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Major makeover for Kia’s Cerato

KIA has given its popular Cerato a bold new look and equipment upgrade as part of a sweeping makeover of the model for 2016.

Both the hatch and sedan released recently have a new front-end styling that brings a slender wrap-around look to the headlights, incorporating slim new integrated daytime running lights for all models.

These new headlights blend in with a longer and more upright “tiger nose” grille, a muscular bonnet and updated front bumper, boasting larger fog lights and wider inlet vents.

The whole impression gives the Cerato a more positive appearance that will catch the attention of potential buyers at first look.

The biggest change in the new Cerato models is under the bonnet, where the previous 1.8 litre and 2.0 litre engines have been replaced with a single 2 litre unit from the Nu family of engines.

Power pack produces 112kW at 6200rpm and 192Nm of torque at 4000rpm.

This peak torque arrives much earlier in the rev range making the updated Cerato more responsive.

Other advances in efficiency in the new engine include advanced continuous variable valve timing (CCVT), and a new variable induction system that carefully balances the intake of fuel and air into the combustion chamber for optimal efficiency. The new engine emits even less CO2 than the previous 1.8 litre Cerato and gives combined fuel consumption of 7.1l/100kms.

The 2016 Cerato is fitted with a six-speed sequential transmission, which features drive-mode select providing the choice of normal, eco and sport modes.

Improvements have been made to the speed-sensitive, motor-driven power steering to bring increased responsiveness.

The suspension system developed through the ANZAC programme fine tunes the car’s ride and handling for driving conditions in this part of the world.

A test drive in the entry level LX was enough to convince that Kia had got the whole box of tricks right for its 2016 Cerato. It is a pleasure to drive, responsive when needed, and stable and reassuring on the road when going into corners.

It feels like something you would expect to have to pay a lot more for than the $26,990 price tag sitting on the LX, which as part of a special offer is $5000 under the recommended retail price.

A new suite of safety technology includes a large seven-inch reversing camera on the three-model range, with front and rear parking sensors. The Cerato has a five-star ANCAP safety rating.

Every Kia model comes with a five- year/100,000km warranty programme and five years free 24-hour roadside assistance.

Smart and stylish, secure and reliable, the refreshed 2016 Cerato is something of a “new man” of the automobile world.