Hatchback joins improving range

Kia Cerato Si 5 door.
Kia Cerato Si 5 door. Contributed

KIA has announced a brand new body style for its best-selling Cerato range, adding a five-door hatchback to its current four-door sedan and funky two-door Koup variants.

The new five-door Cerato model also introduces styling, equipment, refinement and technical improvements, which will also feature on the rest of the 2011 Cerato range from January.

According to Kia Motors Australia chief operating officer Tony Barlow, the new Cerato hatchback “is designed to appeal especially to those consumers with young families who prefer a five-door hatchback for its style and enhanced practicality.

“The availability of this third body style for our small passenger segment category will enable Kia dealers to meet the needs of a broader range of customers. This derivative will boost total Cerato sales to an even higher level across all Australian states.”

The new Cerato variant comes with Kia's four-cylinder petrol 2.0-litre engine good for 115kW, making it gutsier than rivals such as Hyundai's i30 and the 2.0-litre Mazda3. It will hit 100kmh in 9.1 seconds with the six-speed manual gearbox, and travel on to a top of 190kmh. Fuel consumption is 7.5 litres/100km (average).

To make the Cerato relevant to Australian conditions, Kia Australia has its own ride and dynamic team. This means the Australian domestic market Ceratos come with shock absorbers and springs with a localised tune and spring rate adjustment better suited to our roads. The Cerato hatchback's safety systems and equipment, plus interior gadgetry, is as generous as expected for the ultra-competitive small passenger vehicle segment, with ABS braking, ESC stability control and multiple airbags as standard.

Prices for the five-door Cerato start at $20,240 for the Si manual, and climb to $26,240 for the SLi automatic, with steering wheel paddle shifters available with the six-speed autos.

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