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Used Kia Cerato review: 2009-2012

Kia has come on leaps and bounds since it arrived on these shores in the 1990s.
EXPERT RATING
7
Once a thriving segment, the budget sports car market had shrunk almost to the point of extinction when Kia launched its budget-priced Kia Cerato Koup in 2009.

Once a thriving segment, the budget sports car market had shrunk almost to the point of extinction when Kia launched its budget-priced Kia Cerato Koup in 2009. In past years you could find budget-priced sports cars in the showrooms of most carmakers, but that's no longer the case. The result was a hole in the market and Kia filled it with the two-door Koup.

NEW

Based on the Cerato, the Koup was Kia's first two-door coupe. It was also the first time Kia had offered a model in the sports segment. The Koup was lower, shorter and lighter than the four-door Cerato sedan, but sat on the same wheelbase as the sedan, which contributed to its planted feeling on the road.

While the stylish Koup shared its mechanical package with the four-door Cerato, there was just one shared body panel, that being the bonnet. If you cared to lift that bonnet you would have found a willing 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that gave the Koup surprising punch.

It was linked to either a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic transmission, with the final drive delivered through the front wheels. An upgrade in 2010 saw the welcome introduction of a 6-speed manual gearbox along with a six-speed sports auto.

The Koup's suspension was tweaked nicely for local conditions. With a heavier front stabiliser bar, stiffer shocks and a faster steering gear, it gobbled up curves with reassuring aplomb. Inside there was surprising room considering it was shorter and had a lower roofline.

The sports seats were comfortable and supportive, and the rear seats were easily accessible through the wide opening doors. There was even reasonable space in the boot, which was more useful with the 60/40 split-fold rear seat.

The Koup also boasted heaps of features lifted from the up-spec Cerato model. These included sports seats, parking sensors, climate-controlled air, cruise, alloy pedals and a trip computer. On top of those it also had 17-inch alloy wheels, sports exhaust, fog lights and alcantara-styled trim.

NOW

While there was a time when we would warn anyone thinking of buying a Kia, indeed any Korean brand, to carefully consider their decisions there is no need for the same advice today. Kia has come on leaps and bounds since it arrived on these shores in the 1990s. Its styling is now contemporary and appealing, its mechanical packages are robust and reliable, and its build quality is on the money.

All of that adds up to cars that not only look good when sitting in the showroom, but can also be relied upon once you've got them home. We don't get much correspondence from Kia owners here at CarsGuide, which tells us that Kia owners are generally happy with their cars. The Koup's engine and its gearboxes are well proven and give little trouble, providing of course that they are maintained properly.

To check that, ask the vendor for a service record that shows the car you're thinking of buying has been serviced by a creditable mechanic. We have seen odd reports of doors sagging, and others about the clutch being awkward to get right on manual cars, but overall the level of compliant is quite low. There have been no recalls on the Koup.

SMITHY SAYS

Smart, stylish and reliable, there's lots to recommend the Koup.

Kia Cerato Koup 2009-2012
Price new: 23,690 to $25,690
Engine: 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder, 115kW/194Nm
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 4-speed auto, FWD
Economy: 7.8 L/100 km
Body: 2-door coupe
Variants: KOUP
Safety: 4-star ANCAP

COMING UP

Do you own an FG Ford XR6 Turbo? If so tell us what you think of it by sending your comments to Graham Smith at grah.smith@bigpond.com or Carsguide, PO Box 4245, Sydney, NSW, 2010.

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2012 $5,720 $13,750
2011 $4,510 $10,890
2010 $3,740 $8,030
2009 $2,970 $6,710

View all Kia Cerato pricing and specifications

Pricing Guides

$7,946
Based on 38 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$2,999
Highest Price
$10,888

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Koup 2.0L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $7,990 – 9,990 2009 Kia Cerato 2009 Koup Pricing and Specs
(base) 2.0L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $3,990 – 6,960 2009 Kia Cerato 2009 (base) Pricing and Specs
(base) 2.0L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $3,990 – 6,250 2009 Kia Cerato 2009 (base) Pricing and Specs
Limited Edition 2.0L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $3,850 – 5,610 2009 Kia Cerato 2009 Limited Edition Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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