2023 Kia Cerato Review

By Alexi Falson on 17 Mar 2023
image for 2023 Kia Cerato Review If you’re looking at your best options within Australia’s small car landscape, the Kia Cerato may well have already blipped your radar - for good reason.

As a complete package, the Kia Cerato gives buyers some serious food for thought considering its generous equipment lists, strong safety scores and Kia’s outstanding warranty coverage.

Just how well does the Kia Cerato stack up as a great small car for Australians? Let’s find out.

Starting Price: $25,990

OnlineAuto Savings: Enquire now

Kia Cerato (SPORT+) Specifications

Model Date 2023
Make KIA
Series BD MY23
Variant SPORT+
Transmission 6 SP AUTOMATIC
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 7.4 / 0
CO2 167
ANCAP security rating 5

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

How Much Does It Cost?

The Kia Cerato range kicks off from $25,990 for the entry-level Cerato S, with Kia’s Safety Pack adding $1000 to the price.

Stepping up to the Cerato Sport brings the price to $28,090, or $29,090 with the Safety Pack, while the Cerato Sport+ is priced at $31,140 and the range-topping Cerato GT is priced at $35,790.

Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs.

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

Using OnlineAuto’s car purchasing service, one of our car specialists can help you save and find the best value model for you.

What Features Does the Kia Cerato Have?

Kia’s entry-level Cerato S comes riding on a set of 16-inch steel wheels, and receives halogen headlights, LED daytime running lamps, cloth upholstery, cruise control, rear-view camera with front and rear parking sensors and a 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.

Stepping up to the Cerato Sport adds a set of 17-inch alloys, upgraded cloth upholstery, premium steering wheel and a 10.25-inch infotainment system with sat-nav and DAB+ radio.

Over the Sport, the Sport+ receives keyless entry & start, leather upholstery with heated front seats, upgraded rear brake discs, electronic parking brake, a powered boot lift for the sedan, adaptive cruise control and a heap of safety gear as standard.

Finally, the range-topping Cerato GT receives an upgraded engine, suspension and brake hardware, 18-inch alloy wheels, GT styling package, LED head and tail lights, leather sport seats, ventilated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, wireless smartphone charging, panoramic sunroof and an upgraded eight-speaker JBL sound system.

Range Features:

  • 16-inch steel wheels

  • Halogen headlights with LED daytime running lamps

  • Cloth upholstery

  • Cruise control

  • Rear-view camera with front & rear parking sensors

  • 8.0-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

  • 17-inch alloys (Sport)

  • 10.25-inch infotainment system with DAB+ and sat-nav (Sport+)

  • Keyless entry & start (Sport+)

  • Leather upholstery with heated front seats (Sport+)

  • 18-inch alloys (GT)

  • Turbocharged engine with upgraded suspension and brakes (GT)

  • LED head & tail lights (GT)

  • Leather sport seats & steering wheel (GT)

  • Panoramic sunroof (GT)

Kia Cerato Colours

The Kia Cerato range is available in a choice of nine colours, including Aurora Black, Horizon Blue, Platinum Graphite, Mineral Blue, Snow White Pearl, Steel Grey, Runway Red, Clear White and Silky Silver.

Is it Comfortable to Drive?

The driving experience on offer in the Cerato range changes dramatically, depending on if you’re opting for the S, Sport or Sport+ variants, or stepping up to the surprisingly fast GT range-topper.

That’s because the majority of the range comes powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder producing 112kW of power and 192Nm of torque, which powers the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

Acceleration from this engine is particularly casual, while offering enough power to get up to speed when you need it.

The driving experience around town in the base models is particularly user-friendly thanks to the short wheelbase platform that is agile around town, and the lightweight steering rack that makes turns a simple task.

On the open road, Kia’s attention to tuning its vehicles for Australian road conditions pays dividends when it comes to a supportive ride quality on a mix of surfaces, while remaining particularly comfortable for a small car.

Upgrading to the Cerato GT adds a significant power and torque increase up to 150kW/265Nm thanks to the 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder and an upgraded seven-speed dual-clutch transmission which gives the Cerato some impressive acceleration stats.

The performance abilities of the GT are significantly higher than the rest of the range thanks to an upgraded suspension setup and beefed-up brake discs which give the Cerato some dynamic abilities that you won’t find in the lower-spec members of the family.

All this performance does come at a cost, though, with the Cerato GT offering a significantly firmer ride quality than the rest of the range, which is something to keep in mind for buyers living outside cities that drive on rough surfaces daily.

All up, though, the Cerato’s versatile nature offers something for everyone, with most of the range remaining particularly comfortable and easy to drive, and the Cerato GT offering a heap more speed.

Is it Practical and Spacious?

Step inside the Cerato and you’ll find a surprisingly practical cabin for its size, with a heap of headroom on offer in the front of the cabin to accommodate taller drivers.

The layout of the dashboard is a straight-forward and ergonomic package, with the air conditioning settings sitting below the 8.0-inch infotainment system in the Cerato S and Sport, while the Sport+ and GT pick up a 10.25-inch infotainment system.

Practical touches in the front of the cabin include a clever phone slot sitting above the storage area with inbuilt USB charging ports sitting behind the gear lever, a pair of cupholders flanked by another small storage area, storage inside the folding arm rest and a pair of door bins either side of the cabin.

Move to the rear of the Cerato’s cabin and you’ll find just enough space for adults to sit comfortably behind a relatively tall driver, meaning you won’t hear any complaints from kids in the rear of the cabin.

The Cerato’s second row maintains a healthy amount of headroom for tall occupants, with the added bonus of a USB port, air vents and a folding arm rest with cupholders, as well as a pair of ISOFIX anchors and top tether mounts to help accommodate child seats.

Finally, the Cerato’s boot space stands at 428L in the hatchback, increasing to 502L in the sedan, making it a particularly practical small car, especially in the sedan layout.

Is it Safe?

The most affordable members of the Cerato family, the S and Sport variants have been awarded four star ANCAP safety ratings, while the Sport+ and the GT have received five star ANCAP safety ratings.

As standard, the Cerato range comes fitted with autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keep assistance, lane-follow assist, driver attention alerts, a rear-view camera with parking sensors and front, front-side and curtain airbags.

What’s Included in Kia’s Optional Safety Pack?

Kia offers a safety pack for its entry-level Cerato S and Sport which adds an adaptive cruise control system, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, safe exit warnings, and a more sophisticated autonomous emergency braking system with pedestrian and cyclist detection.

Models sitting above the Sport, like the Sport+ and the GT come fitted with this safety tech as standard.

Is it Fuel Efficient?

Kia’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder powering the Cerato S, Sport and Sport+ is rated at 7.4L/100km on a combined cycle, making it relatively thirsty for a small car, and begs the question of when Kia will be adding some hybrid members to the Cerato family.

Stepping up to the Cerato GT’s 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder brings fuel economy figures to 6.8L/100km, making it the most powerful and the most fuel-efficient member of the Cerato family.

Our Verdict: Is the Kia Cerato Worth it?

As a complete package, the Kia Cerato is an undeniably impressive small car that demands attention.

With two different engines on offer, buyers can opt for the more comfortable and refined everyday driving proposition on offer in the entry-level S, Sport and Sport+, while buyers looking for a little excitement will be well-served by the range-topping GT variant.

While the fuel economy figures might be underwhelming, considering just how much value is on offer in the current Cerato range, we can’t help but recommend you add it to your small car shortlist.

On that note, if you’re in the market for a new car, 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. 12-month/15,000km service intervals drop to 10,000km in GT

  3. Four-star ANCAP safety rating (S & Sport)

  4. Five-star ANCAP safety rating (Sport+ & GT)

  5. Cerato Hatch’s 428L boot space increases to 502L in sedan


  • Upgraded engine and hardware in range-topping GT

  • Ride quality for S, Sport and Sport+

  • Practical interior design with large boot

  • Long warranty coverage


  • Firm ride quality in Cerato GT Fuel economy figures beg for a hybrid variant

  • Four star ANCAP safety rating for entry-level S and Sport variants

OnlineAuto Rating: 8/10

Kia Cerato Competition

Kia Cerato

Toyota Corolla
Mazda 3
Hyundai i30


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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