SHOWROOM FRESH: 2022 KIA CERATO

As the preference for Sport Utility Vehicles continues unabated, there are certain segments that aren’t willing to go down without a fight.

For 2022 the Kia Cerato marches into the subcompact sedan sector primed to pry drivers from their boxy upright SUVs. Buzz Caribbean got an exclusive first look at the new Cerato at the Oxford Road showroom of ATL Tiger Motors, the arm of the ATL Automotive Group responsible for the Kia brand of vehicles.

The first thing that stands out, other than the fact that the key mimics that of the sportier more expensive Stinger, is the styling.

The Cerato has always had a more coupé-like appearance than class rivals and that hasn’t changed much for 2022. The exterior receives a few more lines and curves for a more muscular feel at a glance. The front and rear bumpers have been revised.

The new grille gives up some ground that it’s been trying to gain, as it now closely matches that from the SUV side of the model line-up. The head and taillights also get a redesign, giving the car standard LED daytime running lights up front. Of course, there’s the new Kia logo, with its premium script. 16-inch wheels are standard and a new design as well.

The interior of the Cerato reflects the intent of the outside, well crafted with quality materials. There’s six airbags for occupant safety.

A large LCD 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system takes centre stage with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a feature still rare in even premium vehicles. All this interface technology is supplemented by voice-command and a multi-function steering wheel.

Driving the Cerato is a 1.6-litre engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. CVT haters, can rejoice.

The 2022 Kia Cerato starts just under $5 million and is now available at ATL Tiger Motors.