2025 Kia K4 Debuts With Fastback Styling, Advanced Safety Features & Available Turbocharged Power

2025 Kia K4 Summary Points

  • The all-new Kia K4 replaces the Forte in the South Korean automaker’s compact sedan lineup.

  • The 2025 Kia K4 features a mishmash of styling cues from its well-designed brethren like the K5, EV6, EV9, and the defunct-yet-exceptional Stinger.

  • “Succeeding in the compact segment means overdelivering on the features that customers want, and the K4 is designed to exceed expectations,” said Steven Center, COO and EVP of Kia America.

2025 Kia K4: What’s New?

The 2025 K4 replaces the value-packed Forte in Kia’s small car lineup, although it’s grown marginally to cement its intentions of challenging segment leaders like the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, and its Hyundai Elantra stablemate.

It’s 2.7 inches longer and about two inches wider than the outgoing Forte sedan, resulting in what the automaker claims are best-in-class numbers for rear headroom (37.3 cubic inches) and legroom (38 cubic inches). Furthermore, Kia claims the sleek rear end delivers 14.6 cubic feet of cargo room.

However, the growth spurt takes a literal backseat to the small-car interpretation of the brand’s Opposites United design philosophy, the same artistic discipline that makes new Kias like the K5 and EV6 the head-turners in their respective segments.

“The creative tension that the Opposites United design language stresses allowed us to improvise on the traditional three-box form factor,” said Tom Kearns, Chief Designer of Kia Design Center America. “By juxtaposing the K4’s fastback roofline and wide stance, we split the difference visually between the compact and midsize segments.”

2025 Kia K4.
2025 Kia K4. Photo: Kia Motors America.

Sleek, Fastback Body

The 2025 Kia K4 is coming to U.S. dealerships in a four-door sedan and five-door hatchback body style. Common to both are vertically oriented LED headlights and taillights inspired by the ones on an EV9 and a fastback rear, somewhat a salute to the high-performance Stinger.

Other unique design touches include hidden rear door handles and fancy lighting signatures in the front and rear. The sportier K4 GT-Line has gloss black exterior trim, a satin chrome beltline, black mirror caps, and 18-inch wheels. The K4 GT Line Turbo adds cube LED projector headlights, LED fog lights, and bespoke 18-inch alloy wheels.

2025 Kia K4 Powertrain

Powering the 2025 Kia K4 is a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated gasoline engine with 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft. of torque, a carryover from the outgoing Forte. The engine turns the front wheels using a continuously variable automatic that Kia calls IVT or Intelligently Variable Transmission.

Hotter variants of the 2025 Kia K4 receive an optional 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine that generates 190 horsepower and 195 lb-ft. of torque. It’s worth noting that the 2024 Forte GT has a 201-horsepower version of the same engine. During the 2025 K4’s reveal at the 2024 New York International Auto Show, a GT grade was not mentioned by Kia.

K4 turbo models have a front-wheel drivetrain and an eight-speed automatic with steering wheel paddle shifters. The GT-Line and GT-Line Turbo grades, which were mentioned in New York, have an exclusive multi-link rear suspension architecture with better lateral stiffness.

2025 Kia K4 interior layout.
2025 Kia K4 interior layout. Photo: Kia Motors America.

Interior Colors & Tech Features

The LX, LXS, and EX have a Medium Gray interior, while the EX comes in either Slate Green or Medium Gray. K4 GT-Line models feature an Onyx and off-white cabin, a three-spoke steering wheel, and standard heated front seats.

Ensuring a quieter ride is an optional acoustic windshield and acoustic tires on K4s with 18-inch wheels.

The 2025 Kia K4 has a standard digital instrument cluster and the brand’s connected Car Navigation Cockpit (ccNc) software with an available 30-inch screen that spans the dashboard. The system features wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, an AI-powered voice assistant, and a Quick Controls menu.

2025 Kia K4 Safety Features

The 2025 K4 has eight airbags (including new rear-side airbags) and an updated suite of advanced driver assistance features. Lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go are standard, while Forward Collision Avoidance 1.5 with haptic steering alerts is optional. Kia’s Forward Collision Avoidance 1.5 system can detect vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists in front of the K4.

Meanwhile, Kia’s Forward Collision Avoidance 2 is optional on GT-Line Turbo. As described by Kia, the system is engineered to detect crossing vehicles while passing through an intersection. Likewise, the system provides a degree of braking and/or steering inputs to help prevent certain collisions if it detects oncoming vehicles while passing another car.

Highway Driving Assist 2 is also available, which helps maintain a predetermined distance to the vehicle in front of the K4.

2025 Kia K4.
Photo: Kia Motors America.

Kia K4 Warranty

The 2025 Kia K4 will feature a five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Options are available to extend the warranty on any Kia vehicle, including the K4.

Kia K4 Starting MSRP

The 2025 Kia K4 will arrive in LX, LXS, EX, GT-Line, and GT-Line Turbo grades by mid-2024. The pricing details remain forthcoming, but we’re confident the K4’s starting MSRP will be marginally higher than the Forte’s sub-$20,000 base price.

Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.

Photos & Source: Kia Motors America.