The Kia Forte's Successor Looks Sharp

a car parked on a road
The Kia Forte's Successor Looks SharpKia

The Kia Forte is not exactly a car that evokes strong emotions. With the exception of a short-lived two-door inexplicably called a "Koup," Fortes have typically been compact four-doors and five-doors with a forgettable look. The next Kia compact is dropping the name to become the K4, and teaser photos shared Thursday suggest that the final design will be far more memorable.

The selectively lit photos show only the car's belt line and roofline, but they reveal a few surprising design features. Most notable is the roofline's design, which trails back from a sleek raked windscreen to make a coupe-like shape that ends with a thick final pillar. The shape resembles what Kia uses on current electric offerings like the EV5 crossover and EV9 SUV, although the Forte successor seems to be slightly more rounded than its battery-electric siblings.

kia k4 teaser

Another angle shows off the sedan's boxy flared fenders, blended with the rest of the car by big triangular shapes. The decklid is relatively short in comparison to the car's massive greenhouse, suggesting that it may be a five-door fastback rather than either a sedan or a hatchback. LED tail lights finish a sharp and modern look.

The K4 seems set to join the new Santa Fe as a surprisingly radical-looking take on a mass-market Hyundai or Kia product when it debuts a week from today. The current Kia Forte starts below $20,000, while the larger K5 starts at just over $25,000. When it reaches production, the K4 should fall somewhere in the range in between.

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