Supercars are fine, big fast sporty sedans may be better but it’s the small cars that really make the world go round. Small cars are the first car for most of us, they are the cars that ferried us around when we were kids and are probably the cars our kids will drive.
Kia understands this concept completely and the Koreans don’t mess about when it comes to designing such a car. Actually, make that “such cars” since Kia Australia has four of these gems on offer, each with its small niche.
Just because the specific niche and the fact the cars are small, doesn’t mean you have to do without anything. Kia’s Aussie division claims that the Rio, Cerato (in sedan or hatch guise) and Soul come with individual personalities.
The Kia Cerato is a small car that appeals the most to the sensible of small car buyers. Everything about the Cerato says solidity, safety and reliability. A special extra bonus comes from its sedan counterpart as it’s been named Australia’s Best Value 2.0L sedan.
Moving on to the Kia Soul, it’s probably the best way to go if you’re a fan of small cars but feel less than pleased with how popular they are. You may want to stand out so the Soul can be tailored to your style and then customised even further.
Finally, we meet the newest edition of the Kia Rio. It is the oldest “name” in the business but now the Koreans are offering it with a new face, new engines and just about everything else is also new. Ideally, the Kia Rio now offers up the gap filler between the sturdy Cerato and the slightly funky Soul.
Each of these small cars that Kia offers in Australia provide a serious punch to the opposition in all aspects regarding practicality, fuel economy, driving pleasure and, above all else, value for money.
From having described the image and feel of the Kia small car lineup one may get the idea that each are geared up in certain aspects when equipment is concerned but really, they all come crammed full of technology and gadgets.
Starting with a decent number of airbags, going through the cleverly designed passenger cells and deformable structures before ending up counting all the electronic systems appointed by cold acronyms, you know whichever Kia model you pick, it’s a safe one.
Equipment levels are also on par but, naturally, the Soul steps a little ahead as it gets a smarter infotainment system. Featuring iPod and USB compatibility the funky stereo and all of its six speakers will certainly keep up with whatever tunes you throw at it.
What I find particularly interesting about the Kia Cerato, the most grown up option in the range, is that it has a proper design language. It’s not ready to turn beige within five hours of the initial purchase and it’s the sort of car you need to keep your kids away from.
Did I mention the pricing? Well, for all the value you get, the prices are the only place where the tin says less than you’d expect. Then again, you can’t really complain about a car being cheap can you now?