Inside, the GT has a premium sporting look and feel, but there are still a few hard-plastic trim fittings. The driver has a very neat, easy-to-use layout with large, clear instruments and the switches all logically positioned. The mildly contoured sports-style leather-appointed front seats are supportive, with heating and ventilation adding to the comfort.
Cerato has grown to be one of the roomier small hatchbacks on the market. Occupants in the front are well catered for but large adults will find there is still not abundant space in the rear.
Designed to be an enjoyable, strong-performing driver’s car, rather than a hard-edged, race-focused beast, the GT is powered by a 150kW, four-cylinder, 1.6-litre direct-injection turbo-charged petrol engine that drives the front wheels via a seven-speed DCT-style (dual clutch transmission) automatic. A conventional manual transmission is not available.
When called upon, acceleration is rapid, while selecting sports mode sharpens up the gear changes and steering feel. Just as impressive, though, is the responsiveness and driving ease around town, thanks to the performance flexibility provided by a broad spread of strong low to mid-range torque and well-matched gearing. Maximum torque of 265Nm is reached at 1500rpm and maintained through to 4500rpm. To Kia’s credit, the slight hesitation on take-off that has plagued other manufacturers with turbo engine and DCT combinations was not evident in any of the Cerato GTs we drove at the launch and on this test.
Unlike many performance-focused models, the GT runs on standard 91 RON petrol rather than the more expensive premium grades. With any sporty car, the fuel consumption will depend on the type of use. Official ADR consumption for the Cerato GT is a respectable 6.8L/100km. Over a week’s driving, our test car averaged 8.3L/100km, while on the GT model launch, where a few cars were driven quite enthusiastically, we saw much higher fuel readings on the trip computers.
Noise levels, too, vary depending on the type of use. In normal relaxed operation, the cabin is a quiet place. When driving more enthusiastically, a pleasing sporting sound is artificially introduced via an electronic noise enhancer.