A keen-eyed CarAdvice reader has snapped the all-new Kia Cerato hatchback in the Sydney Harbour Tunnel this week, giving us a first look at the standard version of the brand's local top seller.
UPDATE, 18/12/18: Kia Australia has confirmed pricing and specs for the Cerato hatch. Read more here
This appears to be an entry-level 'S' variant, wearing incandescent tail-lights and hub caps. It's also branded with rental company graphics too – nobirds.com.au (or Bayswater Car Rental) operates in Sydney and Perth.
Speaking with CarAdvice, Kia Australia was unable to offer further details of the new-generation hatchback, as it appears the rental company has received its first shipment before the company's local division has.
Above & Below: Kia K3 GT hatchback
The Australian arm added, though, that it is "very eager" to get the Cerato hatch on sale locally, which accounts for the majority of Cerato sales Down Under.
We'd expect the hatch range to largely mirror the sedan line-up in terms of trim levels and specification – including S, Sport, Sport+ and GT.
Power in the standard versions should come from a 112kW/192Nm 2.0-litre 'MPi' naturally-aspirated petrol engine, while the GT will get a 150kW/265Nm 1.6-litre turbo shared with the Hyundai i30 SR/N Line.
The former will likely be offered with a six-speed manual or six-speed auto, while the latter will definitely be offered with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto with the possibility of a six-speed manual, too.
Like the sedan, the Cerato hatch should be equipped with active safety tech like autonomous emergency braking and lane-keep assist across the range, with systems like blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control available optionally, or standard on higher grades.
The Cerato hatchback is scheduled for launch next month, coinciding with the 2019 Australian Open tennis Grand Slam, of which Kia is the major sponsor, meaning official details should come to hand in the next few weeks.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest, and let us know your thoughts in the comments!