The new Cerato continues the evolution of Kia's new styling themes, drawing characteristics from the light Rio, along with the overseas Cee'd and Quoris models. The new Rondo, due here in 2013, follows the same formula.
Kia designer Kurt Hall, working under chief styling maestro Peter Schreyer, focused on developing a coupe-like look for the new Cerato, with a cab-forward design and a rising belt line.
The new small car is larger than its predecessor, measuring 30mm longer at 4560mm and riding on a 51mm longer 2700mm wheelbase.
The 2013 model is 5mm wider at 1780mm, and 14mm lower at 1435mm, lending the sedan a more sporting look. Practicality remains a focus however, with boot capacity now up to 421 litres.
Ensuring greater legroom in the cabin, the stretched wheelbase is 50mm longer than the new Hyundai i30 hatch, and just 50mm short of the new Rondo wagon.
In fact, the new Cerato's wheelbase equals that of the mostly-new 2013 Sorento SUV.
Interior comfort is improved further thanks to a lower floor and seat position, along with wider front seat cushions with increased thigh support.
“Cerato has become our brand’s biggest-selling export vehicle, so the introduction of this third-generation model is a major event for Kia,” Thomas Oh, Kia’s Executive Vice President & COO of the International Business Division, said.
"It is a bold demonstration that we continue to be determined to deliver cars which exceed customer expectations and provide a rewarding ownership experience."
In Korea, the new Cerato gets Hyundai Kia's 103kW/167Nm 1.6 litre petrol engine, but we can likely expect the updated 118kW 2.0 litre 'Nu' engine.
Internationally, transmissions include six-speed manual and automatic options.
Features in the new Cerato include 10-way powered and ventilated driver’s seat, heated front and rear seats, leather upholstery, powered glass tilt-and-slide sunroof, smart keyless entry with engine start/stop button, Xenon headlamps, Bluetooth hands-free system with remote controls, manual and dual-zone climate control automatic air-conditioning.
A choice of black one-tone and gray two-tone cloth or leather upholstery, and two optional ‘colour packs’ featuring brown and black or white and black leather, will be offered.
Watch for more details on the new Cerato as it nears its Australian launch early next year.