2021 Kia K3 facelift revealed – updated Cerato/Forte gets new styling; launching in South Korea this April

Kia has released official images of the facelifted K3 (also known as the Cerato and Forte), which is set to go on sale in South Korea this April. The third-generation C-segment sedan was first revealed back in 2018, and the update appears to draw inspiration from the brand’s first fully electric vehicle, the EV6.

This is most evident at the front with the daytime running lights, which feature a dashed line pattern at the top and bottom of the headlamp clusters. This replaces the Porsche-esque, four-point design previously, and the headlamps themselves have been redesigned to be slimmer as a result.

Elsewhere, the brand’s trademark “tiger nose” grille has been made smaller and widened to meet with the clusters, with chrome trim fitted to its base. Meanwhile, the lower intake is more angular and bookended by diagonal LED fog lamps, accompanied by triangular-shaped corner inlets with a vertical chrome strip.

At the rear, the K3’s taillights have been tweaked to carry the same dashed line as the DRLs, including for the light bar linking the two clusters. Further down, the rear apron gets a sizeable meshed section that is shaped to mimic the “tiger nose,” with trapezoidal pieces at the corners with the same strip seen up front. The rear reflector/fog lamps are also tucked further into the edges and occupy a smaller space than before.

While the exterior changes are immediately obvious, the interior remains largely familiar as before. However, there are some notable revisions, starting with the use of an electronic parking brake instead of a handbrake. The touchscreen infotainment screen is also new and integrates its physical controls within a single unit that sits above the centre air vents. For the driver, there’s a new instrument cluster and the steering wheel, and as with the outside, the new Kia logo is used.

In Korea, the pre-facelift K3 is available with a Smartstream 1.6 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine that makes 123 PS at 6,300 rpm and 154 Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm. The mill is mated to Kia’s Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT), which is a form of CVT that uses a chain belt and adaptive style shift logic. This setup could be carried over to the newly facelifted model.

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