The Kia Forte compact sedan is a pleasantly styled and attractively priced alternative to the likes of the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. However, the car lacks the design flair of some of Kia's newer offerings, making it hard to stand out in its class.
Kia appears to be addressing the shortcoming with its redesigned Forte, a prototype for which has been spotted for the first time.
The prototype points to a sportier, fastback design for the new Forte. The new generation also appears to be growing in size, and we can see designers have mounted the rear door handles on the C-pillars.
The new Forte is due out later this year as a 2025 model in the U.S., and may be called the K4, similar to how the larger Optima sedan was rebranded as the K5 for its latest generation.
2025 Kia K4 (Forte) spy shots - Photo credit: Baldauf
The current Forte is sold elsewhere as a K3, but Kia has introduced a separate compact sedan called the K3 in some markets. The K3 is a low-cost offering aimed at developing markets, whereas the K4 should feature a more premium design, inside and out.
The switch to the K4 name would also align the redesigned Forte with a planned EV4 electric hatchback also in the works. The EV4 was previewed with a concept last fall.
Exhaust tips at the rear of the prototype confirm an internal-combustion engine will feature in the K4. The best guess is either a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder or a 1.6-liter turbo-4. A hybrid option using the 1.6-liter engine may be possible. The current Forte offers up to 201 hp from a 1.6-liter turbo-4.
Stay tuned for updates as development continues.