Kia pulled the wraps off its all-new Forte five-door hatchback at this year’s Chicago Auto Show. Taking very heavily from Kia’s efforts abroad in Europe, the new Forte is wholly representative of the brand’s incoming design language.
“We received very positive feedback after the all-new Forte sedan made its debut at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, and we expect the all-new Kia Forte 5-door will build upon that success,” Kia’s vice president of marketing and communications Michael Sprague said in the press release. “The combination of a useful hatchback for carrying cargo and the sportiness of the turbocharged SX trim make the all-new Forte 5-door a dual threat in the segment.”
Two different trim levels are available, which separate the packaging on an already fairly option-standard car: EX and SX. The EX is powered by a 2.0L direct-injected four-banger good for 173hp and 154 lb-ft of torque, channeled through a six-speed automatic. The SX is the performance oriented model with a 1.6L turbocharged four-banger good for 201hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Buyers can have a choice of either a six-speed manual or automatic for the SX.
For full details, check out the press release after the jump.
Kia Forte 5-door
Kia Motors America (KMA) ignited the 2013 Chicago Auto Show when the all-new, ultra-hot Kia Forte 5-door rolled on-stage. The all-new Forte 5-door SX’s eye-catching European-inspired hatchback design is complimented by an all-new 1.6-liter gasoline direct-injected (GDI) turbocharged four-cylinder engine putting out 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque, making the all-new Kia Forte 5-door SX the most powerful Forte from KMA to date. The Forte 5-door is expected to go on sale in the third quarter of 2013, and pricing will be announced closer to launch.
“We received very positive feedback after the all-new Forte sedan made its debut at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, and we expect the all-new Kia Forte 5-door will build upon that success,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing & communications, KMA. “The combination of a useful hatchback for carrying cargo and the sportiness of the turbocharged SX trim make the all-new Forte 5-door a dual threat in the segment.”
Presented in two trim levels, EX and SX, with two distinct engine choices, the Kia Forte 5-door will offer customers Kia’s long list of premium amenities and features not normally found in the compact segment. Under the hood, the Forte 5-door packs a punch, with the EX’s 2.0-liter GDI four-cylinder engine putting out a healthy 173 horsepower and 154 lb.-ft. of torque through a 6-speed automatic transmission. The performance-oriented SX comes standard with the hard-charging 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder, a first for the Forte line. The SX also offers buyers the chance to pick their own gears with a standard 6-speed manual transmission, or they may opt for the 6-speed automatic featuring steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
Standard Features and Technology Take Value to New Levels of Sophistication
Carrying on Kia’s reputation of offering tremendous value, the all-new Kia Forte 5-door offers buyers an impressive allotment of technology and safety features. The base EX comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, UVO eServices with rear camera display, Bluetooth® wireless technology, SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio, leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio and cruise control buttons, FlexSteer™, tilt and telescoping steering column, power windows, and LED positioning headlights with fog lights.
The SX trim ups the ante with standard 18-inch alloy wheels, dual chrome exhaust tips, and LED tail lights. Kia Forte 5-door SX also offers an aggressive front fascia with larger bumper and grille openings, black gloss grille inserts, larger front brakes, alloy sport pedals, front and rear seats with carbon fiber-style accents. The lower front fascia and rear valance also feature carbon fiber-look trim pieces.
Additionally, both EX and SX trim levels offer optional HID headlights, navigation system with HD Radio™, sunroof, heated steering wheel,10-way adjustable power driver’s seat, heated front seats and cooled driver’s seat, heated rear outboard seats, leather seating surfaces, SmartKey with push-button start, electric chromatic rearview mirror and dual-zone automatic climate control.
Stunning European Design Language
Born from the Kia design studio in Seoul and overseen by Kia’s global chief of design, Peter Schreyer, the Kia Forte 5-door’s sophisticated hatchback profile, large wheels and aggressive posture give it a distinctly European appearance that speaks to its performance intentions. The chiseled body commands attention and continues Kia’s tradition as a design leader in the industry.
Like its Forte sedan counterpart, the Kia Forte 5-door’s swept headlights stretch deep into the front fenders and the raked windshield and broad shoulders give the front end a sleek, sporty appearance. LED positioning lights add a premium look to the front fascia. Moving around the vehicle, the large 18-inch wheels fill the wheel wells on the SX, and the hatchback profile affords a performance-oriented European personality. Around back, the rear hatch glass opens to reveal 23.2 cubic feet of usable cargo space. LED tail lights complete the premium feel of the exterior and a sporty rear valance with twin chrome exhaust tips maintains the Kia Forte 5-door’s edgy demeanor.
Sporty Cabin with Premium Features
Inside, the Kia Forte 5-door features premium materials and soft touch points. Large, easy-to-read white-on-black gauges nestle deeply into the instrument cluster. Chrome accents around the HVAC controls and optional push-button start, along with carbon fiber-like textures on the dash and seats, add a sporty touch. A grippy leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob are further evidence of the Forte 5-door’s performance aspirations. Class-exclusive available features such as front and rear heated outboard seats, an air-cooled driver’s seat and driver-selectable electric steering further set the Kia Forte 5-door apart from its competition.
Thrilling Driving Experience
The Kia Forte 5-door SX is the most powerful Forte built by Kia to date, utilizing a 1.6-liter GDI turbocharged four-cylinder that help improve performance. Power is seamlessly transferred to the front wheels via a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The GDI powerplant produces 201 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 195 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,750-4,500 rpm. The advanced powertrain features double overhead cams with dual continuously variable valve timing to help improve efficiency and performance.
The Kia Forte 5-door EX comes standard with a 2.0-liter GDI powerplant producing 173 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 154 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,700 rpm. During durability testing, the engines are run 300 continuous hours at redline under full load then for an additional 20 hours at 10 percent above redline under full load.
To help further improve performance, the Kia Forte 5-door features a sport-tuned suspension with a McPherson strut setup in front and a multilink rear design. The Kia Forte 5-door rides on standard 205/55R-16 tires while 225/40R-18 tires are included with the SX trim for an even more sporting driving experience.
– By: Chris Chin