UPDATE, April 14, 2021: In the leak that never ends, the 2021 Kia Cerato has surfaced online again, this time in what look to be official marketing shots.
If these images, posted to Instagram, aren't the real deal – they're a mighty convincing impression.
As the earlier leaks below reveal, the new Cerato will launch with a completely new face and a subtly revised rear. The interior has also been given a number of cosmetic and feature changes.
At the front, slender new headlights get a dashed LED daytime signature lighting effect, while the latest take on Kia's long-serving 'tigernose' grille now extends across to the edge of each light.
Kia's new logo sits proud above the redesigned grille, while a sharp new bumper design rounds out the front-end changes.
The rear gets subtly updated lighting – the shape is unchanged, but the internal lighting signature repeats the dashed look showcased at the front of the car.
As with the other end, an updated bumper design completes the tweaks made to the rear.
Inside, the Cerato's existing steering wheel gets Kia's new logo, and the main dash display frame looks to have done integrated the buttons that previously sat as a separate hardware module beneath the screen.
Apart from a new digital instrument cluster display behind the steering wheel, the interior appears to be otherwise unchanged.
The refreshed Cerato range will reach Australia in May, so an end to these leaks should be in sight.
Watch for more details to come in the days and weeks ahead.
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UPDATE April 9, 2021: The 2021 Kia Cerato has once again been leaked online.
New images of a workshop manual published on the website bobaedream appear to show the new Cerato’s front fascia in higher definition than those seen in March 2021 – with the Korean marque’s new logo stamped proudly in the middle.
From the images it seems the facelifted model will feature new halogen or possibly LED headlights with a ‘tiger-nose’ grille nestled in between, and a lower intake design familiar from the new generation Optima (K5) mid-size sedan sold overseas.
This is also the first time we’ve seen confirmation that the Cerato will continue to sport a 1.6 litre ‘T-GDi’ turbo four-cylinder petrol engine, producing an expected 150kW and 265Nm as is in its flagship GT.
However, it seems the new Cerato won’t benefit from an upgrade to Kia’s new fuel-efficient SmartStream family of engines, instead retaining the GT’s fuel consumption claim of 6.8L/100km.
What the 2.0 litre Cerato will most likely have though, according to the images, is a digital instrument cluster for the first time, with what looks to be the 10.25-inch unit already featured in the new Hyundai i30 sedan.
In addition, Spanish forum Cochespias has also leaked a spy photo of the Cerato’s rear. It’s tough to make out what’s new due to the poor quality of the image, but changes appear to include a new LED tail-light signature, a restyled bumper and the new Kia logo.
An Australian launch is confirmed for May 2021.
MARCH 19, 2021: A facelifted version of Kia’s popular Cerato hatch and sedan is set to be unveiled in the coming weeks, with a local launch to follow soon after in May or June.
News of the updated Cerato was first brought to light at Kia’s 2021 CEO investor event, with Kia boss Ho-Sung Song confirming the refreshed model would be unveiled in its native country in the first quarter of this year.
Images of a heavily-camouflaged Cerato have been doing the rounds on enthusiast site The Korean Car Blog, showing new LED daytime running lights and a slender tail light configuration.
Judging from the spy shots, the new Cerato looks like it will also be fitted with a narrower grille, as well as a subtly reworked front and rear bumper. New-design alloy wheels are expected to be fitted to the updated cars as well.
KKS Studio, a South Korean website dedicated to speculative automotive renderings, has even mocked up what the new Cerato could look like, show above.
The Cerato will also be the first Kia in Australia to be fitted with the automaker’s newly redesigned logo, which ditches the traditional oval badge in favour of big, bold, and borderless lettering.
The interior of the Cerato is likely to score some updates too, with the centrally mounted infotainment screen expected to grow from the current 8.0 inches to a big 10.25 inches, mirroring that of Kia’s sister brand Hyundai and its recently overhauled i30.
A digital dash is also predicted, as is an updated multimedia operating system.
It's anticipated that a host of advanced driver assistance aids will be equipped in the Cerato, including radar-guided cruise control and an assisted steering system.
Nothing has been confirmed regarding drivetrain updates, however, the Hyundai group's heavily upgraded ‘SmartStream’ engines are expected to feature.
We’ll have to wait a few weeks for any new details on the new Cerato hatch and sedan. Be sure to watch this space and circle back to WhichCar for more information.