Published on March 26th, 2024 | by Subhash Nair


All-New Kia K4 Debuts At NY Auto Show, Replaces K3

The Kia K4 debuts and it has quite the interesting design.

If you observe enough market launches, you’ll come to learn that bigger number = better. In the case of the new Kia K4, it replaces the Kia K3, sometimes known as the Forte or Cerato. While it remains to be seen if the K4 will sell better than the K3, but what is known is that it look a lot more upmarket and that’s a good start.

The Kia K4 used to be the name used for a Chinese-exclusive model but now it has been reclaimed for the global market, or at least for the North American market where this new entry was debuted.

Not many specifications were shared. We’re pretty sure it’s not an electric vehicle, but we can guess a hybrid powertrain will be offered. In terms of design, there’s plenty to talk about.

The Kia K4 takes the traditions of the 3-box sedan and adds a huge amount of flavour and character to it. Kia’s exterior design team refers to the exterior body language as ‘Twist Logic’. It incorporates aligned squares in a seemingly illogical way, creating an organic flow of light between the alternating squares and emphasizing the shape that runs through the entire body design.

The side profile shows a sweptback fastback style with hidden rear door handles and up front you find vertical headlamps pushed out to the extreme edges. Daytime running lights are integrated with horizontal chrome strips and you’ll find Kia’s star map lighting technology running a ‘constellation’ theme to create a new evolution of the Tiger Face. Around back, the lamps are also pushed towards the edges and there’s a prominent black bumper to underscore the red tail light strip. Underneath this is an air diffuser with a strong, graphical design.

“Every contour, curve and detail of the K4 has been carefully considered and crafted to adhere to Kia’s design philosophy, Opposites United, bringing together clean faceted surfacing and technological details in a bold, cohesive statement. Every aspect further strengthens the relationship between brand and design,” says Karim Habib, Executive Vice President, and head of Kia Global Design. “With the design of the K4, we are building on what we’ve learnt and making those values accessible to even more people, by bringing a product that is relevant and meaningful, to inspire the way they think, move and live.”

Inside, the K4 features a driver-oriented cockpit with some unexpected details. The Kia logo on the steering is off centre and the driver’s side of the cabin is said to be more machine-like and technical while the passenger side is more welcoming and human-oriented. This plays into Kia’s whole “opposites united” design philosophy.

Kia K4 interior

The dasboard features a huge central screen with physical buttons kept to a minimum but they are still present and there’s even a rotary controller for quick access to certain functions. Kia is also promising some new seating trims, materials, patterns and colours for a more sophisticated and luxurious feel.

We have our doubts that the Kia K4 will be brought into Malaysia. Kia under Bermaz has been very strategic and deliberate about the cars they bring in.

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Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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