The Forte is dead. Long live the K4. Kia will replace the compact sedan with a new car scheduled to debut on March 27 at the New York Auto Show. Kia will show the final design a week from today, but in the meantime these teaser images will have to make do. 

The 2025 Kia K4 already looks a lot different than the outgoing model. It shares some styling cues with the K3 introduced in August 2023, but that car isn't coming to the United States. We are getting the new K4, complete with droopy lights reminiscent of a Cadillac. We've tweaked the exposure and brightness of the official images to unlock more design details of Kia's Corolla fighter. That weird rear pillar we saw in spy shots and renderings is now confirmed.

2025 Kia K4 teasers

Eagle-eyed readers will notice the rear door handles are no longer where they're supposed to be, having been "hidden" at the base of the pillar. What comes after that is strange, with an oddly shaped quarter glass giving the illusion that it's partially hiding behind the quarter panel. It's certainly an unconventional design but not a surprise given Kia's recent string of daring designs.

The new K4 seems bigger than the Forte it's about to replace. It's the latest in a long string of sedans to adopt an alphanumeric designation. The K5 used to be the Optima while the Cadenza became the K7 before being subsequently replaced by the K8. Kia killed the Cadenza and K900 in the United States after the 2021 model year. The Stinger—which was technically a liftback/hatchback—is gone as well.

This upcoming sedan is likely to be heavily related to the Hyundai Elantra, which got a nip and tuck in mid-2023. The Forte replacement should remain affordable considering the outgoing car is one of the few remaining models priced at less than $20,000, although it crosses that threshold when you add destination fees.

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