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Kia previews incoming Cerato five-door hatch

Korean-market K3 hatch signals five-door Kia Cerato ahead of late 2018 launch

14 Sep 2018

KIA Motors has offered the best look yet at its fourth-generation Cerato small hatch that is due in Australian showrooms by the end of this year, with the reveal of the Korean-market five-door K3.
The five-door K3 was outed in warmed-over GT form, which GoAuto understands will join the Cerato hatch and four-door sedan ranges just in time for the Kia Motors-sponsored Australian Open tennis tournament.
As reported, the GT will be motivated by a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 150kW of power at 6000rpm and 265Nm of torque from 1500 to 4500rpm.
The availability of a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission has been confirmed, but a six-speed manual gearbox should also be offered Down Under.
A similar combination is found in Hyundai’s mechanically related i30 SR hatch and Elantra SR sedan, which both exclusively send drive to their front wheels.
The GT will also use an independent multi-link rear suspension that increases its handling ability above that of regular Cerato variants, which run a torsion-beam set-up.
While the European-market Ceed hatch revealed in February was thought to preview the five-door Cerato, GoAuto understands this is not the case.
For reference, the Ceed rides on a different platform to the Cerato and K3 and is built in Slovakia instead of Kia Motors' native South Korea.
Styling-wise, the K3 hatch features an identical front end to the recently released Cerato sedan, but its side profile and rear differ due to its steeply-raked roofline and fastback-style tailgate.
Additionally, the K3 hatch’s rear end loses the Cerato sedan’s full-width LED tail-lights in favour of traditional separate units. The bumper’s integrated foglights and reverse lights remain, however.
The GT steps up with red accents for its Tiger Nose front grille and multi-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels, while its aggressive rear diffuser is flanked by single exhaust tailpipes. Black side mirrors covers and GT badging complete the visual upgrades.
Images of the K3 hatch’s interior are yet to be shown, but its cabin is expected to mimic that of the sedan, complete with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support.
When the Cerato hatch goes on sale, it is likely to mimic the sedan line-up, which ranges from $19,990 driveaway for the entry-level manual S to $26,190 for the flagship automatic Sport+. The GT hatch and sedan should be priced from around $30,000.
As such, the sedan’s 112kW/192Nm 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine is expected to move regular hatch variants alongside the choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or torque-convertor automatic transmission.
Alongside the first look at the K3 GT hatch, Kia Motors also revealed the European-market Ceed GT hatch and Proceed GT shooting brake, which was previewed in concept form at the Frankfurt motor show in September last year.
Kia Motors Australia (KMAu) is currently evaluating its business case for the Proceed GT, but the model would be sourced from the aforementioned Slovakian factory that the company has distanced itself from in recent times due to its associated import costs.
Sales of the Cerato have been steady this year in the lead up to the new sedan’s launch in June, with 13,151 examples sold to the end of August – a 0.5 per cent increase over the 13,083 deliveries made during the same period in 2017.
As a result, the Cerato is currently fifth in the sub-$40,000 small-car segment, trailing the Toyota Corolla (24,770 units), Mazda3 (22,502, Hyundai i30 (19,481) and Volkswagen Golf (13,660).

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