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Driven: Kia Cerato 2.0SE

Kia

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Review

Some people strive for the best, others are just happy with what they can get. It’s the latter group who’ll most probably be in the market for a Kia Cerato. That’s because it’s actually fairly decent.

Not remarkable, but certainly not abysmal either.

The 2-litre engine provides reasonable performance, and at SE specification the car comes loaded with kit - heated leather front seats, CD player, cruise control, aircon, alloy wheels and electric mirrors are all standard.

While rear legroom is not exactly generous, the Cerato is sufficiently spacious to carry an average-sized family, and the 345-litre boot will swallow a week’s shopping with ease. And despite its quite cheap-looking plastic trim, the car feels quite solidly put together.

Brand image cannot come into the equation for potential customers, but value does. As Kia dealers currently enable buyers to put down a £1 deposit, sign up to a reasonable finance deal and drive off with seven days free insurance, it’s not surprising that its UK sales are climbing steadily month on month. Whether those buyers will still be happy three years later when they realise their cars’ residual values have plummeted remains to be seen.

Strengths: Strong marketing, good equipment, rivals more expensive
Weaknesses: Brand image, residual values will plummet
Opportunity: Customers who thought they couldn’t afford a new car
Threat : Better-branded alternatives in the used market
USP: Drive away in a new car for a £1 deposit
Price: £11,995
Engine: 1975cc, CVVT, 4-cyl petrol
Transmission: five-speed manual, fwd
Performance: 0-62mph 9sec, top speed 129mph
Efficiency: 37.7mpg combined, 180g/km CO2
Rivals: Rover 45, Proton Impian, Daewoo Lacetti, Hyundai Elanta

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