Facelifted Kia Cerato arrives in Singapore in August

2021 Kia Cerato sedan facelift Singapore

Kia Singapore’s popular mainstream sedan will have a more aggressive design, tech improvements in the cabin,

UPDATE August 06 2021: The new Cerato is here! Read our launch story and our full test drive review.

We walk you through the new 2021 Cerato here!

SINGAPORE – The Kia Cerato, the ubiquitous mainstay sedan of the Korean brand’s model lineup, has a facelifted model that’s due here in August 2021.

The facelift was first revealed in April this year, and while there is no official press release nor hi-res images, the car has already gone on sale in Korea and Australia.

Our guess is, the car will be sold in Singapore with a GT Line spec as the headline model, and the base ‘EX” model trim as the cheaper option. With this being a facelift, we also do not expect any major mechanical changes, so a the current 1.6-litre non-turbo should still be found under the bonnet. As it is with any early report, the images shown here are of Korean and Australian spec cars, so the final spec for Singapore may differ.

As typical of a mid-life facelift, the front end receives the most attention. Compare the existing car below in white, to the facelifted in car in blue-gray.

Current model Kia Cerato Sedan
2021 Facelift Kia Cerato sedan

The front end looks sportier and more aggro thanks to the usual bag of design tricks. The full LED headlights now have three segments within, with six DRL sections above and below. Notice that the Kia Tiger Grille now blends directly into the bodywork without a chrome surround – this matches newer Kias like the Sorento and Carnival – and also ‘flows’ right into the headlamps, which make the car look wider and more coherent.

Below this is a pair of new angular LED foglights, a larger, unified air-intake section in gloss black, and side vents for brake cooling/smoother airflow. There are also new design 16- and 17-inch wheels.

Given the Cerato was one of the first Kias to join its tail-lights, visually, it doubles down on this trendy design feature (seen on anything from Audis to Porsches to Toyotas).

Read our Best Of Mainstream Sedans guide and see how the current Cerato fares against the competition

Here’s the five-door hatch in Australia’s GT Line spec in Horizon Blue

There is also a five-door hatchback version, but in line with the current-gen model that is not likely to be offered here because of Singapore’s preference for the sedan body shape. As we see from the photo above though, the GT Line spec could include the same red-highlights as design touches – on the grille, lower front, and wheels.

For Oz, there is an entry-level 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine with 150hp, and a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine option with 201hp, but it very unlikely we will receive those engine options.

The current 1.6-litre non-turbo engine will continue duty under the Cerato’s bonnet

Powering the Cerato is a 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated engine – Korea’s spec claims 123hp and 6.5L/100km which is spot on with the existing car, so expect performance to be identical this time around. That means 0-100km/h in around 12 seconds and a top speed of 195km/h.

The interior design and layout remains largely unchanged, with the key differences being the screens: There’s a new 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen, and a 10.25-inch active instrument panel. The current Cerato has an 8.0-inch touchscreen, and conventional dials.

Both should add a technological edge to the Cerato’s cabin, with digital instruments becoming increasingly widespread even in mainstream cars now.

Where the Cerato gets another boost is active safety – in the years since the current model’s debut in 2018, we’ve seen active safety systems take off and are now one of the things you should expect in almost any car, no matter the price.

Like the systems seen in larger Kias, this will include: AEB (forward collision warning/mitigation), blind spot monitoring/collision avoidance, rear cross traffic alert/avoidance, and Safe Exit Warning, which will buzz you if you open the door and there’s a vehicle approaching.

The tech features should be standard in the higher spec car, which should also pack all the goodies as is now Kia tradition, and that includes a sunroof, air-conditioned seats, electrically-adjustable seats, and more.

If you can’t wait to see what else the facelifted Cerato packs, and can read Korean, check out Kia’s Korean homepage for the K3, which is the Cerato/Forte’s domestic name.

Our walkthrough of the current model Cerato shows you what to expect

about the author

Derryn Wong
CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong