The 2019 Forte makes a radical departure from the previous generation's former, more conventional compact-sedan look, keeping a version of Kia's tiger-nose grille, and gaining a number of design cues in the sheetmetal, lower valance and headlights that Kia calls "muscular" and "dynamic." Galleries for the Stinger and previous Forte design are below for comparison.
The Stinger resemblance is extended to the interior, with has an open, horizontal look.
Kia doesn't say if the car will come as a hatchback — or with this body style, a liftback, again like the Stinger. Based on the second rendering above, it would appear not. But that doesn't rule out the possibility of a liftback version.
And that right there is about all we know. We'll find out more next week in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show.
Kia has been on a real roll of late. The 2018 Forte and Soul, along with the Forte's cousin the Hyundai Elantra, were among the six Korean cars that dominated the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's exclusive list of 15 cars that earned the Top Safety Pick+ designation.
The Forte runs neck-and-neck with the Soul as Kia's sales leader in the U.S., closing out 2017 with nearly 118,000 Fortes delivered. Kia has always gone after a younger buyer, and now it looks to be gunning for a more sophisticated buyer, too.