In the upcoming 2024 generation of KIA compact cars, a notable change is on the horizon as KIA plans to bid farewell to the Cerato model name. This decision is part of KIA broader strategy, aiming to streamline its small-car lineup amid declining sales in the face of the SUV trend. Instead of Cerato, the globally recognized model will now embrace the K4 moniker as part of KIA new naming convention for its passenger cars.
The forthcoming generation, currently under wraps in camouflaged test mule form, is expected to make its official debut in the first half of 2024. KIA choice of K4 over K3 globally is influenced by the latter being reserved for the successor to the smaller Rio, launched in Mexico earlier this year.
Ho-Sung Song, KIA global CEO, announced at an international media conference in South Korea that all future KIA passenger cars would follow the K-series naming convention. This strategic decision was implemented during the brand relaunch in 2021, with Song stating, "For passenger cars, we'll use the K family names – K3, K4, K5 – mainly for internal combustion-engined [petrol] models."
Positioned as the successor to the Cerato, the K4 might potentially replace the Ceed, the European market twin of the Cerato, with customized bodywork. This aligns with overarching goal of unifying its compact passenger car lineup under a single global nameplate.
Spy photographs of the K4 suggest a larger size compared to the outgoing Cerato, in line with its more substantial numerical moniker. Utilizing new underpinnings from the latest Hyundai Elantra sedan, the K4 is expected to offer various engine options, including naturally aspirated and turbocharged choices in different displacements. Notably, a hybrid power-train will make its debut in the replacement for the Cerato.
As more details unfold in the coming weeks, enthusiasts are encouraged to stay tuned for additional information on this significant transition in KIA compact car lineup.