2025 Kia K4 revealed as Cerato replacement

Meet the successor to the Kia Cerato, the company’s all-time Australian best seller, which wears a new name, design and option of hybrid power.

The 2025 Kia K4 – the successor to the Cerato hatch and sedan – has been unveiled ahead of Australian showroom arrivals expected by the end of this year, pending any delays.

The switch to the K4 name is intended to consolidate Kia’s global small-car line-up, which sees what Australia knows as the Cerato sold as the K3 or Forte in other countries – and a related vehicle called the Ceed sold in Europe.

First to be unveiled is the K4 sedan – which targets the North American market – ahead of a hatchback likely to follow at a later date, aimed at the European market.

Australian arrival timing is yet to be announced, however Drive has previously reported the sedan is expected to arrive later this year – built in Mexico, rather than South Korea as per today’s Cerato.

The hatchback is likely to follow about nine to 12 months later, if the roll-out of the current Cerato is a guide.

It will mark the end of the road for the Cerato badge, which has been affixed to more than 187,000 hatchbacks, sedans and coupes sold in Australia since 2004 – about 45,000 more than the next best seller, the smaller Rio.

The Kia K4 is believed to be underpinned by the same new-generation platform as the Hyundai i30 Sedan – as well as the Kia Niro and Hyundai Kona – and is expected to be significantly larger than the previous sedan.

The design draws cues from other new Kia models, including the EV5 and EV9 electric SUVs, with futuristic T-shaped LED headlights and C-shaped LED tail-lights connected across the tailgate.

The wheel arches are accentuated by sharp creases, while there’s a unique design to the rear window pillar, with metallic trim. A GT-Line model will be available, with sportier bumpers and larger wheels.

Inside, there are three screens in top-of-the-range models – two circa 10 to 12-inch screens for infotainment and instruments, and a smaller, circa-5.0-inch display between them for air-conditioning controls.

While the 5.0-inch screen handles most climate controls, there remain physical switches for air temperature and fan speed, as well as the audio volume and other key functions.

Visible features include dual-zone climate control, USB-C ports, a power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory, heated and ventilated front seats, leather-look upholstery, and Hyundai and Kia’s latest ‘ccNC’ infotainment software.

Kia is not disclosing details of the engine range until the New York motor show on March 27, however its siblings under the skin are available with 1.6-litre petrol-electric hybrid power to take on the Toyota Corolla.

Kia K4 GT-Line sketches.

If the hybrid is offered in the eventual Kia K4 hatch, and is sold in Australia, it would be among the first genuine rivals for the Toyota Corolla hybrid in the small-car class.

Using the i30 Sedan as a guide, other engine options are likely to include a 150kW/265Nm 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and a 110kW/180Nm 2.0-litre non-turbo petrol four-cylinder with a CVT auto.

The 1.6-litre turbo model would likely be badged GT-Line, given Kia has repositioned the GT badge for high-performance electric vehicles closer to Hyundai N models, than N Line variants.

The 2025 Kia K4 sedan is expected to arrive in Australian showrooms towards the end of this year, Drive understands. Further details are due on 27 March 2024.

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Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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