The Cerato’s wheelbase is the same, since this is a facelift, so passenger comfort is also the same as before. As a mainstream sedan, you shouldn’t expect (or want) SUV-type headroom, but it’s good enough as long as you’re not Manute Bol. Rear legroom is excellent, and the inclusion of an air-con vent (not on the L model) is another bonus.
Boot space remains at a class-leading 502-litres, as before, which is larger than the Hyundai Avante at 474-litres, the Toyota Corolla at 470-litres and the Mazda 3 at 444-litres. There are 60/40 split folding seats but since it’s a sedan, don’t expect to be shoving bicycles in with ease. At least the handy auto-boot opening (stand behind the car for a few seconds key in pocket) makes for an easier time of cargo loading.
Six airbags, the usual jumble of alphabet safety agents (ESC, ABS, HAC), rear cross traffic alerts, a reverse camera, front and rear sensors, and blind spot warning, and driver attention monitoring.
But Kia builds on the safety aspect quite comprehensively this time around, since it now packs in active safety. An active safety suite should typically include autonomous forward collision warning/mitigation and lane keeping, at the most basic level.
The new Cerato (except for the L model) does quite a bit better than basic. Kia lumps on blind spot collision avoidance, safe exit warning (beeps you if you open the door with traffic approaching), adaptive cruise control, lane keeping/warning. The latter two can also be engaged to keep distance and speed and follow bends automatically, taking a bit of the hard work out of jams and crowded commutes on highways, just like the systems on luxury cars. The GT Line model also has a unique feature in the lineup – Blind Spot Collision Avoidance, which will stop you from merging into cars lurking there.
As the segment benchmark, the Toyota Corolla, showed at launch, you should certainly expect active safety in a sub-S$120k mainstream sedan segment now, and the Cerato’s additions make it a front-runner in this aspect.