2019 Kia Cerato Sport+ (hatch)
2019 Kia Cerato Sport+ (hatch)

JUST like that, Kia has done it again with this little beauty. The 2019 Kia Cerato Sport+ hatch is loaded with features, with the long time name plate carrying a refreshed look that’s better than ever.

Let’s start with the all-leather interior, with heated front seats and great head and leg room throughout the roomy cabin. There is even some quality stitching on the dash to give this car a little luxury feel.

The dash wasn’t very reflective in the sun either. And no, that’s not something you usually notice but in this car, even in bright sunlight, the windscreen reflection was minimal. That can only add to the safety levels on offer.

Speaking of safety, the Cerato Sport+ hatch has some great tech that’s usually reserved for cars in a higher price bracket, including autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control.

It scores a 5-star ANCAP safety rating thanks to, among other things, it’s abundance of collision avoidance systems, designed activate to avoid any frontal collisions. Fortunately, we didn’t have to test this one.

You’ll also find Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth and SatNav on board, and all housed in a nice high-resolution infotainment system that also features a quality 6-speaker system.

The rest of the interior exudes practicality, with a 428-litre boot space, which expands to more than double that when you lay the split fold rear seats down. There are also some hidden pockets under the boot floor for things like umbrellas or sports equipment.

From a driving perspective, the car is quiet, with minimal road noise, even at higher speeds, and it feels genuinely comfortable on both the open road and stuck in city traffic, although it’s a little too well behaved. It lacks pizzazz basically, even in sports mode.

The naturally aspirated 112kW 2.0-litre engine pushes out 192Nm of torque, revving a little too hard in lower gears, before it settles into a more responsive and refined pattern from third gear up.

The 6-speed automatic gearbox is nice and smooth, with the option to switch to manual shifting available. It has a range of drive modes, with eco and comfort also among them. Kia claims fuel economy of 7.4-litres/100km. We actually went better at 7.3-litres/100km.

Exterior styling is spot on and the Cerato Sport+ looks good sitting on the road. Our test car was painted in the closest thing we’ve seen to a midnight blue metallic in a long while, a colour known as Gravity Blue.

It’s a pretty nice colour that looks black in the shade, but if that’s not for you, there’s also Clear white, Snow White Pearl, Silky Silver, Aurora Black, Platinum Graphite, Steel Grey, Runway Red and Horizon Blue.

It has a drive away price of around $33,000 – not bad when you pit it against the likes of the Toyota Corolla ZR or the Hyundai i30. It comes with a 7-year unlimited kilometre warranty and offers pretty good value for money, with a long list of standard features.

Our test vehicle was provided by Kia Australia. To find out more about the 2019 Kia Cerato Sport+ (hatch), contact your local Kia dealer.

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