- Kia has revealed a new model called the K3. It’s a small sedan that will be built in Mexico.
- It’s powered by either a 1.6-liter four-cylinder or a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.
- The K3 is slated to go on sale by the end of the year, making us think it could arrive in the U.S. for the 2025 model year.
Kia has revealed a new small sedan that looks like a replacement for the subcompact Rio. But because of its name, K3, we think that it might also be replacing the compact Forte—which is currently sold in Korea under the K3 nameplate.
While we don’t yet have confirmation that this model is coming to the U.S., we do know that the new K3 will be built in Mexico at the same plant that currently builds the Rio and Forte. Kia has also already filed a trademark for the K3 name in the U.S. This name change would align this new entry-level model with the nomenclature for the larger K5 mid-size sedan.
The K3 adopts some of Kia’ latest design cues, such as LED accent lights that extend below the headlights as on the EV9 electric SUV, and features a modern-looking dashboard setup with large digital gauge cluster and infotainment screens. The steering wheel is taken from the EV6 and there are interesting-looking patterns on the door panels and dashboard trim.
Kia says that the standard powertrain will be a 1.6-liter inline-four with 121 hp, which is currently the Rio’s standard engine in the U.S. The GT Line model will have a 150-hp 2.0-liter inline-four, and a 1.4-liter engine will be offered in certain markets. We think the 2.0-liter powertrain is the most likely option for the U.S.-market K3.
There’s no word on U.S.-specific timing, but we think we will hear more about the K3 soon. Kia says that it will go on sale in some markets in the fourth quarter of this year, which suggests that it could arrive in the U.S. as soon as the 2025 model year.
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Despite being raised on a steady diet of base-model Hondas and Toyotas—or perhaps because of it—Joey Capparella nonetheless cultivated an obsession for the automotive industry throughout his childhood in Nashville, Tennessee. He found a way to write about cars for the school newspaper during his college years at Rice University, which eventually led him to move to Ann Arbor, Michigan, for his first professional auto-writing gig at Automobile Magazine. He has been part of the Car and Driver team since 2016 and now lives in New York City.