Solaris alternative for comparable money: is it worth buying a Kia Cerato II for 600 thousand
A few weeks ago, we were thinking about buying a used Hyundai Solaris, arguing along the way that, given the fluctuations in the exchange rate, these cars today are not much cheaper than new ones. However, if you are disgusted with the idea of buying what was originally created as a “budget sedan,” the secondary market nods affirmatively and points to the second-generation Kia Cerato. Comparable age and, oddly enough, quite comparable prices – although our Avito Auto colleagues suggest that, despite the overlap in the price range, it’s better to lay more than a thousand copies on a Solaris of similar age. What do you offer for the money?
The age difference when trying to win in the car class, of course, is obvious: for 600 thousand our virtual Solaris was three years old, but Cerato for this money will be at least twice as old – simply because the second generation sales ended in 2013. But, unlike the boring Solaris, which can be a sedan or a hatchback, Cerato can be found in the coupe. And in general, the choice of bodywork is one of the simple and few choices that you need to make before you begin searching for this “Korean.”
Kia Cerato ‘2008–13
But the selection of a specific machine should be thoughtful and thorough. The body, however, almost does not throw up unexpected surprises. Basically, these are congenital and inevitable age features: thin paintwork, tinted chips, beginning corrosion of the wheel arches from the inside and the lower edges of the doors. Thresholds are not covered by plastic, and therefore for cars that drove along not the best roads, the area behind the front wheels has long begun to suffer from “sandblasting” and stones. Here it is worth evaluating the condition of the seams from below: corrosion climbing from the inside no longer speaks of poor care, but of poor repair after an accident. However, it is unlikely to immediately meet a car with all age problems, usually they come one at a time and are timely eliminated. In addition, small chips are kept for some time thanks to galvanizing – the exception, as usual, is the junction of the windshield with the roof, where there is no galvanizing.
Other age-related features include aging plastic. The paint on the bumpers keeps worse than on the metal, and upon contact it is easily damaged, and the fresh layer is even more vulnerable. The places of contact of the bumpers with the wings are also at risk: there are chips and scuffs. The aging “chrome” is especially noticeable not on the decorative elements on the false radiator grille and trunk, but on the door handles, which also shine in expensive versions. Someone in this case solves the issue with plastic pads – but for us when buying this is another reason to be puzzled by the question of the history of the car, the truth of the run and work in a taxi, even if Cerato is not among the favorites of taxi drivers. By the way, the door locks here are also not the longest lasting, and if you do not use them and do not even lubricate them, you can find out about the soured and jammed larva only at the most “convenient” moment – for example, on a frosty morning. In general, when buying, the performance of locks must be checked.
Kia Cerato ‘2008–13
Inspection of the bottom should only strengthen your confidence in the correct choice: it is too early to talk about serious corrosion problems, but it’s too late to talk about the ideal condition of the suspension elements and attachment points to the body. The only place where, as they say, options are possible is the cavity of the wheel arches. If you liked the car in everything else, do not be too lazy to remove them or at least raise the machine on a lift to assess the amount of dirt and potential corrosion under the lockers.
Literally in one line we recall the features of the two-door version. These same doors at Cerato Koup are not only longer and heavier, but also frameless, so you need to examine both the condition of the hinges and the integrity of the seals. However, you can keep in mind that the original door hinges are on sale and cost a penny – 800 rubles, and a set of glass seals is prohibitively expensive – about 10 thousand for one side. But getting into an accident here is twice as unprofitable: a new door on a compartment costs 50 thousand against 25 for a four-door, and the chances of finding it on dismantling are an order of magnitude lower.
Kia Cerato ‘2008–13
Cerato suspension will not be ruinous for two reasons. Firstly, because she is Korean. And secondly, because the complexity is slightly higher than that of the Solaris mentioned above: the sedan did not get an independent rear scheme, like Ceed, so it is content with a semi-independent beam in the back and the classic MacPherson in front. As a result, all the charms of owning a Korean are fully presented here: original rear shock absorbers for 3 thousand and front shock absorbers for 6, thrust bearings for a thousand, pillar supports for one and a half and silent blocks for 500-700 rubles. Unless the original silent block of the rear beam for 2,200 rubles may seem expensive to someone, even despite the resource of 120-150 thousand kilometers – but there are replacement options from 600 rubles.
Unless the original silent block of the rear beam for 2,200 rubles may seem expensive to someone, even despite the resource of 120-150 thousand kilometers – but there are replacement options from 600 rubles. The same applies to the ball joint: “economists” instead of the original for 1200 rubles can buy a substitute four times cheaper, and the wheel bearing for 2 thousand can be replaced with something for 600 rubles.
Kia Cerato ‘2008–13
The resource of the brakes is predictable and sufficient, but their maintenance with original spare parts can be more expensive than for a suspension. For example, a brake disc costs about 5 thousand, and a set of pads is almost the same, so buying twice as cheap substitutes from Ferodo or Bosch will be justified, and there are even simpler options. With steering, the situation is similar: the hydraulic rack does not suffer from congenital diseases, so its 150-180 thousand probably departs, and then the choice between the original for 50 thousand and the node from Mando for 17 thousand will be obvious. The cost of the power steering pump is more humane – less than 20 thousand for the original and 5-8 for a substitute. But this does not mean that the oil can be changed every 150 thousand with the pump – check the frequency with the owner and do not skimp on the preventive replacement after purchase.
Kia Cerato ‘2008–13
Curiously, in a conversation about motors and gearboxes, avoiding parallels with Solaris will also fail. The mechanical boxes here, for example, are the same as those of the “state employee”: the five-speed M5CF1 or M5CF2 (depending on the motor) before 2011 and the six-speed M6CF1 or M6CF3 after. The presence of the second option is explained by the presence of a two-liter engine in the gamut – Solaris, of course, doesn’t have either. However, the general recommendations are identical to what we said earlier: the “five steps” are tender and suffer even without an aggressive attitude towards themselves, and the “racers” almost certainly die between 100-120 thousand, so if you really want a mechanic, you should turn to the latest cars with six-speed gearboxes. At the same time, the maintenance cost for the latter will be even slightly lower: the original clutch kit from the basket, disc and release bearing can be assembled in less than 10 thousand, and for a five-speed gearbox it will cost about 12.
Automatic transmissions also vary depending on age: before conditional restyling in 2011, it is a four-speed A4СF2, and after that – a six-speed A6GF1. The situation with reliability is the reverse of mechanics: old units are noticeably more resourceful than new ones. The problems that arise are purely age-related: wear on the lock-up pad of the torque converter and the associated malfunctions of the solenoids. If you manage to find a car with a transparent service history, which indicates an oil change at least once every 70-80 thousand, then this will be the best option for automatic transmission. And if after the purchase the oil change interval is reduced to 50-60 thousand, then you can drive more than one hundred thousand kilometers – the box can go 300 or more.
Kia Cerato ‘2008–13
At a six-speed automatic, technical features are compounded by its freshness – in 2011 it was a novelty with all the “childhood diseases” arising from this. The torque converter lock is more aggressive here, the operating temperature is higher, and the sensitivity to oil purity and its temperature is stronger. To this are added the more likely failures of electricians like wiring and solenoids, although now, after 6-8 years, all the basic problems should have already appeared and been resolved. But the question of maintenance and operation remains open: if for old boxes it was simply important, then here it is critically important. So even an ideal service book is not a guarantee of a trouble-free future life, unless the car’s mileage is less than 70-80 thousand, which is almost impossible to believe now. However, subject to a thorough diagnosis of the box and the budget in reserve for its potential repair, this option can be considered conditionally acceptable.
The motor range in Cerato in Russia is minimally sufficient: these are two atmospheric engines of 1.6 and 2 liters. In the world there are diesel versions, and cars with turbocharged 1.6 and atmospheric 2.4, but for us all this remains an imported exotic. This, strictly speaking, is a small loss – all the same, neither diesel nor turbocharged cars would be popular with us, and the available engines completely cover the needs of the target audience. The base 1.6-liter G4FC delivers 126 hp, and it’s almost the same engine as on … yes, yes, again Solaris. The two-liter G4KD has 156 hp. and has a similar construct. Both engines are aluminum with cast-iron sleeves, and the timing drive is chain, although its resource is not as huge as many expect. However, the original timing kit, excluding the phase shifter at the inlet, can be collected for 12-15 thousand, and the non-original one can be bought for 7-10, if necessary, supplemented with the same phase shifter for 6-7 or 4-5 thousand, depending on the presence of the Hyundai badge on the box .
Worse, the resource of the catalyst and piston group is quite unpredictable, and the first, as you might guess, affects the second. To 100-120 thousand, the catalyst is usually removed, but regardless of its presence, inspection of the cylinders with an endoscope is among the highly desirable procedures. Well, it’s also worth asking the owner about the frequency of oil change: the recommended interval of 15 thousand kilometers does not benefit the motor, so it’s better to reduce it to the usual 10 thousand.
Kia Cerato ‘2008–13
Well, now, having figured out what to expect from a used Cerato, you can try to find the best car. With a budget of 600 thousand rubles, the best options are available to us – for example, despite the fact that two-liter cars on the market are only about 10%, we can choose from them. Considering that another half of them are not sedans, but two-doors, for our amount you can buy a stylish coupe with automatic transmission and low mileage – something like this, well, or a similar sedan. A transparent history and low mileage promise a good residual resource of the box and engine, and everything else, as we know, is inexpensive and easily fixable, so you can spend more than one happy year with such a machine – and then decide on your ambitions to upgrade.