The Kia Forte is one of those cars we rarely get to talk about, mainly because it's all about SUVs and EVs these days. The compact sedan is finally making the headlines again after a long time courtesy of a mid-cycle facelift it's getting in South Korea where the car is locally known as the K3. Ahead of a full debut scheduled for April 20, Kia has dropped three images of the mildly revised family sedan.
The most obvious change is at the front where the KDM-spec K3 boasts redesigned headlights with a new LED daytime running light signature consisting of three lines at the top and bottom of the cluster. We're also noticing the redesigned corporate logo and a slightly wider grille that now extends to meet the headlights.
Kia's designers have also tweaked the front bumper by giving it new (and possibly fake) air intakes with a glossy black surround, while the lower grille incorporates what seem to be strips of LED daytime running lights. Being only a facelift instead of a next-gen model, the K3 has virtually the same side profile as before, although we're expecting fresh alloy wheel designs and new paintjobs.
The back of the car has a surprising amount of fake air vents we could honestly do without, along with updated taillights graphics featuring the same interrupted line motif implemented at the front. Overall, the changes are quite subtle and are unlikely to lure people away from buying that crossover. That said, some will always prefer a good ol' sedan over a high-riding model, hence why the K3 is still available.
With the exception of what looks to be a bigger infotainment screen, Kia is playing a game of spot the changes with the interior. Again, that's not all too surprising considering this is only a facelift, meaning most of the revisions – aside from the larger display – will be limited to different trim and upholstery. The steering wheel is the same as before, but with the new Kia badge that all models will gradually receive sooner or later.
Kia is only previewing the sedan version for now, although the hatchback version is likely not far behind. As a reminder, the US-spec Forte is exclusively available as a sedan whereas in Canada you can also get the Forte5 hatchback (K3 GT in South Korea). These models are not sold in Europe where the Ceed fills the role of a compact car, complete with two long-roof versions (Sportswagon and the swoopy Proceed) along with a pseudo crossover in the XCeed serving as a hatchback on stilts.
We’ll have to wait until next week to see learn more about the KDM-spec K3 ahead of a possible reveal of the facelifted Forte sedan for the United States later this year as a 2022MY. Meanwhile, we have attached below images of the current US model to better identify what will change with the impending nip and tuck.