The revised 2021 Kia Cerato line-up will be in Australia within months.

Kia Australia has confirmed its popular small car will get a mid-life refresh in May, and will continue to wear the Cerato name.

That bucks the brand’s global strategy to standardise nameplates, which would have seen the Cerato become the K3 as it’s known in South Korea.

Details of mechanical and technology upgrades are still to be confirmed, though we have an idea of what’s to come thanks to various reports and spy photos published by KoreanCarBlog.

Up front the new Cerato/K3 will get a revised face, sporting a new LED daytime running light signature similar to that on the Stonic and Stinger.

Headlights are likely to be full-LED units on higher grades.

The sedan prototype shown above also features different alloy wheels to what is offered currently, and the rear end is tipped to get mild revisions to the tail lights and bumpers for both body styles.

It’s unclear at this stage whether the new Cerato will move to the newer small car architecture debuted with the latest Hyundai i30 Sedan/Elantra, or stick with the current underpinnings shared with the i30 Hatch and European-market Ceed family.

Beyond the cosmetic changes, the new Kia Cerato is expected to offer new infotainment systems – including the new 10.25-inch touchscreen navigation unit being rolled out across the Hyundai/Kia portfolio – as well as upgraded driver assistance and active safety systems for Level 2 autonomy.

It’s also likely the Cerato will get revised ‘SmartStream’ versions of the current engine line-up, which should also bring improvements to fuel economy.

Whether the 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated models move to a CVT from the current six-speed auto is yet to be seen, though the move has already been made with the related Kia Seltos crossover and facelifted Hyundai Kona.

The range should again be topped by a turbocharged Cerato GT model available in both hatchback and sedan guises, running the familiar 1.6-litre turbo four with 150kW of power and 265Nm of torque mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Kia Australia has also confirmed the updated Cerato will be the first of its models Down Under to wear the company’s new logo, which was recently revealed alongside the brand’s new electrification plan with seven new EV models due by 2027.

The Cerato remains a top-three seller in the small passenger segment and Kia’s highest-volume nameplate in Australia, returning 1545 registrations in January 2021 for an 18.5 per cent share. Last year, 17,559 Ceratos found homes Down Under.

Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest.

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James Wong

James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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