Now, Kia is introducing a third member of the Cerato family – the Kia Cerato 5-door Hatchback, to strengthen its representation in what is arguably the world’s most important market sector – the ultra-competitive C-segment.
First shown at the New York Auto Show earlier this year, the marketing for the new 2011 Kia Cerato 5-door Hatchback will concentrate on North America and other General Markets* outside Europe. Kia anticipates that demand for C-segment hatchbacks across these regions will grow to more than 1.2 million units by 2012. As well as its all-new body shape, the new Cerato 5-door model introduces styling, equipment, refinement and technical improvements, which will also be featured on the 2011 Cerato sedan and 2-door Koup models later this year.
Technically similar to its sedan and Koup sister cars, the new Cerato 5-door has the same overall width, height and wheelbase as the sedan, but the rear overhang is reduced by 190 mm, as is the overall length, so the 5-door model is 4,340 mm long. Despite its more compact dimensions, the hatchback’s cargo volume of 385 liters (VDA) is highly competitive in its class.
Progressive, sporty, European styling for the latest Kia
At its introduction during early 2009, Kia’s new Cerato sedan raised C-segment car design to a new level of sophistication. Now, Kia’s international design teams, under the direction of Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer, have re-visited the corporation’s best-seller to create the new Cerato 5-door Hatchback. The roof, rear side panels, C-pillar, tailgate, rear bumper, light clusters and two-tone spoiler are all new. At the front, bold styling incorporates a new radiator grille, new lower air-intake grille and new-shape fog lamps. The door mirrors are new, with LED repeaters, and re-styled ‘double five-spoke’ 16-inch and 17-inch alloy wheels will be available. The rear combination lamps, which have etching-processed lenses, are split across the tailgate shut line and a sporty rear diffuser allows the exhaust tailpipe to be displayed.
High-tech features enhance spacious cabin
In addition to its generous standard equipment level that echoes the sedan and coupe models, the 2011 Cerato 5-door’s interior offers customers six new comfort and convenience features as standard or as options, depending on model, which reinforce this Kia’s high-tech image. Steering wheel ‘paddle shifters’ are available with the automatic transmission, together with a folding key and keyless entry, electric folding exterior mirrors, an interior mirror display for the rear safety camera image, solar door glass (Middle East markets) and Bluetooth hands-free – depending on country. A leather ‘boot-type’ gear lever gaiter is fitted, together with chrome edge trim around the twin cupholders and the centre console has a new premium style.
For maximum cabin versatility, this model’s rear seat cushion and backrest are split 60/40 with the cushion flipping forwards and the backrest folding down to create a completely flat cargo floor. Although the overall height of the Cerato hatchback and sedan is the same (1,460 mm), the extended roofline of the 5-door creates an extra 20 mm of rear seat headroom.
Clever engineering minimizes NVH
While designing and engineering the New Cerato sedan, Kia’s research and development team concentrated on maximizing the vehicle’s refinement and minimizing NVH (noise, vibration and harshness). Now, during development of the 2011 Cerato 5-door, as well as the 2011 Cerato 4-door and Koup, further NVH improvements have been achieved. Additional sound-dampening foam is fitted in the A, B and C-pillars and the luggage bay side panels, the exterior cowling top panel is a heavier gauge steel, the interior dash-top padding has thicker insulation, the rear parcel tray has extra insulation and the trunk carpet is made from a heavier density material.
Gasoline engines with six-speed transmissions
For General Markets, Kia’s new Cerato 5-door will be available with four-cylinder gasoline engines similar to those featured in the sedan. The larger 1,998 cc Theta II powerunit generates 156 ps and propels the hatchback to 100 kph in 9.1 seconds, with a top speed of 190 kph. The smaller 1,591 cc Gamma engine produces 124 ps and acceleration to 100 kph takes 10.3 seconds with this model. Every new Cerato 5-door comes with an all-new transmission. As standard, both engines are mated to a new six-speed manual transmission with ‘high’ top gear ratios for reduced engine revs and improved fuel economy. As an alternative, both engines can be ordered with a new six-speed automatic transmission equipped with a gate-type shift pattern and offering the driver fully automatic or Sport modes. As an option, steering wheel ‘paddle shifters’ can be specified so drivers can change gear using fingertip control.
Sophisticated running (and stopping) gear
Kia chassis engineers worked hard to give the Cerato sedan a sophisticated ride/handling balance that ensured a smooth ride, and fun-to-drive characteristics. The Cerato 5-door features the same running gear, with MacPherson strut front suspension and a CTBA (coupled torsion beam axle) rear suspension. The rear shock absorbers and coil springs are mounted separately to minimize intrusion. As an option, electric power-assisted steering (MDPS – motor driven power steering) which results in an estimated 2-to-3% fuel-saving can be specified. For powerful and stable braking, all Cerato 5-door models are equipped with 280 mm ventilated front discs and optional 262 mm solid rear discs.
Equipped with ‘active’ and ‘passive’ systems
Like its 4-door and 2-door siblings, the new Cerato 5-door presents buyers with a range of state-of-the-art safety systems and equipment. Available ‘active’ technologies include: ESC (electronic stability control) to enhance cornering ability, several systems to boost braking performance and two systems to help avoid contact with pedestrians and other vehicles when reversing – obstacle sensors in the rear bumper and an (optional) rear safety camera. The Cerato sedan has already achieved the top-score 5-Star rating in the USA’s official NHTSA crash tests (scoring 19 out of a possible 20 points) and a ‘Top Safety Pick’ designation by the IIHS for top ratings in front, side, rollover and rear impact protection tests. The new Cerato 5-door is engineered to perform equally well.
Text and Pictures: Kia