Called the Kia Forte in the US, the Cerato sedan will reach Australia in April next year ahead of the five-door hatch that will follow around the middle of 2013.
The all-new two-door Kia Cerato Koup will complete the three-model line-up before the end of 2013, and the prospects for a turbocharged version to arrive either at launch or soon after appear good.
The new Cerato was designed in California and the car's head designer, Kurt Hall, says it aims to follow in the footsteps of the Optima and new Soul to stand out and be noticed.
Kia claims the Cerato is not only longer (by 30mm), lower (15mm) and wider (5mm) than the previous model but its also makes use of 37 per cent more high-strength steel.
In North America the Cerato will be offered with 1.8- and 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines. It’s likely that Australia will see only the current 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine (115kW of power and 194Nm of torque) and six-speed manual and automatic transmissions carry over with improvements.
The so-far-unseen next-generation Cerato Koup will make use of the same engine, with the unconfirmed high-performance variant likely to feature the same 1.6-litre direct injection turbocharged engine as the Hyundai Veloster Turbo.
Australian specifications of the 2013 Kia Cerato sedan are unconfirmed at this stage. The North American-market base model gets SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth connectivity and heated side mirrors. Kia will also offer an optional 'Eco package' that will add stop-start engine technology to enhance fuel efficiency.
The higher-end Cerato models get Kia’s next-generation UVO in-vehicle infotainment system (unlikely to ever make it to Australia) with eServices, which allows owners to use their smartphones to control many features of the car. One of the interesting things you can do with eServices is set borders around certain locations via the car’s GPS, so if the vehicle enters a certain suburb, for example, it will alert the owner’s phone.
A technology package will offer HID headlights, LED tail-lights, a 4.2-inch color LCD cluster screen and dual-zone climate control with rear-seat ventilation.
More local information regarding the 2013 Kia Cerato will be released early next year.