The basic layout of the cabin remains the same as before, it’s still clad in all-black (the GT Line has a black headliner) for an understated, if dark, look. But it still feels well made, even in 2021, with no major hard-touch plastic sections, smooth switchgear, and no major rough edges.
A driver can’t fail to notice the new badge, inset into the steering wheel. Like the exterior application, it’s interesting how much of a difference it makes to the overall presentation.
The next most prominent change is the infotainment touchscreen: It’s gone from 8.0-inches to 10.25-inches. Kia doesn’t give a specific pixel count, but it’s obviously sharper than before, clearer, and easier to use. Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto work better than before too, there’s less lag when navigating through maps, for instance.
As before there’s a wireless smartphone charger, which occupies a handy bay just above the storage tray, forward of the gearshifter.
A top-spec Kia variant means you get everything but the kitchen sink. It was true with the pre-facelift model, but it’s even more true with the new car.
All the niceties you should expect from a modern mainstream car are present, and a little more. Pretty much everything can be set to ‘auto’ so there’s very little manual button pressing to be done – the lights, wipers, and rearview mirrors are all auto-enabled – while a new feature is the evolution from manual handbrake to an automatic, electric one.
Over the EX trim, the GT Line specific touches are the GT Line badges, a D-shaped steering wheel covered in leather with paddle shifters, GT Line sport seats with ventilation are particularly helpful in staving off weather that’s hot enough to melt tallow.
The GT Line also has dual-zone air-conditioning, a sunroof, electrically-adjustable driver’s seat. As typical of GT Line positioning, it makes the S$6k difference from the EX a sensible leap to make, rather than an extravagant one.
If there’s one feature lacking, it’s a digital instrument panel – the Cerato still has a dual-binnacle clock layout with an inset 4.2-inch LCD display. It works fine, as it has since forever, but a tiny bit more drama would have raised the tone in the cabin considerably.