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Kia unveils new-look Cerato hatch

SucCeed: Kia has revealed its new Ceed for the European market with design cues that are expected to trickle down to the new Cerato hatch due near the end of this year.

European-market Ceed previewS design for next Kia Cerato hatch, due late 2018

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Kia logo16 Feb 2018

KIA has unveiled its all-new third-generation Ceed hatch for the European market, which will preview the styling of the refreshed Cerato hatch due to land in Australian showrooms in the fourth quarter of the year.

While the European Ceed – which has dropped the jarring apostrophe from its name – and Australian Cerato will look similar, Kia Motors Australia (KMAu) general manager media and corporate communications Kevin Hepworth said the vehicles’ underpinnings will be completely different.

“There is no similarity to the Ceed and Cerato - they are different cars on different platforms,” he said.

European Ceeds are built in a factory in Slovakia, whereas Ceratos destined for the Australian market are built in Kia’s native South Korea.

The specification of the Cerato hatch is expected to match the revised sedan revealed at the Detroit motor show in January, which draws its design inspiration from the Stinger large sedan.

While the European-spec Ceed will score either a 1.4-litre turbo-petrol or 1.6-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, Australian Ceratos are expected to retain the existing 112kW/192Nm 2.0-litre aspirated petrol engine mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or automatic transmission.

Aussie examples will also miss out on the new continuously variable transmission (CVT) that will be offered in the US-market sedan, called the Forte stateside.

Rumours are rife that the Aussie version of the new Cerato is tipped to receive a GT warm hatch variant, powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine shared by Hyundai models including the i30 SR, Elantra SR and Veloster SR Turbo.

Under the bonnet of the Hyundais, the engine produces 150kW/265Nm, driving the front wheels via either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

If the Cerato hatch arrives wearing a similar face to the European Ceed, it will see revisions to headlight styling, a larger lower air intake and a refreshed rear end, while retaining Kia’s signature tiger- nose grille.

Inside, both sedan and hatch variants are tipped to get a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen, simplified switchgear and circulate air vents that emulate the cabin design of the Stinger.

Aussie examples can expect to receive LED headlights, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, wireless smartphone charging and and a harman/kardon sound system, depending on the variant grade.

Kia’s suite of advanced driver-assistance systems – including blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and seven airbags – is tipped to be fitted in the new Cerato.

While pricing is not close to being announced, KMAu is attempting to retain the $19,990 plus on-roads entry point that exists in the current range.

Kia found homes for 18,731 examples of the Cerato in 2017, up 42.9 per cent on the 13,111 units it sold in 2016.

Its haul was enough to make it the fourth best-selling small car behind the Toyota Corolla (37,353), Mazda3 (32,690) and Hyundai i30 (28,780).

The Cerato has started 2018 in similar fashion, with a 4.4 per cent year-on-year lift in sales to 1432 units, again the fourth-best result in its segment.

The new Cerato sedan can be expected in Australian showrooms in the second quarter of the year, while the hatch will arrive towards the end of the year.

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