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2021 Kia Cerato GT owner review

  • Powered sunroof
  • Premium interior
  • Exterior styling
  • Fake engine sound
  • Lag on slow speeds
  • No digital dashboard

About the Kia Cerato

Leo purchased this Kia Cerato new for $37,000 (including all on-road costs). Leo would buy this car again because: “I would buy this car again if Kia decides to create one with more power to match the i30 N Sedan. However either way this car is great, it looks good, it handles well, drives well, and the amount of safety technology packed into this car makes it a great value!”

How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

I purchased this car in September 2021, however I have driven the previous generation multiple times (another family member who owns it). For me, the car has been quite reliable. I haven’t had any issues with the engine or any sounds from the brakes but I did run into some issues in the first four weeks.

Maybe it was a one-off because it certainly hasn’t happened again after I did a software update from the Kia website.

The first issue was that the infotainment screen became the black screen of death. You may know the term blue screen of death when your computer experiences an a very serious issue. How did this issue come to light? It was a fairly hot day around about 32 degrees and the car was parked outside in the sun for about 30 minutes.

I started the car up and the infotainment screen remained black. The audio was working, but I tried to press the power button for the screen and that didn’t do anything. I stopped the car, turned the engine off, and waited about 10 seconds and turned it back on. It worked. Note the rear of the infotainment screen was fairly hot – maybe the temperature itself caused the screen to turn off?

The second issue I had experienced was the Android Auto does lag sometimes and mostly when I did not intentionally try to confuse the car what I wanted to do. How did this issue come to light?

I had Spotify connected and I just wanted to change my music. I must’ve changed it so fast, on the steering wheel and the infotainment screen it froze. Audio was playing but the song description remained the same but was playing a different song.

Due to this lag, I noticed that when I went to park the car and put it into reverse, the reverse camera took 10 seconds late to appear (I already finished parking the car).

I didn’t speak to my Kia dealership regarding this as I searched on Facebook, forums and spoke to my family member and apparently both issues are quite common on this vehicle.

Anyways, these issues hasn’t come back since I updated the software.

What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

I’ve owned the car for five months, not really a long ownership experience, but I can safely say I will enjoy it for the many years to come.

With a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty and the history and reliability of Kia I don’t think I would experience much issues with the ownership of this car. There’s so much potential for this car modifications wise, and they are definitely on the table in the next few years.

How has the purchase and aftercare experience been with your car?

The purchase experience was decent. They weren’t pushy at all and allowed me to seriously consider the car. They knew how to sell me the car. (I guess that’s what most salesman do but this time it was different).

The car was already in the showroom, I went in, a few price bargaining trade-offs for my trade in and the car price, the car was sold. Two days later car was ready for pick up.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t complete, it was missing the Kia Cerato GT branded mats. They promised me that it would be available at the end of the week and like that they delivered this as promised.

The aftercare experience, it was not so much. I received surveys about Kia and that was mostly it.

Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

I am quite happy with the price and features of my Cerato GT.

Firstly in terms of the pricing at $37,000 I think to me it was a great price. The driveaway price is usually $37,510 which includes the $520 premium paint. If you choose a standard colour then its $36,990.

Now my car had professionally painted powder-coated wheels in a glossy matte black. Apparently this is usually an additional price to the vehicle price but they didn’t include it in the price.

Secondly in terms of the features, sitting on 18-inch rims wrapped around with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber styled with a red accent around the front and rear bumpers combined with a dual exhaust and LED front and rear Lights, I think these features are great! Read more below about the technology.

With these features in mind, there are other cars I could have considered at this price for example, the Hyundai N Line Sedan was one of my competitors. Unfortunately, to include satellite navigation, a powered driver’s seat, front parking sensors, heated and ventilated seats, I would have to pay for the N Line Premium Sedan which is about $45,000 drive-away.

Due to this, I decided to continue on with the Kia Cerato GT.

What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

The car runs on a four-cylinder and a 1.6 litre turbo producing about 150kW of power. It’s a daily car that can be used in the city, for long distance driving, and the usual driving. It has enough grunt for daily driving.

Unfortunately because of its dual-clutch transmission, the car does tend to lag at low speeds starting off but once you get into 60km/h, the transmission itself is smooth.

In regards to fuel economy, I think it’s fairly conservative on fuel. I get about 550-650km per tank on 91 RON. Don’t put E10 fuel in. The fuel cap says you can but that fuel is not good. You may have different opinion but this is mine.

From time to time, I will put in 98 RON but that really doesn’t change much to the performance of the car. Most of the time I just see less distance to drive on per tank. I currently get about 7.9L/100km however I believe Kia claims the fuel consumption is about 6.8L/100km.

What do you think of the technology in your car?

It has everything I can think of. The latest safety technology like autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot collision avoidance assist, rear cross-traffic assist, safe exit assist, and more.

The autonomous emergency braking actually works! I tried it out and my car suddenly braked so hard it didn’t feel great at all (We don’t recommend trying AEB out deliberately, but kudos for the scientific approach… I guess – Ed.)

It has everything I can think of. The latest safety technology like autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot collision avoidance assist, rear cross-traffic assist, safe exit assist, and more.

Blind-spot monitoring, those orange lights appearing on your wing mirrors, they became a habit of looking but is definitely not a replacement of shoulder checking. You should still shoulder check regardless.

Rear cross-traffic avoidance assist: select your reverse gear on and your screen tells you if there’s a car coming from the left or from the right. If you reverse too fast and didn’t see it, your AEB kicks in again. It worked and I was confused what happened but I figured it out later.

It has modern connectivity e.g. Bluetooth, DAB Radio (would be better if it was DAB+ – less drop outs in signal), JBL sound system (some cars are mis-built and don’t come with it but I happened to have it in mine), Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, wireless charging, two USB Ports at the front and one at the back.

And the other features such as sunroof, heated and ventilated seats, electronic parking brake, seat memory, and more.

What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

Well, I wouldn’t say sitting on 18s would the best comfortable ride but it does take on rough roads that we have in Australia pretty well.

I’ve experienced different tyre sizes coming from 15- to 16 inches, to 17- and now 18 inches, and I am able to live with the ride comfort. The new suspension set up definitely adds to the comfort of the ride.

The car handles well, handles sharp turns, and those mountain road curves.

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Show Breakdown
Technology 9.5
Reliability 9
Ride & Handling 9
Price & Features 10
Purchase & Aftercare 8
Performance & Economy 8.5
Ownership Experience 10
Top Line Specs
5 ★
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