Kia is well on course to introduce the Cerato sedan in Pakistan that will ideally be launched towards the end of the year. This will be the 5th Kia vehicle to be launched in Pakistan ever since the South Korean automaker made a comeback having teamed up with Lucky Motors– part of Yunus Brothers Group (YBG) conglomerate. The company has invested $150 million for setting up its automobile assembly plant in Pakistan that will produce a wide range of commercial and passenger vehicles.
The company introduced Grand Carnival luxury MPV and Frontier commercial pickup in year 2018, followed by local assembled Sportage SUV and Picanto hatchback in 2019. Now for those who don’t know much about the upcoming Cerato sedan, the following information will help.
The Cerato nameplate was first introduced in South Korea in 2003 as a successor to Kia Spectra (also known as Kia Shuma). In some markets the Cerato is also marketed as Kia Forte which is a standalone nameplate first introduced in 2009. Today both Cerato and Forte represent the same car (codenamed BD) however in terms of Cerato, it’s the 4th generation model but in terms of Forte, it’s the 3rd generation. The vehicle is also called as Kia K3 in South Korea and China.
Kia Forte debuts at 2018 at the North American International Auto Show
This generation (BD) debuted on the 15th of January 2018 at the North American International Auto Show. In terms of styling it draws cues from the sportier Kia Stinger with a fastback profile and a short trunk lid. The car is constructed with 54% advanced high-strength steel that is light weight yet stronger than the outgoing model resulting in better performance and improved fuel efficiency.
Inspired by Kia Stinger, the new Cerato features signature tiger nose grille up front, along with projector headlamps with LED DRLs. The side profile extends from its long hood to the spacious cabin, where there is ample legroom and headroom thanks to the gentle sweep of the roofline. The rear end features slim tail lamps that are connected to each other via a light strip above the license plate holder, thus enhancing the wider stance of the sedan. Depending on the market & trim, the Cerato comes equipped with 17 or 18 inch alloy wheels.
Kia Cerato in Pakistan will reportedly be powered by 1.6 liter SmartStream engine that produces 121 hp of power and 154Nm of torque with 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmission options. It will be positioned primarily to compete against the likes of Toyota Corolla Altis 1.6 however it will also rival Corolla 1.8L variants, Honda Civic 1.8L and even the 1.5L City Aspire & Yaris AtivX as far as the price bracket is concerned.
Since the Corolla Altis 1.6L is the closest rival in terms of engine displacement, here is the comparison of both the powerplants:
|Kia Cerato 1.6L|
|Toyota Corolla Altis 1.6L|
Specs taken from international variants may differ from what offered locally
In terms of dimensions, the Kia Cerato sedan measures 4,640mm long, 1,800mm wide and 1,440mm tall while having an exact same 2,700mm wheelbase as that of the 10th gen Honda Civic and 11th gen Toyota Corolla we have here. It is longer & wider than both Civic & Corolla while stands taller than Civic but shorter than the Corolla. Below is the comparison of dimensions between Cerato versus that of Corolla and Civic.
|Parameter||Kia Cerato||Toyota Corolla||Honda Civic|
Features & Equipment
The Kia Cerato comes rich in features & equipment however we will have to wait to see what sort of features are offered with the Pakistani variants. Still as in other markets, the Cerato offers push button engine start/ stop, 4.2-inch LCD driver information display, 8-inch touchscreen multimedia system with Smartphone connectivity, wireless phone charger, auto defog system, dual zone climate control, heated & ventilated front seats, electronic driver seat adjustment, smart boot-lid with auto release, and reversing camera to name a few.
Safety features include 6 airbags, ABS with EBD and BA, front & rear parking sensors with camera assistance, smart cruise control, hill start assist as well as advanced driver assistance systems including Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS), Blind Spot Detection (BDS), Lane Keep Assist (LKA), and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) etc. Again we will have to wait to find out what sort of safety equipment is offered with the Cerato in Pakistan. Besides, the Kia Cerato also holds a 5-start crash test rating.
The current generation Kia Cerato/ Forte has won several international automotive awards including Canadian Car of the Year Award, AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award as well J.D. Powers Initial Quality Study award in the compact car segment.
Although there is no official word on the pricing of Kia Cerato as of yet, one might expect it to fall around PKR 3.2 to 3.5 million range. And considering what Kia did with the introduction of Sportage Alpha, a base variant Kia Cerato if price close to PKR 3 million can create troubles even for the newly launched Toyota Yaris AtivX which is priced at PKR 29.59 lac.
The Kia Cerato does look like a promising addition to the sedan segment in Pakistan. If priced sensibly, it has all the potential to sweep sales and generate a healthy wave of competition in the market. What are your expectations about the upcoming Kia Cerato in Pakistan? Let us know with your comments.
A 3d animation professional with over 20 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations & production facilities of Pakistan, an avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver writings to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com