Earlier in the year at Auto China 2014 in Beijing, we were presented with the Kia K4 concept and were promised that a production version would come to market in the second half of the year. Bang on time, then, that the real deal appeared at the recent Chengdu Motor Show.
Not much has changed, has it? Apart from the smaller wheels, subtly reprofiled front and rear fascias and more production-friendly head- and tail lamps, the new car is pretty much exactly the same as the concept that presaged it. That’s no bad thing, as it’s handsome in a mini-Optima sort of way.
At 4.7 metres long, 1,815 mm wide and 1,465 mm high, the K4, based on the Hyundai Mistra, slots in between the C-segment Cerato/K3 (4.56 metres) and the D-segment Optima/K5 (4.85 metres) in length. Its 2,770 metre long wheelbase also sits neatly between the two, and is shared with its Hyundai twin.
The interior, on the other hand, bears a striking resemblance to that of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata, especially the arrangement of the centre air vents, the large screen and the CD slot at the top. Elsewhere, it’s typical modern Kia, with the sporty-looking three-spoke steering wheel and T-shaped shifter picked from the Optima. Kia claims “plenty of space for occupants” both front and rear.
At launch, the K4 is available with two engines from the Nu family – a 143 PS, 176 Nm 1.8 litre four-cylinder and a 155 PS, 192 Nm 2.0 litre four-cylinder – mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. No sign of the concept’s pro_cee’d GT-derived 204 PS, 265 Nm 1.6 litre GDI turbo mill or its seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, however, although that might come later.
Fancy a Kia K4? Don’t hold your breath – like the Hyundai Mistra, it’s designed for the China and will be sold only in the Middle Kingdom itself.