The Kia K4 Already Looks Like A Big Step Up

It hasn’t officially been said yet, but the Kia Forte is likely headed to the grave. What can be seen in the images here is its replacement- the Kia K4. As the name suggests, it’ll not only serve as the replacement for the aging Forte but fit more neatly into the Kia lineup beneath the K5. While we don’t have hard specifics yet, Kia did unveil the car’s full design today, and the updates over the outgoing Forte are easy to see.

The K4’s exterior design is wholly different from the Forte, with lighting arrangements placed way out towards the sides of the car. On the whole, it’s a much more direct reflection of Kia’s current design language, and we see cars like the K5 and EV9 in the K4’s design language. More concrete physical changes include relocating the rear passenger door handle to the C-pillar, and a more fast-back shape. It isn’t clear yet if the K4 will be a fastback, though.

Inside, things are a similarly massive departure from the outgoing Forte. The interior design makes use of many existing Kia staples, from the split screens behind a single frame to the switchgear. Notably, there are updates to the climate controls as compared to some existing Kia products. Here, it looks like only temperature and fan speed will be accessible via hard controls, with the rest of the climate system menus kept in the main screen. This is likely a cost-cutting measure, but at least the important physical controls have been retained. Ideally, the production car will have some for heated and cooled surfaces too. A range of ambient lighting options will be available, and the system’s UI looks to be different from other Kias too. Further details on the K4 will be coming when the car is fully revealed at the New York International Auto Show on March 27, 2024.

Learn more about the car the K4 is set to replace, the Kia Forte.

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Chase Bierenkoven
Chase Bierenkoven

Chase is an automotive journalist with years of experience in the industry. He writes for outlets like Edmunds and AutoGuide, among many others. When not writing, Chase is in front of the camera over at The Overrun, his YouTube channel run alongside his friend and co-host Jobe Teehan. If he's not writing reviews of the latest in cars or producing industry coverage, Chase is at home in the driver's seat of his own (usually German) sports cars.

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