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2019 Kia Cerato launched at Hilton Poolside

  • Written by Narend Sooknarine
  • Published in Launches

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The Kia Cerato was a surprisingly well-received car since its introduction and particularly with its smartly designed second generation, badged as the Cerato in some markets and Forte or Cerato Forte in others. The third generation car, also proved to be a seller in Trinidad & Tobago, upping the ante in terms of the car’s premium feel and imaging. At a beautifully executed launch event, local dealers Southern Sales & Service Company Limited introduced the new fourth-generation model to the motoring public at the Trinidad Hilton’s poolside. Decidedly more upscale, yet more aggressive-looking than the last, the new Cerato takes a few styling cues from Kia’s new Stinger sport sedan. 

At a beautifully executed launch event, local dealers Southern Sales & Service Company Limited introduced the new fourth-generation model to the motoring public at the Trinidad Hilton’s poolside.


A number of notable celebrities and people of prominence were in attendance, including the Minister of Trade and Industry, Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, who delivered the feature address, touching on aspects of the economy and commending the Ahamad brothers for their excellent corporate citizenship and leadership of their family business. His worship the Mayor of Port-of-Spain, Joel Martinez was also in attendance and past Miss T&T and radio personality, Sarah Radday was the evening’s hostess.


Interestingly, we heard from Marcelo Kim of Kia Motors Regional Headquarters in Miami via video presentation on the massive backdrop screen– who reiterated Kia’s satisfaction with Southern Sales & Service Company Limited’s performance and growth in the local market.
 

Kia Trinidad & Tobago’s Brand Director, Shiraz Ahamad re-introduced the Kia brand, covered its latest developments globally and locally, and soon the moment came for the big reveal.


A silver-grey stainless steel vinyl-wrapped high-spec Kia Cerato shod with a number of external accessories, aftermarket wheels and leather interior, made its way out from behind a cover and drove out to the presentation area. The car’s aftermarket treatment tastefully reflected the potential of the new model as prescribed by the enthusiastic side of the motoring market.

The car’s aftermarket treatment tastefully reflected the potential of the new model as prescribed by the enthusiastic side of the motoring market.


Simultaneously, a bright red, factory-standard Kia Cerato with no modifications whatsoever, which was already parked in the display area was revealed by two of the lovely Kia models. 


Just then, local celebrity singer Olatunji Yearwood, simply known as Ola, jumped out of the silver Cerato’s passenger seat and erupted into song.

 



A plethora of personal technology sprung into action at the hands of their owners, eager to capture the Ola-fuelled fête atmosphere in photos and videos as he belted out tune after tune, inviting the crowd to see the car in the process.


Many also took the opportunity to get a few selfies with the X-factor-featured soca star. TV host Sunny Bling was also in attendance, with similar effect.


A ready supply of finger foods and drinks from the Hilton kept guests happy throughout the evening.


Kudos to Kia for strategically launching the new Cerato at such a grand scale, a move that also serves to spike sales interest during a time that is traditionally slower due to the Christmas peak and Carnival season.


So then, what do we know about the car? It is powered by a 128bhp/154Nm (114ft-lb) 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engine, which is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission that features a tiptronic mode.Thankfully, the new Cerato can safely run on more affordable 92-octane Super unleaded fuel. On another note, owners of the previous generation car have also successfully installed CNG kits– although these will have to be installed by an NGC-certified third party. The trunk is certainly large enough and owner feedback on CNG-kitted cars has been good so far. 

It is powered by a 128bhp/154Nm (114ft-lb) 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engine, which is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission that features a tiptronic mode. Thankfully, the new Cerato can safely run on more affordable 92-octane Super unleaded fuel.

...I admired Kia's new, more distinctive daytime running lights– now a hallmark of any vehicle with premium aspirations...

As I walked around the new Cerato, I admired Kia's new, more distinctive daytime running lights– now a hallmark of any vehicle with premium aspirations, and the newest iteration of Kia's tiger-nosed grille. They have also equipped the Cerato with four-wheel disc brakes with ABS/EBD– which I’m always a fan of, especially as an upgrade path if ever the car ends up at an Autocross event. The car is also equipped with stability and traction control (ESC/TCS7/VSM), and an emergency stop signal (ESS). 



The trunk was very spacious (502 litre capacity) and houses a full-sized spare tyre in its lower compartment.


Sitting inside an EX-model Cerato, I noticed Kia’s user-adjustable power steering system, which allows sportier versus more comfortable levels of assist. Cruise control, Bluetooth and car audio controls are also located on the steering wheel. 


We were told that the 4-speaker audio system with its 4.3” touch screen is both Apple and Android compatible. The radio antenna is integrated in the windshield. There are two USB ports and a wireless charging system. 


The rear seats fold forward and are split in 60:40 fashion, and feature ISOFIX anchor points for child seats. 


Initial concluding thoughts? The new Cerato brings sleeker, sportier, more premium design to the table, and continues to move in an upscale direction– adding more features, more engine power and efficiency, and higher quality of materials used throughout.


Introductory pricing is expected to be in the TT$190K-$215K range and you can schedule your demo drive at any branch of Southern Sales and Service Limited– if you drive it, post your comments and tell us what you think!


Naturally, we will give our verdict on the Cerato after conducting a thorough driving impression. Look out for the upcoming feature right here on Zorce.com. 

The new Cerato brings sleeker, sportier, more premium design to the table, and continues to move in an upscale direction– adding more features, more engine power and efficiency, and higher quality of materials used throughout.

 

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