Kia Australia’s top-selling model looks set to debut a new look very soon.

    The facelifted Kia Cerato has been spied in Korea, with images of a camouflaged prototype published by Korean Car Blog this week.

    Known as the Kia K3 in its home market, the Cerato’s mid-life refresh looks to be fairly subtle in terms of the design changes with a greater focus on enhancing the available assistance and infotainment tech.

    It’s reported the Cerato/K3 facelift is being fast-tracked to compete with the new Avante (aka i30 Sedan/Elantra) in Korea, and given the shared underpinnings Hyundai’s small sedan serves as an indication of what to expect from the updated Cerato.

    The Korean Car Blog expects the Cerato to pick up Hyundai and Kia’s latest safety technologies, including Highway Assist – a combination of lane-centring assist and adaptive cruise control for semi-autonomous highway driving – as well as an enhanced infotainment setup including a larger 10.25-inch central touchscreen and a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster.

    Further changes should be made under the bonnet, too, with revised ‘Smartstream’ versions of the current powertrain set for enhanced efficiency. Perhaps some form of electrification will debut, too, with the Elantra’s 103kW 1.6-litre hybrid option overseas a likely candidate should it be made available for Australia.

    As for timing, this prototype looks to be wearing production panels under the heavy disguise, suggesting a full reveal may not be far off. Kia is unveiling a slew of new and updated models at the moment, so a debut for the updated Cerato/K3 could happen within months.

    The current Cerato first hit the Australian market in 2018, meaning the refreshed model could go on sale within three years of this generation’s introduction.

    In 2020 the Cerato has cemented itself as Kia’s top-selling model in Australia, with 10,139 units sold to the end of July, well ahead of the Sportage (5978 units) and Seltos (4608 units) crossovers.

    The Cerato ranks third year-to-date (YTD) in the mainstream small passenger car class, too, accounting for 15.6 per cent of the segment’s overall volume behind the Toyota Corolla (24.2 per cent) and related Hyundai i30 (18.6 per cent).

    Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

    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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