News of a styling update for the compact Korean came in August, when Kia Australia communications manager Kevin Hepworth told CarAdvice that buyers can expect “quite significant” changes.
These new spy photos, published to Korean website bobaedream.co.kr, reveal that the sedan body will pick up an all-new headlight design, with the large bubble eyes of the current model swapped out for a long slender design that wraps back along the bonnet and front quarter.
The Cerato’s grille has also been updated, with the multi-pointed back-swept design of the 2015 model dropped for an upright and more familiar version of Kia’s ‘tiger-nose’ design.
The front-end makeover is rounded out with a new-look bumper that features a long lower grille, flanked by framed fog lights and faux intakes at each corner.
Changes at the rear are far less distinct, with the shape of the current model’s tail-lamps carrying over largely unchanged, although a dark new lens finish and lightly updated internals can be seen here.
The sedan’s hatch-backed sibling is still to appear, but we might see that model pick up a more extensive rear-end update.
Also not spied here is the refreshed Cerato’s cabin, although Hepworth described “big interior changes” for the 2016 model.
Above: the Cerato in its current form.
Exact timing for the updated Cerato’s Australian launch is still to be confirmed, but a “mid to late second quarter” arrival is expected. The 2016 model’s debut will follow the compact Picanto and the all-new Sportage.
The current Cerato has found some steam in the Australian market this year, with sales figures at the end of October sitting at 8671, compared to 5504 for the same period in 2015.