NEW: Get Updates by Email

First Look: 2025 Kia K4 – Taking the Compact Sedan to a New Level

by | March 27, 2024

Kia has a new compact sedan coming for the 2025 model year. It gets a new design, new features and new safety technology – and a new name, the Kia K4.

2025 Kia K4 replaces the Forte in Kia’s lineup.

Okay, it’s not the biggest surprise in the world, nor even at this year’s New York International Auto Show. Kia has been saying for some time that it would debut a replacement for the aging Forte sedan – and it recently confirmed the compact model would also be rebadged as the Kia K4. That’s in line with what happened when the Korean carmaker excised the Optima name for its midsize four-door in favor of the global K5 nameplate.

The design of the 2025 Kia K4 is bolder and more distinctive than the outgoing Forte – and it gets a very different take on the familiar Kia “tiger-nose” grille. The compact sedan picks up on design elements from several other recent Kia models, among other things, lifting the broad fenders of the EV6 battery-electric vehicle and the sharp, vertical lines of the Telluride SUV. The fastback roof, meanwhile, is likely to bring to mind the Kia Stinger.

A more up-market look and feel

2025 Kia K4 with lead designer Karim Habib

The move shouldn’t be surprising. Kia has steadily upgraded each new product coming to market in recent years, and the makeover of the K4 is particularly important at a time when sedan and coupe buyers continue migrating to SUVs and CUVs.

Overall, the K4 gets a more dynamic, sporty appearance, underscored by the Stinger-like fastback roofline. In terms of dimensions, the automaker notes, overall length is now 185.4 inches, and with a width of 72.8 inches, “the K4 is the widest and has the largest footprint in the compact segment.”

One of the biggest changes with the 2025 K4 can be seen up front. Ever since Peter Schreyer, the European designer best known for the Audi TT became Kia’s design chief in 2006 the brand has become known for its iconic “tiger-nose” grille. It’s downsized here, the new sedan’s snout now distinguished by a large air intake under the bumper, as well as more vertical headlights largely lifted from Telluride. The lighting theme is larger mirrored in the rear.

The overall design language, which Kia calls “Opposites United,” first appeared on the Carnival minivan, as well as the Sorrento SUV. A variation on the theme was adopted by the EV6 battery-electric vehicle and the newer EV9 3-row SUV.

New interior

2025 K4 interior doubles down on tech and style.

The new K4 adopts a markedly different interior, as well. There are subtle revisions, such as the flat-bottomed steering wheel. It rises out of a new, horizontally oriented instrument panel meant to emphasize the sedan’s width.

Twin digital displays – fitted under a single pane of glass, dominate the IP, the touchscreen atop the center stack handling most vehicle functions. Unlike Korean sibling Hyundai, Kia has foregone the idea of adding separate controls for the climate system. But there are hard buttons below the touchscreen to make it easy to move between functions or return to the home page.

What buyers may like most, though, is the added legroom in the rear seating area. Kia claims it’s class-leading, as is the new sedan’s headroom.

More Kia News


2025 Kia K5 - beauty shot

Four cylinder power continues to deliver power and efficency.

Two powertrains will be available for the 2025 Kia K4:

  • Standard fare is the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline-four making 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque;
  • Buyers can upgrade to a 1.6-liter turbo-four boosting output to 190 hp and 195 lb-ft on the K4 GT-Line Turbo package.

The 2.0-liter engine is mated to a continuously variable gearbox. The turbo-four gets an 8-speed automatic that can be manually shifted using paddles on the steering wheel.

Along with the engine upgrade, the K4 GT-Line and GT-Line Turbo packages get a new – and stiffer multi-link rear suspension, rather than the solid rear axle.


All versions of the 2025 Kia K4 now get LCD lighting.

Depending upon trim, the sedan is available with features like Digital Key 2.0. Apple and Samsung smartphone owners can operate their vehicles without having to bring along their keyfobs. They can also rely on an NFC-enabled smart card.

The K4 gets an expanded list of advanced driver assistance systems, including Forward Collision Avoidance, Evasive Steering Assist and more.

While Kia isn’t ready to release pricing for the 2025 K4, it says the new sedan will begin rolling into U.S. showrooms during the second half of this year.





Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List is Live!
Get Updates by Email

Get on our list to receive the latest automotive news in your inbox!

Invalid email address
I would like to receive:
Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Share This