Meet the new K3.
Unlike some American automakers, Kia refuses to give up on sedans of all sizes. It's even giving them new names. The midsize Kia Optima is now the Kia K5. Kia has yet to officially confirm it, but we highly suspect the Forte will be rebranded K3 for 2022. It's already known as such in its home market.
What you're looking at are the first official images of the refreshed Forte/K3, which we caught a glimpse of in leaked images earlier this month. The compact sedan will be revealed in full in a few weeks but the US market debut could take a little longer.
For now, three images have been released and while the changes aren't huge, they're still very noticeable. The biggest update takes place up front with redesigned headlights and a new LED daytime running light signature. The hood stretches further down towards the wider grille and Kia's new corporate logo is present. Additional highlights include a new front bumper with larger air intakes while the lower grille boasts a short strip of LEDs on both sides.
Out back are updated taillights with the new logo once again. Because it's only a refresh, the side profile remains largely the same. Included here are images of the current 2021 model, for comparison's sake.
We can also expect new wheel designs and perhaps new exterior and interior color options. Inside, there appears to be a larger infotainment screen and that's about it. No drastic changes are expected under the hood.
The 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder with 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque linked to a CVT remains the base powertrain that should remain, along with the optional 1.6-liter turbocharged I4 with a healthier 201 hp and 195 lb-ft paired to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch. Crossover sales continue to outpace sedans even for Kia, but the Forte/K3 still manages to find enough buyers to justify its existence.