Kia's cleaner, cheaper Cerato Smartstream debuts in Singapore

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SINGAPORE - One of Singapore’s most popular cars has gotten a heart transplant, and can now go further on less fuel. The Kia Cerato sedan has a new Smartstream engine, which is more efficient and now improves the car’s VES band from B (neutral) to A2 ($15,000 rebate). 

The new car is slightly cheaper than the previous model, and the lineup is slightly changed with the range-topping GT Line model now dropped from the price lists. The base model is the EX, at $129,999 with COE, and the higher variant is the SX, at $140,999 with COE.

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Notably, this puts the car on an equal footing with its key rival from sister brand Hyundai, the Avante S$136,999 with COE. S$141,999 for the middle range Avante S, and S$146,999 with COE for the range-topping Avante Elite. 

2021 Kia Cerato
1.6 Gamma 
2022 Kia Cerato
1.6 Smartstream
VES Band B A2
Fuel Efficiency  6.6L/100km 5.5L/100km
Range per tank 758km 909km 
CO2  152g/km 125g/km 
Engine capacity  1,591cc 1,598cc
Power / Torque 128hp/155Nm 123hp/154Nm
Performance  11.6 seconds  10.9 seconds 
Price w COE $130,9999
Cat A Aug 1st COE round
Cat A Sept 2nd COE round
Price w/o COE  $50,999 $45,999

The current (Sept 22, 2022) pricelist shows both models as equal pricing, as Kia Singapore is clearing out stock of the previous Cerato (with the older Gamma engine). 

What’s the official story behind the new Kia badge? We find out!

The new Smartstream engine has slightly larger capacity, but is still COE Category A eligible as it’s a 1.6-litre engine with 123hp. As you can see from the detailed chart above, the Smartstream model is more efficient than the previous version which had the veteran Gamma engine. Another change is that the car goes from a six-speed automatic to the new IVT (Intelligent Variable Transmission, aka a CVT) also found in the Avante.

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The increased efficiency means the Cerato Smartstream has its per-tank range extended by around 150km, and is slightly faster in 0-100km/h time. 

Aside from the fact that the GT Line model is no longer available, the EX and SX otherwise remain the same in terms of equipment.

As our launch story on the facelifted 2021 Kia Cerato showed, the SX is a worthy upgrade because it adds a considerable amount of comfort and convenience features, as well as active safety features too. One key difference is that the Smartstream model has 15-inch wheels for both SX and EX models, smaller than the previous model EX’s 16-inch and 17-inch.

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SmartStream is Hyundai Motor Group’s (Kia’s parent company) latest combustion engine technology, with the latest enhancements to wring even more efficiency out of each drop of gas. The tech is also inn the just-launched Kia Niro Hybrid, which debuted in Singapore just last week.  

Our review of the 2021 Kia Cerato – watch it above or read it here!

This article was first published in CarBuyer.