At first the interior worried me... but I think it was new car syndrome! Still can't fault the car at all. I find the comfort a lot better than my wife, and I am 105kgs (so a bit fat).
I still love driving this car, and recently have had comments about how good it looks. 3000klms down and still very happy with the decision.
We bought a new Kia Cerato 2 Litre Auto in mid 2007, in Auckland New Zealand. It is the Limited variant with leather and a switch on the front passenger airbag. Useful if a kid must travel there.
I find the ergonomics, mirrors, minor controls etc excellent. Love the sunglass park in the roof, heated mirrors and front seats (only needed very occasionally here).
The worst is the gearbox. Basically I hate autos, but one is pretty well essential in Auckland's traffic. This one has a Tiptronic-style manual change, ideal I thought.
BUT in Auto it insists on changing right up to 4th (top) and then struggles. Even in 3rd the torque converter locks up. Then the engine, which is quite torquey struggles. Really it needs another MIDDLE gear.
That said if the chippery was reprogrammed to leave 4th until at least 70kph it would be much more responsive in town, and probably more economical too. It is a "learner" or "adaptive" system, NOT to my liking, as one hard run "teaches" the car to be more aggressive always, when I may not want that. And I was charged for resetting it at a recent service...
Minor fault. The leather is a bit thin, and has split around the driver's door-pull. I have asked for this to be done under the 3-year warranty. We will see. Also make sure you have nothing metal in the back pocket. A small bulldog clip damaged the leather somewhat..
I had after-market reverse beepers installed from new, and they have NEVER been right, and Kia don't want to know. The sensors are in holes too big, so move and give false results.
I cannot see the rear of the car and the sensors should assist close parking.. but don't.
The seats etc are fine for me, my wife, a larger lady, finds her old 99 Maxima more comfy. But it is a bigger car all round.
We also had 3M film put on the front part of the bonnet to protect from stone chipping, a common problem here. It has yellowed, and 3M tell me it was uprated 6 months AFTER we bought the car...
Kumho tyres are excellent. I would buy them again.
Ride and handling, neutral, "sanitized" like most modern cars, so unexciting, no fly by the seat-of-the-pants feedback.
Climate air-con.. I fiddle constantly. It seems a bit weak, and set-and-forget it ain't.
Remote door opener excellent.. except the boot sometimes opens if my pocket is over-full, so the button gets pushed, and I'm in the house!!
Liquid crystal dash hard to see in bright light, or if running with lights on in daytime, as I usually do.
The Hyundai LED setup was much better.
NO Bluetooth, so again an aftermarket job. Hands-free required now for cellphones (as of 11/2009).
All-in-all a nice car, pity the Limited was not available in White. Silver is not really me.
I reckon the top-of-the line model should have integrated parking aids and Bluetooth. Hasn't driving changed over the years!
The boot is excellent. Easily takes a 66-key electronic keyboard in a slightly oversized bag. Co-Incidentally the baby-brother's Rio does too. Had one as a courtesy car for a day.
Would I buy again? Yes if dealers would take charge of the whole car as sold including out-sourced bits, and not make petty charges for going on the electronic diagnosis to determine if the software is up-to-date or needs resetting!
Inputting own paramaters would be a real boon, a sort of manual control over an Auto setup.. Next year??
Is that too much to ask??
Cheers! from Auckland.
I have one of these for a work car - biggest issue I have had is that the car leaked! It took the Kia guys ages to find it, and it was a body weld problem. I think it's fixed now, but keep an eye out. I found out by the floor mat growing a white mould!
The seats would have been better in black than beige - I had to fork out about $50 NZ to buy suitable airbag style seat covers as I have kids.
The pick up, comfort and economy of this car is great - I used to have a Camry Sportivo and this is definitely a step down - but for someone who does long distance driving on south Island roads, as well as around town, it is a good smaller car.
I am also really glad that it has headlights that turn off when you remove the key if you have forgotten to turn them off at the switch! But the auto locking at 40km/hr can be annoying if you are picking someone up down the road and don't get out of the car yourself - the doors stay locked...
I have not been here in ages, I wrote the first review on this... 24000klms down...
Still runs OK, but I have noticed the white 'mould' on the floor... might need to investigate this more!
Car is still OK as an A to B drive, but nothing more.
I've had my Kia for about 6 weeks and noticed that when it rained it smelt very musty! Will keep an eye out for white mould.
OK. I started these reviews on the new model. About to tick over the 40000klm mark. The car is still performing well.
Have an interesting tick on the LHS of the car when I accelerate, and the gearbox now feels a little choppy. The beige interior is still a major issue as we now also have a dog. We are now looking at something bigger, and the Cerato will have to go...
The mould is still in the back of the car, could not find any leaks. And always gets the musty smell after rain.
Good car, but could be better.