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2022 Kia Cerato GT Review (Hatch)

The ever dependable Kia Cerato GT.

The Kia Cerato was chosen as the flag-bearer for the company's rebranding exercise. It was the first vehicle to come off the assembly line flashing the brand's new logo, a signal of the car maker’s shift towards promoting sustainable mobility.

Hopefully that will help lift and change the perception of the brand because it seems for the most part, to my eye at least, each iteration of their vehicles improves upon the last. They’re bolted together better, appointed more generously and reliable as always.

Pricing for the Cerato range starts from $25,990 drive away for the S. You’ll pay $27,990 to get your hands on the Sport model, $31,690 for the Sport+ and, at the top of the range, $36,990 drive away for the Cerato GT shown here.

Factor in the premium “Runway Red” paint and the price for our test vehicle came to $37,510.

What’s it like inside?

Despite the new badging, things are very familiar inside the 2022 Cerato GT. There is plenty of space inside, amplified by the sunroof, letting more light into the cabin.

Being top-spec, there are electronically adjustable leather seats that also have lumbar adjustment and memory function for the driver. Behind the flat bottom, perforated leather steering wheel (adorned with the new badge) is your normal 10.25-inch digital information display.

From an ambience perspective, the interior has been raised with some silver inserts in the dash as well as red stitching – all of which help make the interior more pleasing to the eye.

In terms of entertainment, the 2022 Cerato GT has been fitted with a 10.25-inch touchscreen display, which comes with DAB+ and satellite navigation. It also has wired Apple CarPlay and Android auto connectivity.

Sounds are pumped out through an impressive 8-speaker JBL® premium sound system that is exclusive to the GT model.

Dual-zone climate control, as well as heating and ventilation in the front two seats, means that it is easy to get comfortable. Below the climate control dials is a wireless charging bay for your mobile devices, in addition to two USB ports which can both charge devices and be used for smartphone mirroring.

Moving to the back, there is a good amount of legroom. With the driver seat set for my driving position, there is room in the back between my knees and the seat in front. That’s actually rare for a vehicle of this size and, as a bonus, there is a good amount of toe room under the front seats.

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Where it does fall down a bit for taller passengers in the back is headroom. Granted, with this being a hatch and the roofline sloping a bit more, it is to be expected. You should still be more comfortable back here than with competitors.

There are two cupholders in the back and you’ll also fit a 600ml bottle in each rear door, which isn’t as good as the door storage upfront. Rear passengers will also have to take turns in charging devices with one USB port in the back.

2022 Kia Cerato GT boot

The hatch on the GT is operated manually and opens up to reveal a generous 428 litres of space.

You’ll also find another JBL® speaker and a small amount of storage under the boot floor. Lifting that up reveals a space saver spare wheel.

The rear seats will fold down in a 60:40 fashion, and with both sides folded down luggage space expands to 502 litres.

What’s it like on the road?

Sitting under the bonnet is a 1.6-litre, 4-cylinder turbo petrol engine. Despite wearing a GT badge I imagine you’re probably not expecting a decent exhaust sound; however, it has a decent burble to it.

It may not be completely raucous, but it is a nice move away from your run-of-the-mill 4-cylinder engine note.

Overall, the powertrain in the 2022 Kia Cerato GT produces 150kW of power and 265 Nm of torque, which is more than enough power. However, there is a touch of turbo lag when taking off. You really need to hit around 2,000 revs before it starts doing anything.

Complementing the engine is a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox. The transmission goes about its business quite well, getting gears ready and swapping them over. There is a little bit of hesitation when really putting your foot to the floor, or when backing off the accelerator and then applying it again.

In other news though, it will sip regular unleaded, which is great given how petrol prices are at the moment. It’s quite economical too, consuming 6.8 litres per 100kms of driving.

The 2022 Kia Cerato GT rides comfortably, albeit leaning toward a firmer, more dynamic setup. It's easy to live with around town, even without the aid of extra tyre sidewall, and, given the sporty, 18-inch wheels, it isn’t bone-jarringly rough.

Kia gave the Cerato a local tune which helps it manage some of our roads which are a little worse for wear.

When it comes to manoeuvrability, it has a nice, tight turning circle. This thing is a dream to park and manoeuvre in tight spaces. The official turning circle number is 10.6m which is more or less inline with competitors (except for the Honda Civic, which comes in at 12.65m and the Volkswagen Golf at 10.9m).

Perhaps it is the light, responsive steering that makes the turning circle feel smaller than the numbers suggest.

How safe is the 2022 Kia Cerato GT?

ANCAP awarded the Kia Cerato a 5-star rating in 2019. Along with 6 airbags and ISOFix anchor points for child seats, there are a number of active safety aids that help keep all occupants safe. These include:

  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist
  • Lane keep assist, with lane follow assist
  • Driver attention alert, with leading vehicle departure
  • Forward collision warning system car & pedestrian avoidance
  • AEB (autonomous emergency brake) with forward collision warning system
  • Forward collision warning system – cyclist avoidance
  • Dusk-sensing automatic headlights
  • High beam assist

Kia Cerato Ownership

The 2022 Cerato GT comes with a 7-year warranty and a 7-year capped price schedule which will cost a total of $3,234. The intervals are as follows:

  • 1 year or 10,000 km - $275.00
  • 2 years or 20,000 km - $454.00
  • 3 years or 30,000 km - $354.00
  • 4 years or 40,000 km - $498.00
  • 5 years or 50,000 km - $309.00
  • 6 years or 60,000 km - $695.00
  • 7 years or 70,000 km - $649.00

The verdict

In 2021, Kia shifted 17,198 Ceratos, about 6% more than the previous year. However, it is still outsold by the Hyundai i30 and Toyota Corolla.

With the Kia Cerato, you get a car that really holds its own. The powertrain, despite having a smidge of turbo lag, is solid. The updated exterior is stylish. The cabin has a good level of tech. While it isn’t the cheapest hatch on the market, and considering that it’s starting to show its age, it’s still very much a solid option you should consider if you’re looking for a small car.

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Alex Jeffs is the senior publisher for personal, car and business finance at Finder. He has been building websites since he was 14 years old and has tested cars everywhere from race tracks to Oodnadatta. See full bio

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