Kia Cerato

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Kia Cerato
2004-2006 Kia Spectra LX.jpg
Manufacturer Kia Motors
Production 2003-present
Body and chassis
Class Compact car
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Predecessor Kia Sephia
Successor Kia Forte
Kia Cee'd (Europe)

The Kia Cerato (also known as Kia Spectra in the United States) is a compact car produced by the South Korean automaker Kia Motors since 2003. In 2008, the Cerato was replaced by the Kia Forte, however, the "Cerato" name continues to be used in some markets.

First generation (2003–2008)[edit]

First generation (LD)
Kia Cerato front 20080131.jpg
Also called
Production 2003–2008
2003–present (China)[1]
Model years 2004–2009
Assembly South Korea: Hwaseong (Hwaseong Plant)
China: Yancheng (Yancheng Plant) (DYK)
Malaysia: Gurun (NAM)
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door sedan
5-door hatchback
Platform Hyundai-Kia J3 platform
Related Kia Carens
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,610 mm (102.8 in)
Length 2003–06 sedan: 4,480 mm (176.4 in)
2006–08 sedans: 4,500 mm (177.2 in)
2003–06 hatchback: 4,341 mm (170.9 in)
2006–09 hatchback: 4,350 mm (171.3 in)
Width 1,735 mm (68.3 in)
Height 1,470 mm (57.9 in)
Successor Kia Cee'd (hatchback)

The Kia Cerato was introduced in South Korea in 2003, sharing a platform with the Hyundai Elantra (XD) and using Hyundai's Beta II (G4GC) (CVVT-enabled) four-cylinder engine.

It replaced the Sephia/Mentor saloon and Shuma hatchback.

In North America, the "Spectra" name was used when introduced for the 2004 model year, with "Spectra5" designating the hatchback. For Latin American markets, the Cerato was still named Sephia until 2005, when it was discontinued in favor of the name Spectra. In Europe, the Cerato was replaced by the Kia Cee'd.


In 2006 a facelift version was introduced, including revised "GAMMA" engines. Stylistically, the bumper and headlamps lost their pronounced crease near the grille area, the trunk lid became more rounded, and the taillights were reshaped.

Second generation (2008–2013)[edit]

Kia Cerato (second generation)
Kia Cerato (second generation)

The second generation Kia Cerato was launched in South Korea in late 2008 under the Kia Forte name – a name that was used in most international markets. The "Cerato" name has been retained in some markets, such as Australia, Iran, South Africa and Brazil. In Singapore, the second generation model is badged "Kia Cerato Forte".[2]

Third generation (2013–present)[edit]

Kia Cerato (Third generation)
Kia Cerato (Third generation)

In July 2012, Kia unveiled the next-generation Cerato as the Korean-market Kia K3.[3] The sedan will be sold in the United States as Forte, available starting from mid-2013. A coupe and five-door hatchback will be released later on.

The new Cerato is produced in South Korea at Kia's Hwasung Plant and in Mexico at Kia's Pesquería Plant.


  1. ^ "Cerato". DYK. Retrieved 2017-04-14. 
  2. ^ "Kia launches the new Cerato Forte". iCars Singapore. 2009-01-31. Archived from the original on 2011-10-06. Retrieved 2010-10-30. 
  3. ^ "2014 Kia Forte Unveiled, Heading to America Early Next Year". 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2012-09-08.