Used Kia Cerato Hatchback 2004 - 2007 review

Category: Family car

It's safe, well equipped and practical, but driving it is a let-down

Kia Cerato Hatchback (04 - 07)
  • Kia Cerato Hatchback (04 - 07)
  • Kia Cerato Hatchback (04 - 07)
Used Kia Cerato Hatchback 2004 - 2007 review
Star rating

What's the used Kia Cerato hatchback like?

The Cerato replaced the Shuma in May 2004. Inside the contemporary cabin, the layout is neat and tidy and build quality is reasonable, but the materials are far from the most expensive around.

Finding a decent driving position shouldn't be too difficult because the steering column and driver's seat are height adjustable. You can fit four adults in reasonable comfort, and they'll have more headroom in the back of this hatch than the saloon. Both models get 60/40 split folding rear seats and decent boot space.


It's safe, well equipped and practical, but driving it is a let-down

  • The Cerato is roomy and has loads of equipment, including lots of safety kit
  • It'c comfortable, too
  • Vague steering and body roll mar the car's drive

Three engines are available - two petrols, a 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre, along with a 1.5-litre diesel. None is outstanding, and the handling is nothing special, either. Vague steering and large amounts of body roll mean the Cerato is a long way off the class leaders. As long as the road surface is smooth, the ride should be comfortable enough, though.

Ownership cost

What used Kia Cerato hatchback will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Kia Cerato hatchback?

Cost-wise, it doesn't matter if you go saloon or hatchback, petrol or diesel, SE or LX, insurance is going to be the same - group 7. The 1.5-litre diesel comes with an impressive claimed 57.6mpg, while the 1.5-litre petrol still manages an acceptable 40.4mpg. The driving range is good on all models, thanks to a 12-gallon fuel tank.

On average, the Cerato works out a little less expensive to service than rivals such as the Chevrolet Kalos and the Hyundai Matrix, and like these two, it only needs servicing every 10,000 miles.

Our recommendations

Which used Kia Cerato hatchback should I buy?

Obviously, the five-door hatchback is more practical than the booted saloon, but if you want the most powerful engine, you have no choice but to go for the saloon.

The 141bhp 2.0-litre petrol is only available in the four-door body. With variable valve timing, it's a flexible performer, but not terribly economical. The remaining choices are a 109bhp diesel and a 104bhp 1.6-litre petrol, which is the one we recommend.

There's no need to worry about lousy equipment levels. Even if you plump for the entry-level GS, you still get air-con, remote central locking, electric front windows and a CD player, which is pretty good. Don't worry too much about the LX trim, though, because the biggest gain there is alloy wheels.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Kia Cerato hatchback?