2025 Kia K4 Is Bigger Than the Forte but Loses the Stick

2025 kia k4
2025 Kia K4 Is Bigger but Loses the StickKia
  • The 2025 Kia K4 was revealed at the 2024 New York International Auto Show.

  • The compact Kia K4 is taking the place of Kia’s Forte in the portfolio and follows the same alphanumeric naming convention found on the Kia K5.

  • The Kia K4 packs a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter or a turbocharged 1.6-liter I4 under the hood.

At the 2024 New York International Auto Show, Kia finally revealed all of the specs about the upcoming Forte replacement. The ’25 K4 will be larger than the Forte, but the company will carry over the Forte’s powertrains. Kia won’t be rolling the K4 out with the six-speed manual, but Kia Is reviving the hatchback version of its compact machine.


Dimensionally, the K4 is 185.4-inches long and 72.8-inches wide. For those curious, that’s larger than the current Forte in both directions, by 2.7 inches in length and 1.9 in width. Taking advantage of this extra length, Kia stretched the wheelbase to 107.1-inches, which is 0.8-inches longer than the outgoing Forte.

Powering the K4 is still either a 2.0-liter I4 or a turbocharged 1.6-liter I4. As for power, the base model’s 2.0-liter still breaths naturally and throws its 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque through Kia’s intelligently variable transmission. The more potent turbocharged 1.6-liter I4 turns out 190 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

While the base engine is effectively unchanged, the turbocharged 1.6-liter loses 11 hp in the transition from the Forte. Also missing is the six-speed manual that you can currently snag in the Forte GT Manual trim.

On the inside, the K4 offers 2.3-inches more rear legroom than the Forte but shrinks rear headroom by 0.2-inches. Also shrinking is the trunk space, which is down to 14.6 cubic feet from 15.3 cubic feet.

However, one of the most important dimensions for the K4 is the 30 inches of digital screen space sitting on the dash. This span comes from the pair of 12.3-inch driver displays and media screens, and the 5-inches of climate control screen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also joining the cabin as standard equipment.

kia k4 hatch
The Kia K4 five-door.Kia

Adding to these updates is the return of a compact hatchback in the Kia lineup. Announced during the New York auto show reveal, Kia confirmed that there is a five-door version of the K4 in the works. The company didn’t give timelines on its arrival but did show off the model.

Speaking of timelines, Kia says you can expect the K4 to hit your local dealer in the second half of 2024. Pricing is still locked away in a filing cabinet at Kia HQ, but we’re expecting a small bump from the current $21,145 base Forte price.

What do you think of the K4 five-door? Tell us your thoughts below.