The Forte is Kia's latest entry in the compact-car segment, replacing the Spectra when it hit dealerships in summer 2009. The Forte is available with a choice of four-cylinder engines and comes standard with numerous safety features, including an electronic stability system. It's sold as a four-door sedan, a hatchback and a coupe, which Kia calls the Koup. Competitors include the Honda Civic, Ford Focus and Toyota Corolla.
New for 2011
There is a new hatchback version that Kia calls a five-door, and all trims get either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. (Skip to details on the: Forte Koup)
The Forte sports crisp styling that gives the sedan an athletic shape. You don't have to look too closely to find resemblances to other small cars. The front end, for instance, looks similar to a Honda Civic coupe, and the Forte's taillights look like the Mitsubishi Lancer's. For 2011, a new hatchback version carries over many of the Forte sedan's styling cues, but the roofline carries straight back to form a hatch-back body style. Exterior features include:
- Standard 15-inch wheels
- Optional 16-inch wheels
- SX versions get sport suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels and a rear spoiler
- Optional sunroof
There are available steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls. Kia says the sedan's trunk offers 14.7 cubic feet of cargo space, and the hatchback has 19.4 cubic feet of storage space. Interior features include:
- Standard cloth seats
- Optional leather
- Optional heated seats and steering wheel
- Optional air conditioning
- Optional keyless entry
- Optional telescoping steering wheel
Under the Hood
LX and EX models are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 156 horsepower. Choosing the SX trim brings a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that generates 173 hp. Depending on which trim is ordered, a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission is available.
The Forte has safety features such as:
- Side-impact airbags for the front seats
- Side curtain airbags
- Electronic stability system
- Active head restraints for the front seats
The Forte's two-door offshoot — Kia calls it the Koup— comes in the sedan's two upper trims, EX and SX. Drivetrains follow suit, with the EX getting the 2.0-liter four-cylinder and the SX getting the 2.4-liter four-cylinder. A six-speed manual and automatic transmission are available with both engines and trim levels.
- Standard blacked-out grille and air dam
- Standard 16-inch wheels
- Optional 17-inch wheels
- Optional sport package with larger brakes and sport-tuned suspension
- Standard seats have larger bolsters
- Cloth upholstery standard
- Leather upholstery optional
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