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2020 Kia Cerato GT

Car Reviews  ·  June 3, 2020

2020 Kia Cerato GT

Kia came up with a GT version of the successful Cerato in early 2019. It was reviewed during launch, but now there is a chance to assess both the hatch and sedan versions. This iteration boasts a broader appeal because of the conventional layout, especially with the sedans and the new automatic transmission. 


The Cerato GT exerts a lot of presence. It stands apart from its rivals, such as the Mazda 3 and others like the derivative Toyota Corolla, through cutting a chiselled, angular silhouette. The Cerato GT lives up to its name through a more aggressive styling than what Korean cars are known for. That includes a widened front spoiler with detailed air dams and grilles. It also has swept-back LED eyes that rake up the bonnet. The alloy wheels are a great touch, and so are the resolved boot. The sharpened back is also quite elegant, providing for a sporty feel in the sedan.


The increase of black leather to the interior implies an air of opulence to the vehicle cabin. However, there are more hard plastics to the interior than what you will find in some of the rivals. The fit and finish would be described as more than adequate. Considering the tech packages and the comfort inside along with the capable powertrain, the Cerato would make one think that the base price is significantly higher than the actual price tag.

It is an attractive value-filled proposition for a sleek and mature-looking sedan. When compared to the hatchback, there are differences in the practicality, of course. The space available on the hatch is impressive, considering the size of the vehicle. Also, there are fold-flat 60/40 rear seating, and there is a lot of load area available.


If there is an area where the Cerato GT excels, it is the features that it avails even at the base level. The heated and ventilated front seats have power adjustment and memory for the driver. There is also full perforated leather upholstery with red piping and stitching as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, radar cruise control, wireless phone charging pads, dual-zone climate control, and an eight-speaker JBL audio system. 

While there may be the sentiment that the interior feels like it has been built to a price to allow for these features, the fact is it is very high quality. Adding to the GT character is a subtle and distinctive body kit, paddle shifters, and dual exhaust. There are also alloy sports pedals and a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel to boot. 


The Kia has a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit, which is capable of 150 kW at 6000 RPM. The GT is a front-wheel drive, and the engine is linked to a seven-speed automatic DCT transmission. Sport mode is accessed by tipping across the gear level towards the driver, so there are aggressive shifting and sharper steering maps. During the eco mode, though, there is a slight hesitation when the driver floors the pedal, but in sport mode, it is happy to oblige. The combination allows or economical cruising and sport mode when desired. During the cruising eco mode, the Cerato GT has a fuel economy of 5.9 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway. It is a bit thirstier with the sport mode, though, gulping 8.9 litres for 100 kilometres. 


Kia developed the Australian-tuned suspension on their models, and it has been incorporated into the GT. The handling team optimised the pros of the multi-link independent rear suspension while still maintaining a compliant ride considering Australia’s rough terrains. On rough roads, the GT can be somewhat harsh, but in sport mode, the balance between the flexible handling and the ride is worth the value of the vehicle. 


The active cruise control is also at its best when travelling the mostly deserted roads. The system happens to be very effective when locking on to a vehicle ahead and following it. There are several safety features as well at the full flat grade. One of them includes auto emergency braking, which is at freeway speeds and detects cyclists and pedestrians. There is lane-keep assist and blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic, adaptive high beams, and driver attention alert packages. It also gains front and rear parking sensors, as well as a relatively high-resolution reverse camera and at least six airbags.


The price of the Cerato GT is $33,490. The coverage from the brand also entails seven years of capped price servicing and eight years of roadside assist provided that the owner sticks to the servicing plan that has been set by the brand. The schedule entails servicing the GT at least once every year or per 10,000 kilometers, whichever comes first. It costs between $282 and $640 for a yearly average of $471 during the seven years. It does have an important card to play within the market, considering the seven-year unlimited warranty is more attractive than its rivals offering five-year durations.


For a sporty hatchback with all the features and peace of mind one would hope for, it is impossible to do better than that at that price point or even higher. The Cerato GT is a revamp of the way Kia models have been perceived in the market as dull-looking vehicles. The aggressive style shows it is worthy of its consistent position in the top sellers list, and the carefully curated cabin provides comfort and elegance that makes it seem more expensive than it is. 

The high-quality materials and the available tech packages are a surprising treat from the model. On the powertrain front, the power is sufficient, depending on the mode. It intelligently divides the output according to the need, thus providing a better fuel economy in the cities without resorting to hybrid technologies. The future GTs though may need to adopt these systems in line with developing emission standards.

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