couple crying with chinese kia k3 in thought bubble

Kias You Can’t Buy in the U.S.: The Kia K3 (China)

Chinese Kia K3 Vs. Kia Forte

If you’ve spent any time around the Friendly Kia Blog, you’ve heard us echo every possible sentiment and take on the compact superstar Kia Forte. We’ve even declared it to be the car that the Honda Civic wishes it was.

The North American Kia Forte (Also known as the Cerato and K3 depending on market) has plenty to love including standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, standard active safety features and standard automatic climate control. In Korea, the Kia Forte is known as the K3 and is similar to the United States model.

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In China, however, the K3 is a completely different beast altogether. Featuring a grille that looks like it could have come from a Mercedes-AMG or a Maserati, the Chinese K3 has a decidedly upscale look to the sporty, Stinger-inspired exterior we’re used to with the global model.

Chinese Kia K3 Model Specs and Features

Although we assume, the platform and wheelbase are similar between the global K3/Forte/Cerato and the brand-new Chinese model, there are significant changes beyond simply the look.

For engines, the Chinese Kia K3 is available with either a 1.5-liter engine (rated around 113 horsepower) or a 1.4-liter turbocharged variant (rated around 128 horsepower). There is also a plug-in hybrid electric version which sees up to 139 horsepower. Three apparent trim levels exist: Turbo, PHEV and Smart – all featuring slightly different exterior designs (as you can see in the photos below):

chinese kia k3 lineup

chinese kia k3 turbo

chinese kia k3 phev

chinese kia k3 smart

The Chinese K3 is manufactured by Dongfeng Yueda Kia (a joint manufacturing partnership between Dongfeng Motor Corporation, Yueda Group and Kia) which does a lot to answer for the divergences from the Kia K3/Forte we all know and love.

The interior looks pretty nice with an available 10.25-inch touchscreen and gold accents throughout. The whole thing looks great and, if this is a preview of things to come for the Forte, we’re pretty stoked.

chinese kia k3 interior with gold accents

chinese kia k3 interior at night

Will the Chinese Kia K3 Ever Come to the United States?

The North American market has been cold to the plight of Chinese manufacturers to enter. With this model being a joint venture between Kia and Chinese companies, however, there stands a decent chance that this could be the next Forte stateside.

We’ll have to wait and see, but we certainly feel pretty good about it if that does turn out to be the truth.

For more information on the Kia K3 you can buy in the United States or to learn more about Kia’s unique and status-quo-challenging lineup, contact us today!

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