2025 Kia K4 Photos, engines & full specs

Segment: Compact
Infotainment: Apple CarPlay icon Apple CarPlay   Android Auto icon Android Auto  
Production years: 2024

KIA K4 2024 14 Photos
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Kia stormed the doors of the 2024 New York International Auto Show with the fourth generation of its compact sedan, aiming for the global market with a sporty-looking vehicle and promising interiors.

The Korean automaker tried to create its spot in the compact sedan segment with the Spectra in 1992, but its success was nothing to write home about. But it has its credits as being the first Kia sold in the U.S. as a 1994 model year. Despite poor sales, the automaker didn't back down and pushed harder, albeit with different nameplates. In 1997, it revealed the second generation of this moniker. It was a clear evolution, and Mazda helped Kia to develop it. Then, in 2003, the Spectra (Sephia on other markets) changed its name to the Forte or the Cerato, depending on the market, and continued for three other generations until 2024, when the automaker aligned its compact sedan nameplate to the rest of the range and became the K4. It was a long road to that, but the car had already reached its maturity and was considered a serious contender to the Mazda 3, its former source of inspiration and helper.

With front styling that differed depending on the grades, the K4 featured LED headlights flanking a narrow grille that sported the "Tiger nose" design element. For the GT-Line and GT-Line Turbo trim levels, the center gap was narrower than on the other three grades, the LX, LXS, and EX. But all versions featured the same Y-shaped daytime running light covering the bumper's lower side, the headlights' upper edge, and part of the front fenders.

From its profile, the K4 looked like a hatchback because of its long, sloped-down rear window. But in fact, it was a classic sedan with an independently opening trunk lid. The design team penned it that way to look more dynamic, and the result was surprisingly good. To emphasize the coupe shape, the designers concealed the rear doors' handles into the C-posts. Also, depending on the trim level, the K4 sported black trims around wheel arches and black side sills. At the back, the K4 featured L-shaped LED taillights that emerged from the quarter panels onto the trunk lid, while a diffuser-like black plastic element adorned the lower side of the bumper.

Inside, Kia went all-in, trying to provide customers with a premium-inspired cabin. The dashboard sported a pair of screens covered by the same piece of glass. As expected, the one fronting the driver was for the instrument panel. At the same time, the one placed atop the center stack was the touchscreen for the infotainment system. The first three grades featured a two-spoke steering wheel with a hexagonal shape, and those who opted for the GT-Line trim got a three-spoke one. Furthermore, since the upper two variants were tuned for a sporty feeling, they featured high-bolstered seats for improved side support. In the back, thanks to the vehicle's long wheelbase compared to other compact-sized sedans, there was enough room for three passengers, with adequate legroom and headroom.

Under the hood, the 2025 K4 carried over the engines from the previous Kia Forte, albeit slightly modified. The base version was a two-liter, 147 hp (149 PS) engine paired with a CVT, while the GT-Line Turbo came equipped with a 1.6-liter turbo that provided 190 hp (193 PS) mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission that replaced the previous seven-speed dual-clutch one. The K4 was no longer available with a three-pedal setup.

press release
KIA K4 2024
  2 engines
  • 1.6L Turbo
  • 2.0L Turbo

1.6L Turbo

2.0L Turbo

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