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Kia Cerato Si 2016 review

Peter Barnwell road tests and reviews the Kia Cerato Si with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

Kia's mid-life upgrade adds value and safety gear to its handy small sedan.

Kia's refreshed Cerato may have missed out on a new generation chassis that underpins big brother Hyundai's Elantra equivalent but it takes a value path to gain traction with buyers.

Hi-tech driver assist technology now runs further down the Cerato food chain into the one-above-base Si model. In the past, Kia has restricted advanced driver assist gear to top of the range models.

This latest development adds a tremendous safety boost at a more affordable price.

Kia dropped the 1.8-litre engine from the line-up, opting for a 2.0-litre for all Cerato variants. The Si sedan driven might not be the No. 1 seller in the Cerato range but it stacks up strongly in the small sedan category.


Small sedans have a certain "grown up'' appeal over hatches with a clearly defined boot (plus lid for security) and passenger compartment.

The Cerato looks and feels bigger than it is.

Such is the case with Cerato Si, which would rate as one of the better looking choices in the category.

The mid-lifecycle upgrade to Cerato brings a refined exterior appearance with new lights and bumpers front and rear, new grille and more chrome bling.

Yet for some reason Kia went for 16-inch alloys instead of 17s … that's old school.

The Cerato looks and feels bigger than it is. In the revised interior there is ample seating space for four (five at a pinch), with good headroom and adequate rear legroom. The boot's large too.

Kia adds rear airconditioning vents, which occupants will appreciate, and folding rear seats accommodate long or odd loads.

Revised controls on the dash are stylish and easy to use. The same goes for the touchscreen and fast hook-up Bluetooth.

Adding more of premium feel to the cabin are plenty of soft feel surfaces and a modern and attractive dash design. But overall, the style leans to the conservative.

About town

Several features make it a handy tool around town. The boot opens by remote for starters, the turning circle is handy and the reverse camera and rear cross traffic alert come into their own in terms of safety and parking.

Access to all seats is easy as is operating the dash controls and there is ample storage.

On cold mornings heated seats are great and push-button start is also handy, even if not entirely necessary. The satnav is quick and seems up to date while the audio delivers pleasing tones — the multimedia package is right up to the mark.

In Eco mode, Cerato sedan feels a little bit strangled so we drove chiefly in Normal or Sport. It didn't seem to make that much difference to fuel consumption, which can be a tad heavy around town for a car this size.

It has tidy handling and goes OK but you'll need to work the engine to get it going quickly.

Ride is comfortable and minimal jiggling or bump thump intrudes into the cabin on rough roads.

On the road

On a good long journey, the Si can be driven with a bit of passion and will deliver more engagement than most of the (bland) competition.

It has tidy handling and goes OK but you'll need to work the engine to get it going quickly. That's perhaps not what a car like the Cerato sedan is all about but Kia emphasises its localised (Euro feel) handling.

All dynamics are certainly up towards the best of the rivals. Good brakes, well weighted steering, supple ride control, strong chassis — all the elements are there, but for sporty feel.

Kia's excellent six speed auto that makes smooth and accurate shifts up and down.


A good thing made better with the inclusion of more driver assist features and sharpened looks. The engine could do with a bit more zip and a tad less sip. It has an unbeatable warranty, cheap running costs and sharp drive away pricing. Meet the new affordable family sedan.

What it's got

Plenty. Drive mode select, blind spot detection, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, reverse camera, leather, auto headlights, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, seven-inch touchscreen, rear aircon vents, push-button start, satnav ...

What it hasn't

Paddle-shifters and high-end driver assistance such as autonomous emergency braking and lane change assist are only on the higher grade Cerato SLi.


Australia's best warranty at seven years/unlimited km, seven years' roadside assist, seven years' capped price servicing.

Click here to see more 2016 Kia Cerato pricing and spec info.

Pricing guides

Based on 163 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
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Range and Specs

S 1.8L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $9,300 – 14,080 2016 Kia Cerato 2016 S Pricing and Specs
S Premium 1.8L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $10,700 – 15,730 2016 Kia Cerato 2016 S Premium Pricing and Specs
Koup Si 2.0L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $12,200 – 17,600 2016 Kia Cerato 2016 Koup Si Pricing and Specs
S 1.8L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $9,300 – 14,080 2016 Kia Cerato 2016 S Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


Lowest price, based on 158 car listings in the last 6 months

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Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.