When it hits dealerships at the end of 2013, the redesigned 2014 Koup will be the third body style in the new Kia Forte generation, following the sedan and four-door hatchback, aka 5-Door. With the addition of a turbocharged engine option, this will be the most powerful Forte Koup to date.
The coupe competes with the Honda Civic Si, Hyundai Veloster Turbo and Volkswagen GTI.
The Forte Koup's exterior has grown in ways that ultimately benefit interior volume. Its wheelbase and overall length are about 2 inches longer, and it's more than a half-inch wider and almost a half-inch taller.
The Koup styling was updated to match the Kia family appearance. The base EX trim level has standard 16-inch alloy wheels, while the SX has 18-inch alloy wheels. The SX also has a larger front bumper and larger grilles with gloss-black inserts. It adds turn signal lights to the side mirrors. Around back it has LED taillights, dual chrome tailpipes and a diffuser with a mock carbon-fiber finish.
Both trim levels have power-folding side mirrors standard and offer optional xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights.
The 2014 Koup is roomier, to the tune of more than 3 cubic feet of occupant volume — or 1.3 additional cubic feet if equipped with a moonroof, which eats up some space.
Front legroom has come down nearly 1.5 inches but remains generous; the backseat legroom has jumped a welcome 2 inches. Likewise, front headroom has dropped fractionally, but the backseat has gained an inch.
The redesigned interior is richer. Leather is standard on the steering wheel and shift knob, and optional on the seats for both trim levels. The SX adds alloy pedals and faux carbon-fiber trim.
The EX comes well equipped with Kia's UVO voice recognition system, backup camera, Bluetooth, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, power windows and LED running lights and fog lights.
Options for both trim levels include navigation, a moonroof, remote keyless entry, push-button start, dual-zone climate control and leather seats with a heated front passenger seat, and heated and a cooled driver's seat.
Under the Hood
The Forte Koup's base engine in the EX is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 173 horsepower and 154 pounds-feet of torque. The SX gets a 201-hp, turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that delivers 195 pounds-feet of torque. Mileage estimates aren't final as of this writing, but the EPA recently rated the sedan version of the 2.0-liter Forte sedan at 24/36/28 mpg city/highway/combined with the six-speed automatic, which is the only option for the EX Koup. The SX will be available with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
The automatic SX includes steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. The only mechanical difference for the SX, apart from the drivetrain and wheel size, is slightly larger front brake discs. Both trim levels have the new Flex Steer feature, which allows the driver to vary the amount of power-steering assist by selecting among Comfort, Normal and Sport modes.
Standard safety features include the required antilock brakes, electronic stability system with traction control and six airbags: frontal, front-seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and side curtains along the front and rear seats.
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