Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

pINCHING THE PENNIES

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

pINCHING THE PENNIES

Article excerpt

Here's the scenario. The budget is restricted to $20,000. Do you opt for new or enter the used market?

Australia's fastest growing mainstream brand, Kia, has been offering an enticing deal now for a few years via the Cerato.

Sitting in the bargain basement is the Cerato S, which you can have on the road with a plain-Jane white colour scheme for $19,990 drive-away.

Backed by Kia's industry leading seven-year warranty, there is ample peace of mind for those looking to get ultimate value for money.

But surely there are compromises at that price?

VALUE

There are no better options in this class.

Servicing is annual or every 15,000km, with an average price of $354 over seven maintenance visits. Meet the servicing requirements and the Cerato is also covered for roadside assist over the same period.

Those who can cope without some colour get "clear white" without having to delve further into their wallet, but any other hue attracts a $520 premium.

For those than can stretch $500 we'd advocate investing in the "AV" derivative, where you get the slick Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rear view camera, as well as a seven-inch colour LCD touchscreen.

Those extras provide some much-needed personality to a basic interior. It's what you'd expect of an entry-level car, with a lot of black plastics, punctuated by the red-on-black stereo display which was trademark Kia before the latest crop of vehicles.

Standard equipment includes front and rear parking sensors, steering wheel mounted controls for cruise control and stereo, Bluetooth streaming for audio and phone partnered to a six-speaker stereo, air con and driver's multifunction trip computer.

Everything looks and feels hard wearing, but the driver's display is reasonably modern. There is the large tachometer and speedo flanking the digital display which has a range of useful information, like distance to empty, average fuel consumption and a digital speedo.

DRIVING

Honest and serviceable, the Cerato is a reliable runabout. Don't expect to be pushing quarter mile personal bests or slalom your way down a mountain with your right foot at the firewall - this is domestic bliss. …

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