Kia Australia has made the most of today's Australian International Motor Show, launching the new 2011 Kia Cerato Five-Door Hatchback. It joins the sedan and Koup versions of Kia's stylish and capable small car contender.
According to Kia Australia's Chief Operating Officer Tony Barlow, the five-door Hatchback is mostly likely to appeal to buyers with young families looking for the enhanced practicality and storage of a hatch.
"The availability of this third body style for our small passenger segment category will enable Kia dealers to meet the needs of a broader range of customers. This derivative will boost total Cerato sales to an even higher level across all Australian states," Mr Barlow said.
More importantly for Kia, the five-door Cerato marks the continuation of the company's local ride and handling development work, being carried out specifically for the unique Australian market.
"[The development started with] the Sportage earlier this year and is another step in what will be an ongoing program of launching new vehicles in Australia which are locally adapted to suit Australian driver's discerning tastes," Mr Barlow said.
Technically similar to its sedan and Koup sister cars, the new Cerato five-door has the same overall width, height and wheelbase as the sedan, but the rear overhang is reduced by 190mm, along with the overall length at 4340mm.
Despite its more compact dimensions, the hatchback's cargo area offers a competitive capacity of 385 litres.
As well as its all-new body shape, the new Cerato five-door model introduces styling, equipment, refinement and technical improvements that will also feature on the 2011 Cerato sedan and two-door Koup models (the sedan and Koup upgrades will be available from January).
The new Cerato five-door Hatchback comes with two standard trim levels, with the Si fitted with a black fabric tricot finish while the range topping SLi comes with the black fabric 'Mesh Rachel' with red stitching and the option of black leather trim.
The hatch's rear seat cushion and backrest are split 60/40 with the cushion flipping forwards and the backrest folding down to create a flat cargo floor.
Although the overall height of the Cerato hatchback and sedan is the same (1460 mm), the extended roofline of the five-door creates an extra 20mm of rear seat headroom.
Standard 'active' safety equipment includes electronic stability control and anti-lock braking. The SLi model includes obstacle sensors in the rear bumper to help avoid contact with pedestrians and other vehicles when reversing.
Steering wheel paddle shifters are available with the automatic transmission in the SLi model, while a folding key and keyless entry and Bluetooth hands-free is standard across both models.
A leather type 'boot' gear lever gaiter is fitted, together with chrome edge trim around the twin cup holders and the centre console has a new premium style designed to contrast with the black dash.
Kia's new Cerato five-door Hatch will be available with the four-cylinder petrol 2.0 litre Theta II petrol engine, producing 115kW. The 0-100km/h sprint is covered in 9.1 seconds for the manual model and 9.8 seconds with the auto Top speed is listed at 190km/h.
Hyundai-Kia's new latest six-speed manual and automatic transmissions are also available.
The manual is fitted with "high" top gear ratios for reduced engine revs and improved fuel economy, while the new six-speed automatic transmission is equipped with a gate-type shift pattern and offers the driver fully-automatic or Sport modes.
Sports mode is even further enhanced with the standard inclusion of steering wheel 'paddle shifters' providing fingertip control in the SLi model.
RRP list (five-Door Hatchback)
- Si Manual - $20,240
- Si Automatic - $22,240
- SLi Manual - $24,040
- SLi Automatic - $26,240