Kia has announced the launch of its C-segment Cerato hatchback and saloon, which goes on sale across Europe this summer.
Kia is currently Europe’s fastest-growing automotive brand and the Cerato is a ‘highly competitive entry into the popular and all-important C-segment (Focus/Astra size) of the European market’ says Kia.
Cerato will be Kia’s first diesel-powered passenger car, as previously the company has marketed diesel engines only in MPV and SUV models.
There is a choice of two four cylinder petrol engines both with double overhead camshafts and 16-valves. The 1.6 produces 103bhp, while the 2.0 unit features for the first time in a Kia engine, CVVT (continuously variable valve timing), which boosts power at low and medium revs, and generates 141bhp.
The all-new 1.5 CRDi diesel engine, which produces a maximum of 100bhp, will be available from autumn 2004 and will deliver ‘best-in-class’ performance and fuel economy with 235.4 Nm of torque. The 2.0 CRDi diesel engine is available from launch. It is based on the power unit used in the Kia Carens, and develops 110bhp and a massive 245.2 Nm of torque from just 1,800 rpm up to 2,500 rpm.
Acceleration times for the Cerato models (0-62 mph) range from 9.0 sec (2.0-litre CVVT) to 13.0 sec (1.6 Auto), and top speeds from 129 mph (2.0-litre CVVT) to 107 mph (1.6 Auto). Combined fuel consumptions range from 58 mpg (1.5-litre CRDi) to 34 mpg (2.0-litre CVVT Auto), while CO2 ratings spread from 128 g/km (1.5-litre CRDi) to 198 g/km (2.0-litre CVVT Auto).
In Europe, every Cerato will come fitted with Bridgestone tyres. The safety specification includes dual front airbags, front side airbags and full length side curtain airbags; while there are all round disc brakes, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist.
The UK line-up is expected to include three specification levels with standard equipment including twin front, side and curtain airbags, air conditioning, remote central locking, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, JVC audio with CD/MP3 and split/folding rear seats.
Kia expects to sell 30,000 Ceratos in Europe within two years of its launch.
The Cerato saloon goes on sale in the UK in August. Cerato hatchback goes on sale in UK in September.