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Juliet McGuire

First drive in the new Kia Pegas

Guys, how much fun is it to say the word, “Pegas”?! It is so silly, but I can assure you that it is not a silly car, which, I will admit, is what I thought when I first heard the name. I was left feeling really impressed with this budget sedan after having driven it at the socially distanced local launch this past week.

WHAT IS A PEGAS?

Well who knows?! But this Pegas is a compact sedan that is here to steal a piece of what is a rather large pie, the compact sedan pie. Who knew it was so big? (That’s what sh…no!) There I was all cocky thinking that the only people who would be buying this car would be fleet peeps and those who want it to be an Uber/Bolt/Hailing cab service vehicle. But I was very wrong. And Kia has certainly done its research. The world might be SUV-verskrik, but that doesn’t mean that sedans are dead in the water. In fact, the compact sedan is the third largest segment in South Africa.

This car is suited to those small families who don’t have the budget to buy an SUV and who don’t necessarily want a second-hand car. It is also for those who are maybe down-sizing, think empty nesters, who still want the space of a large boot. And regarding the Uber vibes, when last did you get in to a brand new car when ordering a ride? I use Uber weekly and I can tell you that most of the cars I ride in are at least five years old. Some held together with duck tape. So it goes to show that private buyers are still very much in the compact sedan game.

BUT NOW FOR MORE ON THE ACTUAL CAR

Ooooh I think this is not a bad looking little sedan. If I think about what some of its competitors look like, think Suzuki DZire, then the Pegas really is quite a dish! Take a look for yourself:

Kia Pegas

Inside is also pretty upmarket. I drove the range-topping EX model which has an artifical leather vibe going on, which is light and cheery, but probably not great for kids with grubby hands in the long run…but at least you can just wipe it down with a damp cloth. The LX model has cloth seats. Where Kia really shine with the Pegas is with its extensive list of standard features. And I don’t just mean electric windows all round, or air conditioning, or even a multi-function steering wheel, no, I am talking about a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a reverse camera with guidelines and rear park-distance control sensors.

The EX adds a leather steering wheel, front fog lights, driver’s seat height adjuster, cruise control, chrome-coated door handles, 14-inch alloys and side repeater lamps. From a safety point of view, the Pegas comes with ABS with EBD, Disc brakes all-round, dual front airbags, and Isofix mounts.

It’s quite spacious too, especially in the rear. I did the tried-and-tested sit-behind-myself test and I had more than enough legroom. Even if one of my Instagram followers commented that I am probably only about 1.5m tall. I am absolutely not. I am 1.64m tall. HUGE difference.

BEHIND THE ‘WHEEL

Under the bonnet is a 1.4-litre multi-point injection petrol engine. It produces 69 kW and 132 Nm. It is typical of any budget car engine, meaning, it has enough oomph for city driving, but if you want to push it, you will need to really work the gearbox…if you choose the five-speed manual that is. I would highly recommend against opting for the four-speed auto because it is not a vibe! Unless you are absolutely disinterested in performance and don’t mind just chilling in the left lane or behind other cars. I took the Pegas for a rather scenic drive up over Ou Kaapse Weg and was worried I would be hating it up that big hill, but it was more than capable and unless you are trying to overtake on a steep incline, you will enjoy the refined engine as you cruise along.

Overall, this is a really great offering from Kia. It will appeal to those in the market for a budget sedan because it offers incredible value for money. When pitted against its rivals, such as the Ford Figo four-door, Honda Amaze or even the Volkswagen Polo Sedan, one cannot deny that you’re getting far more bang for your buck with the Pegas. Go on and do a direct model for model comparison…you will see for yourself. And then you can thank me.

PRICING OF THE PEGAS

  • Pegas 1.4 LX Manual: R225 995
  • Pegas 1.4 EX Manual: R236 995
  • Pegas 1.4 EX Auto: R251 995

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