2019 Kia Forte Arrives With Stinger Design Cues And New Tech

Kia unveiled the all-new and much-improved 2019 Forte Sedan at this week’s Detroit Auto Show.

The automaker recently launched a series of renderings that previewed the 2019 Forte, although while the new car does slightly resemble the Stinger, it doesn’t quite look as dynamic as it did in those images.

Still, the all-new Kia Forte is said to offer higher levels of comfort than its predecessor, with visual enhancements inside and out, as well as improved fuel efficiency and modern advanced driver assistance technologies.

“The compact sedan segment is highly competitive, but with all the improvements the new Forte brings to market for the 2019 model year, it is more than prepared to take on the toughest the segment has to offer,” said Kia U.S. VP, Orth Hedrick. “As one of our top-selling models, the all-new Forte follows some large footsteps, but enhancements in styling, packaging and content make it even more attractive to drivers seeking a compact sedan that can accommodate their versatile lifestyle.”

On the styling department, you’ll notice that the 2019 Forte features a long hood and short deck, resulting in a Fastback-like shape, similar to the Stinger. Kia also moved the cowl point back by 5 inches, creating a more dynamic stance for the new model. The headlights don’t actually resemble those found on the Stinger, while the LED taillights kind of look like those on the Sportage crossover – thanks to their overall shape and the horizontal trim piece.

Since the Forte’s overall length was increased by 3.2 inches (81 cm) to 182.7 inches (4,640 mm), overall legroom and additional trunk space also grew. Meanwhile, Kia increased the height by nearly half an inch (12.7 mm) to 56.7 inches (1,440 mm), while width expanded to 70.8 inches (1,798 mm).

Inside, the Stinger-inspired dashboard features circular vents, an 8″ color touchscreen, soft-touch points and a horizontal theme with clear lines and minimal buttons. The new Forte comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and can also read your SMS text messages aloud through Bluetooth. Another useful feature is the available wireless charging tray, compatible with certain Android devices as well as the Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone X.

What Kia calls a “surprising feature in this segment” is the new Forte’s 320-watt Harman Kardon premium sound system, with its unique speaker hole pattern on the door panels and throughout the cabin. As for active safety tech, in addition to Blind-Spot Collision Warning and Lane Keeping Assist, the all-new Forte comes with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist and Smart Cruise Control.

Power comes from a second-generation 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, boasting Atkinson Cycle technology and a cooled EGR system, both designed to boost fuel efficiency. The new unit can be paired to either a 6-speed manual or Kia’s new Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). While power and torque remains the same as on the 2018 Forte, meaning 147 HP and 132 lb-ft, the new model is estimated to return up to 35 MPG (6.7 l/100km) combined, a 3 MPG improvement over the current car.

The all-new 2019 Kia Forte will arrive in U.S. showrooms later this year.


  • PK

    i wish the cluster infotainment could’ve been wider. but overall. the car looks ok i guess.

  • cooper

    Some new lights and bumper covers? Is KIA becoming Toyota ?

  • Leconte Dave

    They need a new badge design

    • Zed68

      Yep it’s time for them to get a nice looking logo

    • Jason Miller

      Google “Kia K badge”.

      • Jay

        That’s not official n it looks like a bootleg LEXUS badge. They need a real logo. It’s honestly one of their biggest detractors

    • Perhaps a debossed of this version?.. I think

    • Finkployd

      judging from the interior they’d use the audi logo if they could

      • no25

        haha or BMW, Mazda, Alfa…

  • Innocuous

    As i imagined, they are still playing it safe. It’s not going to offend anyone, but it probably will remain a wallflower in a crowded but shrinking segment.

  • OdysseyTag

    Third sedan I’ve seen revealed at this show with Audi/Hyundai-esque taillights. Like the front end though.

    • Did you see the Jag-esque rear running light detail? lol

  • Six Thousand Times

    Clearly not as sleek as the render but better looking than the spy shots led me to believe.

    • donald seymour

      Really? you fell for the rendering?

      • Six Thousand Times

        You saw that I began my sentence with “clearly,” right? Should I have used “obviously?”

        • donald seymour

          I know, you were being sarcastic. And my sarcasm didn’t help at all.

          • Six Thousand Times

            Ah, gotcha.

      • Gustavo Adriano

        Did you guys notice that the profile is very similar to the 2nd generation of the Volvo S40 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/08270174ec82e2f83e05bac2637e36f25e3a26b1bbd249199e2aed073385b51b.png ?

        • Galaxium

          The greenhouse design is everywhere. Don’t try to suggest they took inspiration from a dull Volvo sedan.

          • Gustavo Adriano

            I didn’t, was just an observation…

    • Nordschleife

      I understand but renders have let me down so many times before I just don’t hold them in high regard.

      • Six Thousand Times

        Renders are always a stylized look at what the finished car will look like. You can always pick out shapes and details but when the actual metal arrives, it’s never as good. In this case, the spy photos made it look a lot worse than it turns out to be. It does look a little like a mini-Stinger.

    • bd

      Despite the more exaggerated elements of the rendering, this pretty close (the greenhouse has a slimmer/sleeker profile than most in this segment).

      Also, in photos, lose some perspective in how the lines look (better in real life or, failing that, in video).

      Overall, a big improvement over the rather bland current Forte (esp. the interior).

  • WG

    I like how its infotainment screen is not as toyish looking as the one in the Hyundai elantra GT (i30)

  • ctse

    Center stack looks like it’s lifted straight from the Elantra GT.

    • Jay

      well they do share a few things or two.

  • jsz00

    The Alfa Romeo interior is great

    • Bo Hanan

      Thought it was the ALFA from the rear photo. And those bumpers look very expensive to replace with all the lights on them.

  • Jay

    Looks like it grew again, not a bad looking car but its not as small as it was when it was a sephia/spectra..

  • IFDU

    THIS trim looks good, but get ready to see nothing but stripped down base models with steel wheels that come from a dealership (with a crooked dealer stamp on the back) that advertises “99 DOLLARS PER MONTH!!!!” on tv. 😂

    • Liam Paul

      that is what I was thinking, the majority of these sold will be the middle and stripped trims. I wanna see how the base model looks.

  • Dennis Scipio

    The side profile looks a bit vanilla.

  • Darren Bratton

    Better than the current model but that’s not saying much. Did they put the rear turn signals in the bottom of the bumper?? WTF

    • Bill Nguyen

      Noticed that too… It could be like a deflector or something too, but if it really is the turn signal, I’d get ready to say goodbye to them after a few trips to the supermarket hehe.

      • Darren Bratton

        Looks like there’s a light bulb in it

        • Darren Bratton

          Looks like the turn signal & back up light are down there, very hard for tall vehicles to see…

  • Leconte Dave

    The front reminds me of subaru wrx

  • :/ Yurr

    Kia Jetta….thats all I gotta say.

  • John

    looks better than the new jetta imo.

    • Malik

      But not Kia CVT over Jetta 8-speed Automatic [torque converter].

    • Six_Tymes

      i agree


    • Bash

      The stinger is way above and beyond this, and more upscale as well. How is it in your eyes less attractive than this?


    interior copy from Alfa Romeo giulia !

  • IVT = CVT?


    hatch version will be called cee’d

  • Grumpy

    Visually inside and out better than the new Jetta. Come on VW!!!

  • Six_Tymes

    this is damn nice!

  • Great look…the black rims have to go though…automakers have to stop this bizarre trend…

    • Jason Miller

      Gunmetal, and disagree.

  • Jason Miller

    Can we expect an SX soon?

  • Mynameis Taylor

    um…it looks like a Volvo from a generation or two ago

  • Nordschleife

    When I tell you all that I hate that rear bumper with those horriblely intergrated lights with all my heart.

  • Mark S

    It looks better then the New Jetta!

  • SteersUright

    Kia has come a LONG way but they still have a tiny bit to go. The interior of this car is solid but not near the segment’s best (Civic, new Jetta).

  • Kagan

    Probably a ok car but not the most stylish.

  • Malik

    CVT? Why????

  • Darius Fontenette

    It’s a nice design but I can’t ever get over the egg-like greenhouse and how wide the car looks. It works for the Elantra, but I never liked it on the Forte. I was hoping this generation would be a toned down version of the Kia Novo concept.


  • Six_Tymes

    the sentra is gonna be in trouble if they dont get a new one out by then

    • Miknik

      IMO there is already now very little reason to chose the Sentra over anything else….


    Difficult days for Jetta…

  • smartacus

    needs the 275HP 2.0t

  • I’d buy this!!!

  • Matthijs

    Looks very generic and bland. I’d prefer the current one, just like i prefered the previous Optima, Rio and Sportage..

  • Classic Bob

    As for looks, not so much Stinger design as a stung Jetta design. Looks better than the VW though..

  • BlackPegasus

    So Kia creates a car that takes the auto industry by storm, then they produce a knockoff version which will only dilute the impact of the Stinger. 😒

  • Karl

    Very well done KIA! This is a very attractive car and great alternative to standard bearers…

  • alexxx

    Koreans are at the top of their game….
    For a sec,from behind I thought it’s an Audi

  • wonderdallas
  • Puddle Jumper

    Now where’s the SX model? Hope they don’t carry the CVT over to its performance model.

  • Auto

    Yes! It comes with a manual!

  • DJ

    Hmm. Not very stinger like, but definitely a step up for the Forte. Style is much more mature. In the pics it seems close to a mid-sized car. Much nicer then the Elantra. Now if only the could find a more powerful engine and offer ala cart ordering so you can get a sunroof, leather, and a manual transmission

  • Enter Ranting

    Well, if VW isn’t going to sell a proper Jetta, I guess Kia might as well step up and do it.

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