. But the width of the Cerato would mean that it would actually be difficult to fit three car seats across the rear seat without some thorough research first. The rear passengers only get speed control for the rear air vents and no USB or 12V outlets. The rear seats have a 60/40 split folding mechanism if you need more room to carry large items in the boot.

The Cerato GT has plenty of active safety features that you wouldn’t expect to find in a car worth less than $35k. These include Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Keep Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Smart Cruise Control. For ease of parking the Cerato has a standard rear view camera with parking sensors and dynamic parking guidelines.

All Kia Cerato models get driver and front passenger airbags, front side airbags, curtain airbags and side impact door beams. Overall this gives the Cerato S and Cerato Sport a 4-star ANCAP safety rating and the Cerato Sport + and the GT have a 5-star ANCAP safety rating.

All new Kias come with the assurance of Australia’s First 7 Year Unlimited Kilometre Warranty and capped price servicing for that period also. This means you know what your Kia is going to cost you for the first seven years of ownership, which is great for those of us who like to budget. In total the capped price servicing on the Cerato GT for seven years is $3,295.

For women who own or are considering the purchase of a Kia, you may also be interested in hands-on workshops, designed to assist drivers with invaluable knowledge in day-to-day vehicle maintenance that Kia host in partnership with Women On Wheels, a national Australian community based business helping women get the most from their vehicles.

The workshop aims to demystify mechanical terminology and help empower confidence and self-assurance regarding motoring. All information is presented in easy to understand terms with minimum technical jargon. Invited guests are divided into teams and rotate through sessions covering the basics of a vehicle and its maintenance including brakes, changing fluids, tyres, batteries, how to jump start a vehicle, what to do in an emergency and more. If you have attended one of these workshops I would love to hear your thoughts about it via @drivenwomenmag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Kia Cerato GT starts at $32,990 and as test with premium paint option mine was $33,510. When you think about all of the tech and features you get for that price the Cerato GT is great value for money. Many European cars costing double that amount do not have these features. So if you after a safe, good sized family sedan then you really should test drive the Cerato GT at your preferred Kia Dealer before you make you final purchase decision.  

Pro Cons
Nice interior and exterior styling No USB/12V outlet for rear seat passengers
Comes with many active safety features as standard Accelerator hard to modulate in Sport mode
Seven year warranty and capped price servicing Poor DAB radio reception

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.