2022 Kia Cerato Review

By Alexi Falson on 12 Aug 2021
image for 2022 Kia Cerato Review If you’re looking for an everyday car in the low-to-mid $20,000 range, there’s a number of options available to buyers and no shortage of competition within the small car segment.

There’s the Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3 and Hyundai i30 to name a few, which have all been fighting for the title of Australia’s most popular small car. The fourth name on that list is the car that we’ll be taking a close look at today, the Kia Cerato, which received a significant update earlier this year with revised styling and more equipment as standard. 

This update has, though, brought an increase in list prices for the Kia Cerato, so today we’ll be looking at what’s been updated, how the Cerato scores when it comes to equipment, practicality, driving and safety, and see how it compares to its fiercest rivals in the small car segment. 

Just how good is the Kia Cerato? Read on to find out. 

Starting Price: $21,690

OnlineAuto Savings: Enquire now

Kia Cerato (S) Specifications

Model Date 2022
Make KIA
Series BD MY21
Variant S
Transmission 6 SP MANUAL
Drive FWD
Engine MPFI
Engine capacity 1999
Engine configuration VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 6200 / 4000
Cylinders 4
Torque 192
KW 112
Fuel tank size 50.0
Fuel usage specs 7.6 / 0.0
CO2 174
ANCAP security rating 4

For more details and other variants, check Kia Cerato car page.

How Much Does It Cost?

The Kia Cerato lineup kicks off in the form of the Kia Cerato S manual, which is priced from $21,690 plus on-road costs. Option for the Cerato S manual with Kia’s Safety Package brings the price tag to $22,690, while the automatic Kia Cerato S will cost you $24,490. The range then moves to the higher-spec Cerati Sport, which with a manual transmission, costs $23,690 or with the Safety Package will set you back $24,690. An automatic version of the Sport is priced from $26,490, while the automatic version with the Safety Package is priced at $27,490. 

Finally, Kia’s range-topping Cerato variants, the Kia Cerato Sport Plus and the Cerato GT are priced from $29,540 and $33,690 respectively. It’s worth noting that Kia allows buyers to choose whichever body style they like, with the option of a hatchback and a sedan, at no added cost. 

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You? 

Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service, you could save by sourcing one of our car specialists to help you find the best value model for you. 

What Features Does the Kia Cerato Have?

Kia packages its entry-level Cerato S with a set of 16-inch steel wheels, as well as an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, DAB+ digital radio and a six-speaker audio system. It also comes with a reversing camera with front and rear-mounted parking sensors, automatic headlights, LED daytime running lamps, cruise control, air conditioning with rear air vents and remote central locking.

Moving to the Cerato Sport adds a set of 17-inch alloy wheels, satellite navigation for the larger 10.25-inch LCD infotainment system and a premium steering wheel and gear lever. The Sport Plus receives LED daytime running lamps, leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, and keyless entry and start. 

Finally, the flagship Cerato GT comes packaged with a more powerful engine, as well as 18-inch alloys, sports suspension with multi-link suspension on the rear axle, as well as dual exhaust pipes, a panoramic sunroof, wireless smartphone charging, LED head and tail lights, leather-wrapped steering wheel and an eight-speaker sound system from JBL. 

Range Features: 

  • 16-inch steel wheels 
  • 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • DAB+ digital radio 
  • Automatic headlights 
  • LED daytime running lamps
  • Cruise control 
  • 10.25-inch LCD infotainment system (Sport) 
  • 17-inch alloys (Sport) 
  • LED lights (GT) 
  • Panoramic sunroof (GT)

Kia Cerato Colours

Clear White Snow White Pearl
Silky Silver Steel Grey
Platinum Graphite Aurora Black
Horizon Blue Mineral Blue
Runaway Red

Is it Comfortable to Drive? 

The Kia Cerato is a remarkably simple car to drive, and offers a quality of driving that far surpasses its very reasonable price tag. Kia has been refining its recipe for years now, and with the latest Cerato, it’s clear to see that Kia are experts when it comes to making an affordable car feel and drive like a more expensive competitor. 

The entirety of the Cerato range is powered by the same 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine, with the range-topping GT variant receiving a smaller, yet more powerful turbocharged engine. Performance from the standard engine is actually surprisingly nippy, making short bursts of acceleration around the city incredibly easy, while the GT variant adds some serious performance to the mix. It’s not a fully-fledged sports car, but it’s more than exciting enough to get the driver’s heart racing, which is nice to know for a small family car. 

Around town, the short wheelbase and compact dimensions mean that the Cerato is extremely easy to pilot through car parks and while making U-turns, while the suspension is capable enough to handle some serious bumps and rough surfaces when you’ve left town. The steering is light, which makes it easy to drive, but offers the driver enough feedback to know what the front wheels are doing once you’re up to speed. On longer trips, the suspension makes journeys extremely comfortable, with the Cerato offering an extremely relaxed ride thanks to Kia’s attention to reducing road noise and vibrations through the cabin. Overall, the Cerato is an extremely capable car, and is the result of Kia perfecting its recipe for premium-feeling cars without the premium price tag. 

Is it Practical and Spacious? 

Inside, the Kia Cerato offers perhaps one of the most practical cabin designs of its class, which combines with a clean, modern cockpit in one of the segment’s leading cockpit interiors. Best of all, you don’t have to opt for higher-spec models in the lineup to receive the added practicality on offer in the Cerato, which offers some of the most spacious and practical interior of any car in the segment. Up front, the driver and front passenger each receive their own large door bin, and share the central console which can accommodate loose items and two more drink holders. The ergonomics on offer are great, and there’s a huge amount of headroom for a car of this size. 

When you move to the rear of the cabin, the news is just as good for second row passengers, who receive the same - huge - amount of headroom, and have more than enough legroom to get comfortable on long trips. You’ll also be pleasantly surprised with just how much cargo space is on offer in the Kia Cerato, which punches well above its weight when it comes to boot space. In total, the hatchback offers 428L of cargo storage in the boot, while the Cerato sedan can accommodate up to 502L worth of cargo. All up, it should not be understated just how practical the Cerato is as a car, and just how well it can serve a number of Australian families that otherwise opt for compact SUVs that actually have far less practicality on offer.  

Is it Safe? 

ANCAP has awarded the Kia Cerato S & Sport variants a four star safety rating, while the Cerato Sport Plus and Cerato GT have received ANCAP’s maximum five star safety rating. All Cerato variants scored 90% for adult occupant protection, while child occupant protection was scored at 83%. As standard, entry-level Cerato models are fitted with autonomous emergency braking with forward collision warnings, lane-keep assistance and front, side and curtain airbags. 

Opting for Kia’s optional Safety Package adds adaptive cruise control - available on automatic variants only - as well as autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts and folding, powered side mirrors. 

Is it Fuel Efficient?

The standard Kia Cerato lineup offers a 7.4L per 100km on a combined cycle, while the range-topping GT variant is actually the most economical engine on offer, in spite of the fact that it is significantly more powerful. Opting for the 1.6-litre turbocharged unit brings economy down to 6.8L per 100km on a combined cycle. This translates to an average distance of 676km on a single tank, which stretches out to 877km in the right driving conditions. Overall, the Cerato’s economy is perhaps its weakest point, although it’s not significantly outpaced by its competitors. 

Our Verdict: Is the Kia Cerato Worth it? 

For years now, the Cerato has been one of the best options in the affordable small car segment, made even sweeter by Kia’s ownership program which includes a seven-year warranty with capped-price servicing. Since the release of the refreshed Kia Cerato, the overall package has gotten even more attractive for buyers looking to step into a premium-feeling, practical and safe new car without a huge price tag. The Cerato punches above its weight in terms of driving comfort and competence, and comes packed with enough features in even the base model to keep a modern family happy.  

There really has never been a better time to step into a new Kia Cerato, and on that note, if you are planning to buy a new car in Australia, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925 

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Seven-Year, Unlimited KM Warranty 
  2. Seven Year Capped Price Servicing Package
  3. 502L of storage for sedan, 428L for hatch 
  4. 7.4L/100km as standard; 6.8L/100km for GT variant 
  5. Available in hatchback or sedan for no added cost 


  • Class-leading space and practicality 
  • Generous equipment on entry-level variant 
  • Exceptional ride quality 


  • Key safety equipment reserved for optional safety package
  • Cerato prices are steadily creeping north 
  • Australia’s second-best ownership program (Mitsubishi has a 10-year warranty) 

OnlineAuto Rating: 8/10

Kia Cerato Competition

Kia Cerato

Hyundai i30
Toyota Corolla
Mazda 3
Kia Rio
MG MG3 Auto


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

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