Monday, January 31, 2011

Kia Cerato Koup

As I outlined in my previous post about the horrid Ssanyong Rexton, Korean cars are generally low on power, ugly in looks, and surprisingly low tech considering the century that we are now in. They also suffer from one of the most pitiful features a car can have. Deathly dullness. Apart from Ssanyong's comical ads and ridicoulous styling, most other Korean car manufacturers tend to churn out cars with less passion and flair than a bare white wall. I saw a Hyundai Sonata drive by the other day, and even though it ran a red light (normally a rather exiting road event) I was overcome with the urge to fall asleep.

The worst thing about Hyundai, is not the dreary crud that comes into the country, but it's the blatently untruthful and downright laughable advertising that gets drilled into the New Zealand people every day on the TV and on massive billboard across the country. A billboard near Wellington airport (which Hyundai sadly owns, meaning it will always be draped in crappy slogans and ugly cars) was showing a huge quote from a National Business Review "executive" The quote read-"By 2013 Hyundai will be NZ's number one brand"
This quote is not only a white lie, but an expensive one for Hyundai. You can just hear the wad of $100 bills falling neatly into the executive's account.

But despite the dreary cars and pointless advertising, Korea (or more specifically, Kia) recently designed the first ever Korean car that you may actually want to part with cash for. The Kia Cerato on which it's based, is actually not bad looking. I do not however recommend purchasing a standard Cerato, as people will still know that you are driving a Kia. But the Koup is a work of art.

The front of the standard Cerato is very well proportioned. The grille and the headlights all fit together in one neat package. But the looks are sadly weighed down by the upright sedan body. Rather like a supermodel having to model clothes whilst constanly wearing a bulletproof suit. But lose the sedan body and replace it with a fastback, two door body and the results are fantastic. The square and rigid looking doors on the sedan are replaced with two sleek pillar-less doors, which neatly round off the flowing body and forward design.

For a decent Cerato Koup with all of the available features (which is how I would buy a car) the value for money is immense. The top spec model only costs around NZ$33,000. Sadly, the only available engine for the Koup is a 2.0 litre four pot, which really doesn't do justice to the well designed body. But if you are prepared to sacrifice power for looks and value for money, the Cerato Koup is for you. Let's hope Kia puts a V6 in it! 

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