All-New 2025 Kia K4 Looks Sharp But Offers No AWD or Hybrid Option

SUVs may rule the road, but traditional passenger cars are still fighting. Case in point: the all-new 2025 Kia K4 that is making its global debut today at the New York Auto Show.

This model is set to replace both the compact Forte and the midsize K5. In Canada, it will be available in five trim levels including LX, EX, EX+, GT-Line Turbo and GT-Line Turbo Tech.

Distinctive Looks

With a wide range of drivers to appeal to, the Kia K4 is significantly larger than the outgoing Forte. At 4,779 mm long and 1,849 mm wide, it trumps every other compact sedan out there. Styling embodies another expression of the brand’s “Opposites United” design language under the supervision of Canada’s own Karim Habib, who’s the head of global design at Kia.

There’s definitely something polarizing about the exterior—either you’ll like it or you won’t—but one thing’s for sure: at a time when many vehicles all look the same, Kia’s latest products arrive like a breath of fresh air. The all-electric EV9 is a prime example. Of course, the new K4 is not as bold as the EV4 Concept that was unveiled last fall in Seoul, but it shows plenty of character nonetheless.  

Photo: Kia

The K4 looks like a coupe with that fastback design and the rear door handles hidden within the window surrounds. Cargo capacity is 413 litres, but the very short trunk lid won’t help with loading and unloading items. Up front, the lighting signature is reminiscent of other new Kia models such as the 2024 Sorento and 2025 Carnival.

In GT-Line Turbo trim, a gloss black finish can be found from nose to tail, including the mirror caps and rocker panels. The GT-Line Turbo Tech adds 18-inch alloy wheels and LED headlights with integrated fog lights.  

Nearly 30 Inches of Digital Real Estate

The interior of the Kia K4 features the ultra-modern Connected Car Navigation Cockpit (ccNC) operating system with OTA capability, which first debuted in the flagship EV9. It projects across a combined nearly 30 inches of a digital display command centre. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard on all K4 models.

Photo: Kia

An available Digital Key 2.0 with Ultra Wideband allows customers to use their compatible smart device as virtual vehicle keys to lock, unlock and drive. These keys can even be shared with friends and family over text messages. By the way, a three-spoke steering wheel is unique to GT-Line models.

Familiar Engines

Under the hood of the Kia K4, engine selection is carried over from the Forte. This includes a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine producing 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque via a continuously variable transmission as standard. The alternative is a turbocharged 1.6-litre mill that delivers 190 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission.  

The GT-Line Turbo Tech model benefits from a multi-link rear suspension enhancing control and handling. Sadly, all K4s come with front-wheel drive only, with no AWD option anywhere. Likewise, don’t look for a hybrid variant because there isn’t any, at least not for Canada.

The 2025 Kia K4 will go on sale in the second half of this year, with prices to be announced closer to launch. It will be followed by a hatchback variant as a replacement for the Forte5.

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