It may not be the first mpdel that comes to mind when buying a compact car, but the new Kia Cerato is a very decent alternative to the Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla or Mazda3.
The fourth-generation model (3rd-gen in U.S.) was unveiled in early 2018 at the Detroit Auto Show, and in the U.S. it is available in saloon body style and renamed the Forte. Other markets such as Australia have the all-new five-door hatch available as well, and this is the one reviewed by CarsGuide.
The version chosen is the Sport, which costs under AUD $25,000 (USD $17,762) locally and is powered by a 152 PS (150 hp / 112 kW) and 192 Nm (142 lb-ft) of torque 2.0-liter inline-four. The Sport and Sport+ are offered exclusively with a six-speed automatic gearbox, whereas the entry-level S comes with a 6-speed manual and the 7-speed DCT is only available in the top-of-the-line GT.
Apart from the 2.0-liter engine, customers can also have the new Cerato Hatch with a 1.6-liter turbo that’s rated at 204 PS (201 hp / 150 kW) and 265 Nm (195 lb-ft) of torque.
There’s nothing to complain about when driving, but there’s nothing to praise either, at least according to the the reviewer. The overall experience would best be described as OK. It handles nicely, goes over bumps pretty smoothly and the light steering makes maneuvering it into tight spaces quite easy.
As sporty as the exterior may look, the cabin pales next to it. The Stinger-inspired styling is a nice touch, but the most important thing is that it packs all of the necessary gear, from the infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, to the standard Automatic Emergency Braking.
Overall, the interior space won’t disappoint, and at 473 liters (16.7 cu-ft), the boot is also pretty good for a car in this segment.
After driving the new Cerato Hatch Sport with the family for a week, the reviewer found it to be… well, that’s for you to find out by checking out the video.