Kia‘s best-selling product here in the U.S. has been completely redesigned for 2019. As part of the Forte’s overhaul, Kia reimagined the exterior with styling cues it says are inspired by the Stinger. Does the small sedan live up to that claim, or is it all hype? Is the Forte refreshing or revolting? Let’s examine the updated design.
Before the redesign, the Forte looked a little bit like a shrunken Optima. Conventional headlights connected to a conventional grille. On the new model, the grille is separate from the headlights, much like on the Stinger. The surrounding vents are also large like those on the Stinger, and they’re certainly more prominent than those on the old Forte. Subtle creases in the hood contribute to a slightly more athletic look.
From the side profile, the 2019 Kia Forte doesn’t stand out too much. There is a character line right above the door handles, and another subtle one at the bottom of the doors. The previous model had one noticeable character line, a jagged one at the bottom of the doors. Another small update: Silver trim now makes a complete border around the windows. But more important than these small details, the Forte’s overall proportions have changed. Kia moved the cowl point five inches back, creating a long hood. The Forte is also 3.2 inches longer overall than the previous model.
In the rear, the taillights receive a new light signature. Plus, there is a new light bar that connects both the taillights, and right underneath, you’ll find a new license plate holder. Also look for redesigned bumpers and new triangular lighting elements.
The Forte’s interior was starting to look dated by the end of the last generation, from the infotainment screen to the small digital clock above. Now, the Forte features a standalone infotainment screen, a new shifter, and a more sculpted dashboard. A wireless charging tray integrates into the center stack just underneath the climate controls, and the storage area in front of the shifter is now open rather than closed.