2025 Kia K4 Review: Prices, Specs, and Photos

We’ll update this preview of the compact car formerly known as the Kia Forte when we drive the 2025 Kia K4 this summer. 

What kind of vehicle is the 2025 Kia K4? What does it compare to?

The 2025 Kia K4 replaces the Kia Forte. It competes with a small but robust batch of compact sedans including the Hyundai Elantra, Honda Civic, and Toyota Corolla, but excluding any domestic makes. 

Is the 2025 Kia K4 a good car?

The new 2025 Kia K4’s forte promises to be its sharp looks, roomy interior, long warranty, and, historically, its overall value. We won’t know until we drive Kia’s fourth-generation compact sedan this summer, but it should improve on the Forte’s TCC Rating of 5.8 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2025 Kia K4?

The fourth-generation compact sedan from Kia is mostly new, but it looks nothing like the Forte. It’s larger, wider, and roomier than its predecessor, but its fastback profile cuts into trunk space. The brand’s dog-bone grille stretches thinner and wider, and sits over a blockier lower grille. The headlight housings wrap around the fender to nearly midway above the wheel, and the amber running light makes it look like a bird in flight, with its wing as the vertical part. Kia said it borrows from the flagship EV9 three-row electric SUV, and that continues with the vertical part of the taillight that cuts 90 degrees across the trunk. Rear fender lines sweep up to the rear, but that sleek rear third comes undone at the quarter window behind beyond the rear door handles recessed in the window frame. 

The interior takes an even greater leap than the interior. The dash sits low and stretches end to end with a band of vents separating climate and fan speed buttons from a menu bar operating the centerpiece of the new interior: an available 30-inch digital display stretching from the driver nearly to the passenger side. It consists of a 12.3-inch instrument cluster, a 5.0-inch climate display that might be blocked in part by the steering wheel, and a 12.3-inch center touchscreen. It doesn’t overwhelm like some tablet-sized touchscreens, and there’s still a mechanical shifter in the center console, which has two deep adjustable cupholders. An available smartphone charger sits in front of the shifter and below a small panel of ports. It appears cramped getting the phone in and out, which might be a good thing to avoid distraction while driving, but we won’t know how it fits until we test it. 

2025 Kia K4 engine options 

The base 2.0-liter inline-4 carries over, making 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. It uses a continuously variable transmission to send power to the front wheels. We haven’t been a fan of this setup in the past, faulting it for being dull and loud, but we’ll see how the new body carries it. 

The GT-Line Turbo uses a 1.6-liter turbo-4 making 190 hp and 195 lb-ft; the previous turbo-4 made 201 hp. It has an 8-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel paddles, and both the Turbo and the GT-Line lite swap out a torsion-beam rear axle for a multi-link independent suspension that should settle the rear more. The front axle is bound by struts. 

Kia says models with 18-inch wheels–the two GT-Line options—have an available acoustic windshield to limit wind noise, and “acoustic” tires, though we’ve never heard that term before. 

Full specs and an EPA estimate will be available closer to launch, but we don’t expect it to be better than the 33 mpg combined of the 2024 model. 

How big is the 2025 Kia K4?

It seats up to five passengers, but four should be the limit. It’s 2.7 inches longer, nearly two inches wider, and roomier, with 38.0 inches of rear legroom. That’s crossover-sized space for rear riders, though the 37.3 inches of headroom could turn off some 6-footers. The trunk loses nearly a foot with 14.6 cubic feet of space. 

How safe is the 2025 Kia K4?

Crash testing isn’t complete yet, but Kia equips it better than most offerings in this segment. Standard driver-assist features include adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitors, and active lane control. 

Options include a limited hands-free driving system, an automatic emergency braking and steering system for potential collisions from the side such as at an intersection, blind-spot cameras, and a surround-view camera system. 

How much does the 2025 Kia K4 cost?

Pricing will be announced nearer the summer release date. Expect an increase from the outgoing model’s $20,915 starting price. 

Standard features include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and the broad digital interface mentioned above, while options range from heated to cooled seats and a digital key. 

Where is the 2025 Kia K4 made?

In South Korea and Mexico.

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