There are many ways to greet someone, from a simple hello or handshake to a warm embrace or Hongi. The depth and intimacy of the greeting varies from country to culture and from familiarity to (perceived) affluence or class – gotta love an air kiss. But the one thing that rings true wherever or whomever you are is that a strong greeting always makes you feel welcome.
Aside from it being a good looking Hatchback; the KIA Cerato has its own greeting regime and it quickly endears you to the car. As you approach the car, the mirrors open up like welcoming arms and the door handles light up to show you the way – it’s as if someone has put the porch lights on. It’s keyless of course, and as you step inside the cabin the car introduces itself via the centre of the instrument cluster with ‘KIA Welcome’. Like the waiter in a posh restaurant, the leather driver’s seat (which has retracted when you left the car last) slides you forward to your pre-selected and stored seating position and the Cerato plays a little ditty to serenade (or fanfare) your arrival. Like I said, the combination is very endearing.
The Cerato’s dash has a circular ‘Wave’ about it. The interior’s deep black intertwines with a carbon fibre effect, it’s very inviting. Everything is close to hand (as you’d hope) but the handbrake is a little too close and you rub the seat with each use. Technology fills the cabin too, Cruise Control, drivers assists such as lane keep alert and Blind Spot, 7” TFT screen, Android connectivity, Parking sensors and Rear cross traffic alert, reversing camera, even the bluetooth is good.
Under its button nose is a 2L DOHC D-CVVT engine that will happily deliver 112kW/192Nm to the Cerato’s front wheels while giving 7.1-7.2L/100k fuel economy. The 6 speed auto box can be accessed via the center console stick or by paddles (selecting Sports mode and using the paddles does add a bit of fun to the drive but it’s not a hugely noticable speed difference).
The exterior styling seems to have come straight out of europe and that’s a good thing. The Cerato has some smooth lines and artistic appeal. It’s LED daytime running lamps blend sweetly from bonnet to wing, rear hatch opens widely, Sunroof makes for a brighter interior and its 17”Alloys add a sporty flair.
On the road it is a highly manageable drive. Being a compact hatch it’s a true city dweller but there is plenty of room for a small family to travel distance in comfort. It’s not overly racy for hill climbs but feels surefooted enough in corners. It has plenty of pep and a surprising amount of extra value tech.
With its KIA serenade, ‘open mirror’ greeting, Euro Hatchback styling and the rest of the car’s extensive extras, the Cerato really is a quite the welcoming sight.
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