This is the 2012 Kia Cerato and is now the pride and joy of a friend of mine. Now most people in Kuwait associate Korean cars with cheapness and unreliability. I’m not sure how that happened but Hyundai and Kia in other more developed markets are well known for delivering value for money and dependable vehicles. I wasn’t a big fan of Kias myself since they all looked boring but the new lineup especially the Sportage, Soul and Koup have changed my perception and we might even consider one of them as our second family car soon.
Body: 4 door sedan
Engine: 4 Cylinder
Transmission: 6 Speed Automatic Gearbox (with paddle shifters on steering)
Drive: 2 Wheel drive
First impression: Style wise this is not as exciting as its coupe counterpart and even seems a little boring from some angles. To me it looks like the new generation Civic but downsized a little. ‘Sporty’ is not the word that comes to mind when you see it, unlike the Lancer GT.
Driving: Handling was nice and responsive and that’s the thing I like about small sedans, you can fling it around corners and not worry about body roll. The ride is a little stiff and you’ll feel some of the larger imperfections in the road. This may not be good for passengers or older drivers but for me its all about tarmac feedback.
Creature comforts: Now this is my favorite section and this car is LOADED!
1. In-dash 6 CD changer with controls on the steering wheel
2. Rear sensors with graphical display on center display and LCD screen in mirror
3. Full Auto gear box with Manual Shifters on steering wheel
4. Full leather interiors
5. Bluetooth integration with car stereo, lets you take calls via the car’s audio system
6. Key-less entry and push start ignition
Luggage space: Unlike the previous review we didn’t try stuffing one of our friends into the boot but it is spacious and from looking at it compares favorably with its competition.
What I like about this car:
. I’d have to say that for the amount of equipment offered this car is phenomenal value for money. It retails for about 4800 KD and I don’t think there are any cars in this category to match that price point.
. Fun to drive and although its a small car there’s enough room for bulky drivers like me to find the optimum driving position and my legs didn’t feel cramped at all.
. Manual stick shift and paddle shifters are available in manual mode.
. Engine is perky and revs happily to 6000 rpm.
What I didn’t like about this car:
. Steering wheel feels too plasticky and you feel like you’re holding a toy steering, I wish they’d used some good quality leather for it.
. Start button is almost hidden behind the steering and I didn’t find it the first time around, I wish it were more like the Nissan Altima.
. No cruise control (or I didn’t see the buttons for it on the steering)
. Now the thing I didn’t like the most is the gear up-shift override in manual mode. My friend and I were enjoying the sounds of the car revving with each shift and I’d try to hit the rev-limiter on each gear before shifting up but the damn thing kept going up a gear each time it hit the limit. I’ve not encountered this on my car or other similar manual drive cars but this takes away from the joy of using manual mode. This may not be a problem for most people but I found it extremely irritating.