2025 Kia K4. Image courtesy of Kia

Rejoice! The New Kia K4!

The 2025 Kia K4 replaces the Forte as its new generation compact sedan. It includes two engines, two rear suspensions, and nearly 30-in of screens inside.

Kia recently introduced the replacement to its Forte compact sedan, the Kia K4, which is coming later this year as a 2025 model year compact. Kia calls it a fourth-generation compact sedan, making it, effectively the next Forte with a new name. The third and final generation Forte was new for the 2019 model year, which makes this a fast generation turnaround.

This also aligns perfectly with Kia replacing the Optima with the K5. That happened for the 2021 model year. And this new K4 looks a lot like a shrunken K5 too.

You see it especially in profile, whereas the Forte maintained a traditional sedan profile, the K4 joins the K5 with a fastback shape, with a long sloping rear windshield meeting the body just inches before falling toward the taillights. The Forte looked perfectly pleasant, but this is a step up in styling, to be sure.

It is also bigger, Kia did not release full specs, but says the K4 is 185.4-in long, 2.7 longer than the Forte and 72.8-in wide, 1.9-in wider than the Forte.

There will be five trims of K4: LX, LXS, EX, GT-Line and GT-Line Turbo, which is similar, but not the same as the 2024 Forte, and a manual option is noticeably absent. Sad face.

2025 Kia K4. Image courtesy of Kia
2025 Kia K4. Image courtesy of Kia

The Standard engine is a 2.0-liter inline-four making 147 HP and 132 lb.-ft. Kia paired it with a continuously variable transmission. Kia also offers a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four. It produces 190 HP and 195 lb.-ft, and is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Kia did not yet release fuel economy, but I expect it to effectively match the 2024 Kia Forte, as the same 2.0-liter and CVT was offered on the lower Forte trims, and a very similar turbo 1.6-liter, albeit with a different transmission. The Forte’s numbers (excluding manual) ranged from 27-30 mpg in the city, 35-41 on the highway, 30-34 combined.

Inside, you’ll get three screens as standard equipment, which Kia calls integrated digital instrumentation. It spans nearly 30-inch across and is made up of a 12.3-in instrument cluster, a 5-in climate display, and a second 12.3-inch center display.

2025 Kia K4. Image courtesy of Kia
2025 Kia K4 Interior. Image courtesy of Kia

The K4 also gets standard Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Kia will install heated and ventilated front seats, if you check the right trim and options boxes.

One curiosity, it appears that Kia will offer two different rear suspensions. I cannot yet confirm, but presume Kia uses a strut suspension up front, just like the Forte. But the GT-Line and GT Line Turbo will get a multilink rear suspension, which is almost always an independent geometry.

The Kia Forte used a Torsion beam solid rear axle across the lineup, so that would be an upgrade for the GT-Line and GT-line Turbo trims. Something to keep an eye on, once full specs are revealed.

Kia included tons of driving aids, of course. For example: standard adaptive cruise control, which Kia calls smart cruise control, speed limit assist, and lane keeping assist. The K4 GT-Line Turbo trim will get even more driving aids.

2025 Kia K4. Image courtesy of Kia
2025 Kia K4. Image courtesy of Kia

Expect to see the 2025 Kia K4 arrive at dealers sometime later this year, Kia said “second half” of the year, I guess that means late summer, early fall. And Kia will tell us more, like pricing closer to that arrival date, but you can bet cost not to veer to far from the Forte’s low 20s starting price.

And I have to say I’m looking forward to reviewing this new Kia. Yes, Enthusiasts like me feel sad to see a manual option go away. But the fact Kia still engineered a new compact cars to drive is itself rare. Moreover, if it’s a nice suspension on the GT-Line models, the K4 could drive really well.

Fingers crossed.I know this much, as soon as I find out, I’ll be sure to share.

Nissan has a new generation Kicks on the way, check it out here

Learn more about the Kia K4 here





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