Kia Cerato (2004-2007)

If you want exclusivity, forget about buying a Ferrari or Porsche; there's one of those on every street corner. No, what you want is one of these - have you ever even heard of the Cerato, never mind seen one? An interim model that lasted less than two years in the UK, the Focus-sized Cerato isn't a bad car, but it's also not as good as the vehicles this Korean company is now churning out. At the right price though, the Cerato is well worth a look.

Key Dates

9/04: The Cerato is launched in five-door hatch or four-door saloon forms, with a 1.6-litre petrol engine only

1/05: There's now a 2.0-litre petrol engine available

4/05: A 1.5-litre turbodiesel joins the range

5/06: Zapp! special edition goes on sale, based on 1.6 GS

Kia Cerato (2004-2007) Checklist

  • Don't pay over the odds; these cars were heavily discounted when new and are worth even less now.
  • Make sure all the gadgetry works, especially items such as the central locking, which can be unreliable.
  • Be wary of premature engine wear. Petrol editions are often bought by elderly drivers who cover hardly any miles each year, so the engine is always running cold.
  • Ceratos are usually bought as urban runabouts, so check for bodywork scrapes, kerbed wheels and uneven tyre wear that points to the tracking having been knocked out.

We Like

  • Value
  • Reliability
  • Equipment
  • Diesel's cruising ability

We Don't Like

  • Image
  • Interior plastics