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New Kia Cerato 2021 detailed! When the Mazda 3 and Hyundai i30 rival will get facelifted and what's in store

The facelifted Cerato should look something like this. (Image credit: AtchaCars)

Kia is busy preparing a facelift for the fourth-generation Cerato small car, and we now have an idea of what to expect and when.

The facelifted Mazda3 and Hyundai i30 rival is due in Australian showrooms in the second quarter, pointing to a reveal by the end of this year or in early 2021.

Given the pre-facelift Cerato’s staggered launch, it’s possible the sedan version of the facelifted model will be released ahead its hatchback sibling, with the former recently spied testing in South Korea, while the latter is yet to be caught making a public appearance.

According to Korean Car Blog, Kia has fast-tracked the Cerato’s facelift so it can better compete with sister brand Hyundai’s new-generation i30 sedan (nee Elantra).

It’s no surprise, then, that compared to the recently facelifted Stonic light SUV and Stinger large sedan, the Cerato is in line for a more comprehensive facelift.

Looking at images of the aforementioned camouflaged developmental mule from SHM, it’s clear the facelifted Cerato will deliver redesigned headlights, a new take on Kia’s signature ‘tiger nose’ grille and a tweaked bumper up front.

Fresh sets of alloy wheels will also be in tow for the facelift, while the Cerato’s tail-light graphics will be changed and its rear bumper’s turn signals will be enlarged.

Interior changes are expected to be less dramatic, with a 10.25-inch touchscreen (up from 8.0 inches) likely alongside Kia’s latest multimedia system, while a digital instrument cluster should also be introduced in the model.

The facelifted Cerato is also expected to get an expanded suite of advanced driver-assist systems, with adaptive cruise control likely to pair with steering assist to enable semi-autonomous highway driving.

New engine options are expected to be added to the Cerato as part of its facelift, with it likely to share them with the i30’s new-generation sedan and facelifted hatchback body-styles, including a ‘self-charging’ hybrid powertrain.

That said, it remains to be seen which engine options make it to Australia, with a carryover four-cylinder petrol range possible (112kW/192Nm 2.0-litre naturally aspirated and 150kW/265Nm 1.6-litre turbocharged units).