Kia’s more dramatically styled Cerato replacement has been spied testing in the US and Korea, and now the new sedan has been spotted on Australian roads.

    The 2025 Kia K4 is set to replace the current Cerato, known as the K3 in Korea and Forte in North America.

    It’s unclear when the new sedan will arrive here, but the presence of prototypes on Australian roads suggest it’ll feature a local suspension tune when it does launch.

    Images sent to CarExpert reveal prototypes that are still heavily shrouded in camouflage.

    However, we can make out the chunky, L-shaped tail lighting elements front and rear, plus distinctive wheels which are very on brand for Kia at the moment.

    Like the recently revealed K3 sedan, which is replacing the Rio in markets like Mexico, this prototype features a more fastback-style silhouette than the current Cerato sedan, with a steeply raked rear roofline.

    Unlike the K3 and larger K5 sedans, however, the rear door handles are concealed within the C-pillar.

    A hatchback may follow, as it did with the K3. The Cerato’s European cousin, the Ceed, is also due for replacement, and Kia could choose to merge the Cerato and Ceed together.

    The K4 appears larger than the current Cerato, which makes sense as the K3 has grown considerably compared to its Rio predecessor. In sedan guise, it’s now just 95mm shorter than the current Cerato and 35mm narrower.

    The Korean Car Blog reports the K4 will use the same platform as the Hyundai i30 Sedan, and like its corporate cousin it could offer a hybrid powertrain to battle the and Toyota Corolla.

    The K4 nameplate was previously used on a Chinese-market sedan, produced from 2014 to 2020, that slotted between the Cerato and Optima in size.

    Although it has axed the Rio hatchback locally and won’t bring the Mexican-built K3 here, Kia has committed to sticking around in the more affordable end of the passenger car market in Australia.

    Kia Australia chief executive officer Damien Meredith told CarExpert last year the small passenger vehicle segment has traditionally kept the company rolling.

    “I think our small passenger cars – Picanto, Rio, Cerato – formed the foundation for our growth,” said Mr Meredith.

    “[The small passenger car segment has] been really important to us, and specifically Picanto and Cerato will continue to be important to us.”

    “We are pretty confident that the Cerato and Picanto will continue to sell reasonably well over a long period of time.

    “They’re one of our great strengths. Where other manufacturers deserted [the small car] segment, we kept on going in those areas.”

    Last year, Kia sold 5795 Ceratos. Even though the brand overtook Hyundai in the sales race overall, the rival i30 comfortably outsold the Cerato with 20,626 sales, even besting the Toyota Corolla (19,986 sales).

    MORE: Everything Kia Cerato

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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