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The Mercury Cars Guide : January 31st 2009
Saturday, January 31, 2009 Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au taste of Europe FLASH: The Cerato will surely turn some heads. The continuously variable valve timing helps low-end response but the engine in most of the cars we drove did not feel particularly strong. The Cerato comes with a five-speed manual or four- speed sequential automatic. The manual was a tad not- UPGRADE: Kia’s Cerato offers a level of refinement not usually associated with the brand. ON THE ROAD VisuallY the newest Kia looks as though it’s mixed together the Honda Civic and Mitsubishi Lancer then iced it with some Audi A4. Despite the nod to Japan and Germany, the execution is polished and extends to the interior, whichhas a well-built and durable feel. The Cerato impresses with the levels of refinement— not a word we’d previously use when mentioning Kia. Granted, you can still find some hard plastic surfaces and the thin luggage carpet yells cost cutting but overall the Cerato has lifted its game. The interior fitout and exe- cution outdoes the Subaru Impreza and looks more Japa- nese than Korean. The centre console and con- trols are stylish and simple. This new sense of refine- ment even extends to the car’s dynamics. Like many small cars, the suspension is fairly conven- tional with MacPherson struts up front mounted on a sub- frame to enhance handling as well as isolate noise. At the back is a torsion beam rear end. Australian Ceratos get a European-tuned suspension, which is slightly firmer than the US setup. A stiffer, safer body also helps the suspension, steering and brakes and it shows. Things have certainly come a long way but there is still room for improvement. There is some low-speed harshness in the suspension, which has more to do with Australia’s indifferent roads. The torsion beam rear can be caught out over corruga- tions through corners as it steps out of line slightly. When pushed the Korean- sourced tyres on the S lose composure too easily and madetheir presenceknownby squealing loudly through sharp corners. On the highway the cabin is well insulated from wind and road noise. The 115kW 2.0-litre four- cylinder is capable, quiet and economical. chy and the clutch action too light while the smooth four- speed auto, despite a sequen- tial shift function, is old school when many other carmakers are moving towards five and six-speed autos as well as CVT and DSG gearboxes. We’re told by Kia that more modern gearboxes are still some way off. Overall, the Cerato presents a persuasive argument on price, equipment and style. There’s every chance Kia will do with the Cerato what Hyundai has done with the i30 —turn intoasales bonanza for the brand. KIA CERATO Model S and SLi Price: $18,990 (S), $22,990 (SLi) Automatic adds$2000 Engine: 2.0-litre four cylinder front-wheel drive Power:115kWat6200 revs Torque:194Nmat4300 revs Transmission: Five- speed manualor four- speed sequential automatic Performance:0-100km/ hin9.3 seconds, top speed200km/h. Economy:7.8 litres/ 100km(combined) CARSguide —3 At Performance Automobiles we say ‘yes we can’ more often! Visit www.performanceautomobiles.com.au for our specials! The exhilirating Impreza Hatch! with FREE ALLOYS! 2009 Impreza R from $93# fr $22,990# om Travel in comfort & style! with LUXURY PACK INCLUDED! Class leading safety! with FREE ALLOYS! per week GRAND OPENING SPECIALS! Make an impression! with LUXURY PACK INCLUDED! 2009 Liberty 2.5i from $119# fr $29,990# om Style and luxury! with FREE FAMILY PACK! per week 2009 Outback 2.5i from $138# fr $34,990# om per week 2009 Forester X from $119# fr $29,990# om per week 2009 Tribeca from $209# fr $49,990# om # Plus $1,950 Dealer Delivery, Government & Statutory charges as applicable. All repayments are based on a 5 year term with a fi xed interest rate of 8.55% and a 30% balloon payment for commercial applicants. Offer excludes government buyers. * To approved purchasers. Offer expires 2/2/2009. FINANCE ON ALL VEHICLES AVAILABLE NOW!* Performance Subaru Cnr. Argyle & Burnett Streets www.performanceautomobiles.com.au Peter Latham Sam Allwright Adrian Millington New A/H: Adrian Millington 0438 062 259 Pre-Owned A/H: Mike Nebbs 0417 089 631 6210 7000 per week
January 10th 2009
February 7th 2009