Kia Stinger to Influence Entire Kia Lineup in the Future


The 2019 Kia Forte debuted at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show with a slick new look that was inspired by the Kia Stinger. There’s a good reason for that.

“The two cars were in the design studio at the same times,” said Orth Hedricks, vice president of product planning at Kia Motors America. “So while the designers were outlining the look of the Forte, they look at the Stinger, which is probably why there are similarities.”

The long hood, short rear deck design of the Forte was inspired by sports cars and was achieved by moving the cowl point backward. The rear end of the Forte is also sloped back to make it look like the Kia Stinger’s sportback.

ALSO SEE: 2019 Kia Forte Debuts Looking Like a Small Stinger

The result is a much more stylish compact car, but there are a few more design cues that are borrowed from the well-received Stinger. The headlights and taillights feature a similar array to the sports sedan as well.

2019 Kia Forte

The interior has been spruced up with a layout that features circular vents (again, just like the Stinger) but with surprisingly high-grade materials.

Hedricks explained that the Stinger raised the bar for the Kia brand as a whole. “We’ve always had good design and a priority on quality, but the Stinger combines all our traits into a really strong package,” he said, adding that the performance and luxury of the sport sedan are also really impressive.

Those following the Korean automaker will remember the K900 and Cadenza, two big four-door sedans that were sold as being luxurious, high-end options in the Kia lineup, but they didn’t capture the public’s attention like the Stinger did. In fact, they were huge flops. These cars promised high-end luxury but they lacked a few important factors to be successful. For starters, they were really expensive and didn’t have a lot of value. They also didn’t provide a convincingly upscale driving experience, although the K900 had an impressive V8 and rear-wheel drive. Lastly, they just didn’t have the show-stopping style that the Stinger has — they were conservatively styled and didn’t offer anything terribly unique. 

Hedrick also agreed that they certainly didn’t inspire any following Kias. “Unlike those other sedans, the Stinger represents an inflection point,” he said. “Everything changes for us from here on.”

ALSO SEE: Kia Stinger Road Trip: Celebrating Our 2018 Car of the Year with a Grand Tour Adventure

1 Comment

bd says:

Wouldn’t exactly consider the Cadenza to being “high-end” (premium, maybe – as it was aimed for somewhere between the Avalon and ES).

And in terms of sheetmetal, the Cadenza actually has pretty attractive lines (making the Cadenza seem sportier than it actually happens to be).

Likely the reason why sales have improved (last 3 months selling around 1k/month) even tho Kia doesn’t really advertise the Cadenza.

The K900, on the other hand, needs a complete rework and apparently will be getting sleeker sheetmetal to go along with more dynamic handling.