The replacement to the Kia Cerato has been officially teased for the first time, ahead of its impending reveal next week.

    The Kia K4 will replace the current generation Cerato which entered production in 2018, and is badged as the K3 in South Korea and the Forte in North America.

    Covers will come off the Kia K4 on March 21, before it makes its public debut at the New York motor show on March 27.

    Teaser images show the K4 will adopt a Stinger-esque fastback roofline as it moves to the brand’s latest, sharper design language, with thin L-shaped headlights and tail lights at either end of the sedan.

    It also appears the Kia Cerato replacement will gain wide, squared-off front and rear guards, giving it a more aggressive stance than the current model. 

    Previous spy photos have attempted to hide these design elements, though its C-pillar mounted rear door handles and new mirrors have broken cover before.

    The new Kia K4 was spotted testing in Australia last week, suggesting the sedan will come to Australia and possibly gain a local suspension tune – as is common from the brand’s local R&D team.

    As with the smaller K3 – which is larger than the Rio it replaces – it’s expected there will eventually be a K4 hatchback, mimicking the current Cerato lineup which is offered in four-door and five-door body styles.

    Kia Australia CEO Damien Meredith has previously told CarExpert the small car segment – which the Cerato occupies – is an important market for the brand.

    “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.”

    In 2023, 5795 Kia Ceratos were sold in Australia, which put it behind the closely related Hyundai i30 (20,626 sales), Toyota Corolla (19,986 sales) and Mazda 3 (9079 sales) in the small car segment.

    MORE: Everything Kia Cerato
    MORE: 2025 Kia K4 – Cerato replacement spied in Australia

    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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