If you’ve been waiting for the affordable version of Kia’s most popular sedan to come to South African dealerships, this is your year. The 2021 Kia Pegas sedan is here, and it’s about R225 995 to start.
The Pegas is not entirely a new kid on the block. It debuted a few years ago as a concept model, and is based on the Kia Rio. This past week we were fortunate enough to experience the Kia Pegas for a first drive during an intimate session with the brands’s representatives in the North of Johannesburg. Following this first drive, we’ve listed 5 things you need to know about the car.
A Familiar Face
Is there a fascia out there that’s changed it’s face more dramatically over the course of the past five years than that from Kia? The Pegas borrows a lot from its bigger brother the Rio sedan. Up front the car is all creases and grille, with bold lines carving prominent 3D-esque triangles out of the upper air dam. The rear of the car is less busier, although not to its detriment, and Kia has moved up the Pegas’ badging to the top left corner so that everyone around you knows what you’re driving.
I found this look to be handsome, but not remarkable. We’ve seen this on the Rio sedan already.
Strong Engine Choice
Like a number of its compact-size sedan competitors – though not all – the 2021 Kia Pegas is offered exclusively with Kia’s multi-point injection engine. The offering 1.4-litre mill is good for 69kW of power and 132Nm of torque on tap.
The model we drove was the 5 speed manual, but there’s a 4 speed automatic too. You’re not going to notice the power gap between the two engine cars in daily driving, and even when pushing hard it’s largely a wash given that these aren’t performance-oriented cars.
Spacious and Comfortable
Hiding underneath the Pegas’ familiar skin is a cabin roomy enough to add a small amount of extra comfort to the daily commute. The end result is a car that’s pleasing to drive without adding an unnecessary harshness or stiff-legged antics on rough pavement, of which there was plenty during my test drive route. It takes a lot to make it uphill, but eventually you’ll get there.
Furthermore, features aren’t as dramatic as what’s been accomplished on the exterior, but that’s ok because there wasn’t much need to mess with what was already a good thing on the Rio sedan. Highlights include the new 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system incorporating a reverse camera with dynamic guidelines, a standard fitment throughout the range (alongside rear park-distance control sensors). The system also boasts Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port and wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Depending on the model grade, the Pegas’ interior is trimmed in either smart cloth or high-quality artificial leather.
Respectable safety and tech features present
The 2021 Kia Pegas offers standard ABS with EBD across all trim levels for the very first time. On top of that there’s disc brakes all around, as well as dual front airbags with ISOFIX child-seat anchoring points. While this equipment is increasingly available on a wide range of affordable automobiles, it’s still worth pointing out that there was once a time when this kind of advanced equipment was limited to high-rand luxury cars.
Not a huge leap forward
Aside from the 5 speed manual which makes the most sense and its nouveau visage, the 2021 Kia Pegas doesn’t represent a significant leap forward for Kia’s sedan line-up. That’s by design, really. Nonetheless, it’s a success: potential customers who might have stayed away from yesteryear’s Rio sedan model because of its heavy price tag may well be enticed by the Pegas.
Competitors for the Kia Pegas include the Honda Amaze, Suzuki Dzire, Ford Figo sedan and Polo Vivo sedan.
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