Kia Cerato: What a Koup!

By Grant Edwards

Grant Edwards finds the two-door Cerato shows just how far Kia has come in substance and style

The Koup garners attention for pure fashion and pizzazz, and further pushes Kia's credentials as an emerging challenger brand.
The Koup garners attention for pure fashion and pizzazz, and further pushes Kia's credentials as an emerging challenger brand.

Show and go - that sums up the new Kia Cerato Koup that now has the pace to match the face.

Launched in Australia this month, the turbocharged Koup heads to New Zealand in December, with prices will be announced closer to the date.

The 1.6-litre T-GDi, six-speed auto has been force-fed a healthy 150 kilowatts which provides some decent shove, but this isn't designed to be a hardcore sporting star.

Kia is coming along in leaps and bounds. During the past six years, the Korean carmaker has made strong inroads into public perception, and the Koup garners attention for pure fashion and pizzazz.

Adding the Turbo variant further pushes Kia's credentials as an emerging challenger brand and adds substance to the style.

Designer Peter Schreyer has taken Kia to the next level.

This Koup may look similar to the previous version, but it's larger than the outgoing model, and except for the hood and front fenders, every exterior panel on the new Koup is unique to this variant in the Cerato clan.

Kia calls the Koup a "grand tourer" and is leaving the souped-up stuff to its Pro-cee'd GT.

The Kia Cerato Koup arrives in New Zealand in December. Photo / Supplied
The Kia Cerato Koup arrives in New Zealand in December. Photo / Supplied

In the cabin, things are standard Cerato fare. The colour scheme is black with carbon-fibre-look finishes across the dash add some pizzazz, but there is widespread use of hard plastics on the doors and console.

Up front, the driver has a clear and concise view with legible dials and easy-to-use buttons. The standard 11cm touch-screen is simple to navigate and has an ultra-fast Bluetooth pairing system.

There is quite a bit of action on the steering wheel, with buttons for cruise, audio, phone, steering wheel load settings and the trip computer.

It can be bewildering at first but it doesn't take long to learn the positioning of functions for simple operation.

In the back, head, leg and knee room is generous for adults up to about 180cm and they even get an air vent.

The view from the rear is hindered by a large rear pillar and a small window, but that's the standard coupe trade-off.

At the Australia launch in Yarra Valley, the two-door coupe did a stellar job in maintaining theline between performance and comfort.

The Koup managed to iron out the poor conditions, corner with precision and even soak up mid-corner bumps without rattling the kidneys or becoming flustered.

The Kia Cerato Koup arrives in New Zealand in December. Photo / Supplied
The Kia Cerato Koup arrives in New Zealand in December. Photo / Supplied

Despite not having jaw-dropping acceleration figures, the 1.6-litre turbo has a lovely turn of speed with an ability to pull with vigour from low in the rev range.

Some extra exhaust tune wouldn't go astray - it's pretty quiet in the cabin.

We'd also like to see how it performs with some better rubber. The Nexen tyres do grip but are quick to squeal when pushed.

The T-GDi gets 18-inch alloys, the full safety suite, six airbags, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry, six-way driver's seat adjustment, rear view camera, six-speaker MP3 compatible CD stereo, Bluetooth connectivity, air-conditioning, rear air vent and paddle shifts on automatic variants.

There are also LED rear combination lamps, LED daytime running lamps, alloy sports pedals, cooling glovebox, electrochromic rear view mirror, cloth seat with artificial leather bolsters and a smart key with push-button start.

Boot space is up 20 litres, and although the opening has been improved, bulky items can still be a difficult fit. The rear seats do 60-40 split fold for extra load space.

There are excellent storage spots, large glovebox, two cup holders in the front and four in the rear.


Rural drivers can rejoice, there is also a full-size spare.

- NZ Herald

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