Kia has added its first diesel-powered car to their line-up with the Cerato 1.5 CRDi.

The 1,493cc Euro III compliant engine delivers 100 bhp at 4,000 rpm and 235 Nm of torque at just 2,000 rpm.

Available only in manual transmission the Cerato 1.5 CRDi has been programmed for maximum fuel economy with fuel consumption on the combined cycle at 57.6 mpg and CO2 ratings of 129 g/km.

With CO2 figures lower than many leading competitors such as Vauxhall Astra 1.7 CDTI 16V Life, Peugeot 307 2.0 HDI and Seat Leon 1.9 TDI, the Cerato is an extremely attractive proposition for the fleet market. Attracting an 18% Benefit In Kind CO2 rating, a company car driver on the standard tax rate will pay only £400 for the 1.5 GS and £429 for the LX, while those in the 40% tax bracket will pay £727 for the GS and £781 for the LX per annum.

The entry level 1.5 CRDi GS Hatchback manual priced at just £10,245 comes with ABS & EBD, dual front, side and curtain airbags, air conditioning, remote central locking, CD audio with MP3 player, front and rear electric windows and electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors.

The higher specified 1.5 CRDi LX available in Hatchback or Saloon body styles also includes alloy wheels, body coloured side mouldings and front fog lights for just £10,995.

The high safety specification includes six airbags, all round disc brakes, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist (BAS) for maximum stopping power.

Substantial work has been done over the last couple of years to develop Kia products for the European market. The European Research and Design centre in Germany is fully operational and construction is underway on the new European factory in Zilina, Slovakia with production due to start late 2006.