Kia Forte GT facelift bears new logo and outstanding design

Updated Apr 21, 2021 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates

A few degrees short of being a hot hatch, but it looks striking nevertheless.

Whether it’s obstinacy, sentimentality, foresight, or just going with the flow, Kia isn’t about to let the hatchback die just yet. The carmaker has recently updated the five-door version of its K3 model (known as the Forte here), following the release of the facelifted sedan counterpart.

Kia Forte GT hatchback

The revamped styling gives it a more aggressive appearance

The revamped aesthetic also comes with the letters GT added to the name, hinting at the model’s more athletic underpinnings. More importantly, the compact duo one-ups their bigger K5/Optima midsize sibling by featuring the new Kia corporate logo.

Revised LED headlamps now flank the slimmer and stretched tiger-nose grille, surrounded by three-segment daylight running lights on the top and bottom edges. Triangular elements, possibly faux air vents, can be found on the corners of the redesigned front bumper. Touches of red on the fascia give the Forte GT hatchback a somewhat aggressive appearance.

Forte GT hatchback grille

The updated Kia logo sits on top of the red accents on the fascia

Two rows of three LEDs are positioned diagonally on both sides of the front lip, possibly serving as foglights, while the rear styling still stands with LED taillights and dual exhaust tips on the gloss-black rear diffuser.

The sporty touches continue on the interior by way of more red accent stitching found on the upholstery and shift boot, complemented by aluminum pedals for the brake and accelerator. A digital 10.25-inch instrument panel rests just beyond the leather flat-bottomed tiller, with a similarly sized floating-type touchscreen infotainment screen at the center of the dashboard.

Forte GT hatchback seats

The red accent stitching on the interior should get you excited to take the wheel

Under the hood, the facelifted Forte hatchback GT retains the 1.6L turbocharged gasoline mill that serves up 201 hp and 265 Nm of torque. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox spins the front wheels, actuated by either the console-mounted gearshift lever or the twin paddle shifters on the steering column. Performance tweaks include a multi-link suspension for the rear paired with Bilstein shock absorbers, upgraded brakes, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 radials on all four corners.

An electric parking brake now comes standard, and the Forte GT hatchback echoes its sedan version in offering a suite of upgraded safety kits, including Highway Driving Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Safe Exit Warning, Blind-Spot Monitoring, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.

Forte GT hatchback instrument cluster

A 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster lies just beyond the steering wheel

The facelifted Kia Forte GT hatchback retails in South Korea at a base price of $23,600 (Php 1,141,543 exclusive of taxes and other duties). Would you like Kia Philippines to bring this model over anytime soon?

Get more updates on the latest releases at

Know more about Kia Forte

Kia Forte

The all-new Kia Forte is a trendy compact sedan that young professionals and small families would enjoy. Whether going to work or driving out of town for leisure, this dependable vehicle delivers. Aside from its modern and stylish looks, it boasts the latest innovation making it a reliable choice for everyone. Locally, the available variants are the Kia Forte 1.6 LX AT, the Kia Forte 1.6 EX AT, and the Kia Forte 1.6 Turbo GT AT. It is offered in Clear White, Aurora Black, Steel Gray, Runaway Red, and Gravity Blue.

From ₱1,095,000

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo


Joseph has been a member of various car clubs since he got his driver's license in 2004 – old enough to remember riding in taxicabs with analog meters, but his fascination with cars goes way back. After nearly two decades of working in broadcast media, he shifted gears by coming on board as Philkotse’s first Filipino member and staff writer in 2017.

Apart from his role in Philkotse as Content Team Lead, Joseph has written episodes for Drive, which has been airing on CNN Philippines for five seasons running. He has also delivered content for various car dealerships based in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jeep, Dodge, among others.

Keeping his hopes high and his revs low, he dreams about owning a Kei car when he retires. Hates slow parkers.

View more