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Kia Cerato facelift breaks cover in Korea

Lighten up: Larger headlights and reshaped tail-lights appear to make up the majority of the mid-life refresh for the successful Kia Cerato.

Makeover for Kia Cerato sedan unveiled in Korea ahead of early 2016 local launch


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30 Nov 2015

KIA has revealed a new-look Cerato sedan in its home country of South Korea, ahead of an Australian launch for the updated small car in early 2016.

Changes are minor but meaningful, with the Korean company giving the Cerato a new nose, revised tail and a tweaked interior package.

Up front, larger, straight-edged LED-equipped headlight clusters dominate the new nose, while the lower valance has been redesigned to incorporate larger foglights and wider intake vents.

Along the sides, little has changed, though the profile differs slightly thanks to the new front end and updated rear.

New tail-light clusters feature a reversed design, with the reversing/indicating lamps repositioned below the stop lamps. There is also some re-profiling of the rear bumper bar in evidence.

A simplified centre stack array features a larger touchscreen with app functionality and the deletion of the CD slot, while the climate controls have also been redesigned. The passenger crash pad sports a new design, as well.

Kia Australia offers two powertrains for the Cerato – a 110kW/178Nm 1.8-litre MPI petrol engine and a larger 129kW/209Nm 2.0-litre GDi petrol unit.

The pics have taken the local office by surprise, with Kia Australia general manager of media and corporate communications Kevin Hepworth telling GoAuto that the company had not further details, other than that the facelifted car – known as the K3 in Korea and the Forte in the United States – would be launched in March or April of 2016.

“Looking at the pictures, I would suggest that’s the car that we will be getting,” he said. “We’ll be able to provide more detail around spec changes closer to launch.”

Kia repositioned the Cerato line-up early in 2015, with a focus on communicating the car’s value rather than a sticker price netting immediate results.

Sales are up 57.5 per cent year on year to 8671, pushing the Cerato into sixth place with a 4.8 per cent sector share and bucking the trend in a sliding small-car segment.

Meanwhile, pictures of the large Cadenza (or K7, as it’s known in Korea) also broke cover over the weekend, with the Hyundai Genesis-based large sedan displaying a host of exterior updates.

Mr Hepworth reiterated Kia Australia’s position that the company had no plans to import the car here. “We don’t see a market for it locally,” said Mr Hepworth. “It’s getting into the same size category as (Holden) Commodore and (Ford) Falcon, and they’re hard to sell. We would struggle to sell something of that size in this market.”

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