CAN OLD SCHOOL REALLY BE COOL? WE TEST KIA PEGAS

Kia Pegas

Pegas is a new car for the price of a used versions of its principal rivals

When we first took a stroll around this ‘new’ car when it first around, we scratched our heads. Kia says its new Pegas will be a hit with value-seeking families and first-time buyers thatns to a keen blend of technology, space and mobility. But a week later, it left us impressed.

PEGAS AMONG LARGER CARS IN ITS CLASS

Built by Kia in China, the 4.3 meter long Pegas is among the larger cars in its class. Its 2,57m wheelbase ensures more than adequate cabin room for passengers front and rear. A cavernous boot adds great versatility. And if that’s not enough, never fear — you can fold the rear seat back down to get long and bulky loads in.

Boasting a smart set of 14-inch alloys, Pegas EX has power wing mirrors with flicker repeaters. Kia calls it sporty and solid. We’d say more old school. Looked at from the rear three quarter, you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for the previous generation Corolla Quest. Which was of course once the previous Corolla. It came out in 2006. So it really is old school.

Talking about that Quest, that model in its base 1.8 Plus form appears to be this car’s principal rival alongside the Volkswagen Polo 6 1.4 Sedan and the Suzuki Ciaz 1.5 GLX. All of which makes for some quite interesting reading. See, at R282K, the only way you will find a Corolla Quest to match this car on price at its full retail of R236K is if you buy a two year old used version of that previous model.

A NEW CAR FOR USED MONEY?

Same goes for the R280K Suzuki and the R253K Polo — although you’d get a year old version of the current VW for new Pegas EX money. With dare we say it, a tad more 21st century design! That said, Pegas gives you all the space and practicality of any of those cars for considerably less money out the box. But the Pegas has its full 5-year warranty and Roadside Assistance, as well as a full 4-year 60,000 km service plan starting from scratch.

Grab that chromed doorknob, swing the door open and settle easily into the height adjustable grey on black mock-leather seat trimmed driver’s seat behind the leather multifunction steering wheel. Pegas is actually quite a pleasant space. The air-conditioned cabin also packs cruise control, remote central locking and power windows all round.

The tiller plays its part in running what Kia calls class-leading handsfree controlled connectivity through 7-inch Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto infotainment. It has Bluetooth and USB connectivity, 6 speaker audio and park a distance control assisted rear-view camera with dynamic guidelines. By no means the best system out there, Pegas’ infotainment is certainly good for this level of car.

A FEW NIGGLES HERE AND THERE

We found the ergonomics to be a little challenged — in particular by the central power window controls. And while Pegas smells new inside versus rivals that will most likely be used, we have found certain new Kias to have a smoky pong inside. Which seems to emanate from the rubber mat in the boot. Pegas joins the list, which is a pity.

Pegas is powered by Kia’s latest yet still venerable old school normally aspirated 1.4-litre multi-point injection petrol engine. Producing 69 kW at 6,000 rpm, it twists 132 Nm to the front wheels. Via a slick five-speed manual transmission at 4,000 rpm. Pegas has ABS and EBD equipped disc brakes all-round, dual front airbags and ISOFIX child-seat anchoring points.

We found Pegas easy to drive, generally quiet and plush to ride in. And we were actually quite impressed by its performance. That 1.4 may be old school, but it certainkly still runs withthe pack. For the rest, this big little Kia did all its purveyors promised. And dare we say, quite a bit more too.

PEGAS IS A PROPER HIGH VALUE OFFERING

A high value offering with all the space you’d ever need, as well as reasonable safety, connectivity and tech, the Kia Pegas is clearly fit for this market. It certainly is worth a look as a most attainable family car, a repombile and a capable rental. Or even as an uber taxi. — Michele Lupini

Images & Testing: Giordano Lupini

ROAD TESTED: Kia Pegas 1.4 EX Manual
Engine: 69 kW 132 Nm 1.2-litre petrol I4
Drive: 5-speed manual FWD
TESTED:
0-60 km/h:        5.10 sec
0-100 km/h:       10.90 sec
0-120 km/h:       14.82 sec
0-160 km/h:       29.28 sec
400m:             17.5 sec @ 131 km/h
80-120 km/h:      7.42 sec
120-160 km/h:     14.45 sec
CLAIMED:
VMax:             170 km/h
Fuel:             5.7 l/100 km
CO2:              135 g/km
Warranty/Service: 5y unl./4y 60K km
LIST PRICE:       R236K
RATED:            8
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