• Aug 21st 2008 at 2:59PM
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Click above for more detail shots of the Kia Forte

Kia's new Forte sedan will make its formal debut in Korea any time now, and, as often is the case, some shots have leaked just a bit early, including images of the interior. According to the press release that's pasted after the break, the Asian Forte will come with two separate 1.6-liter four cylinder engines, one gas and one diesel. Both of them pack a bit over 120 horses under the hood while the diesel, as expected, returns better fuel economy. The new Forte will begin at 11.9 million won in Korea -- about $11,300 in U.S. currency -- and reach 19.6 million won when totally loaded. We wouldn't put too much stock in those numbers when the car finally makes it Stateside, as the Spectra that it will replace costs over $13,000 to start. Unlike its Korean counterpart, though, the U.S.-spec Forte will likely be equipped with a larger 2.0-liter engine as its sole powerplant option. We'd imagine all that equipment, including the excellent iPod integration, will make it to our shores, as well.

[Source: Kia-World]

Press Release:

Kia Motors Releases New Forte Compact Sedan

SEOUL, Aug 21 - Kia Motors Corp., South Korea's No. 2 carmaker, unveiled its new Forte compact sedan Thursday, hoping that the fuel-efficient car will help boost sales amid higher fuel prices.

The new model, which goes on sale next week, is the latest entrant to the country's 1.6-liter vehicle segment and marks the automaker's newest model after another 1.6-liter version of Cerato was released in November, 2003.

The Forte, equipped with a gasoline or diesel engine, will compete with the Avante by Hyundai Motor Co. (KSE:005380), the SM3 by Renault Samsung Motors Co. and the Lacetti by GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co.

The new Kia model generates 124 horsepower, and the company plans to add a 2-liter engine later.

The price for the Forte ranges from 11.9 million won (US$11,300) to 19.6 million won, depending on accessories and engine types, it said.

The automaker, an affiliate of Hyundai Motor Co. (KSE:, said it aims to sell 50,000 units domestically and 170,000 units overseas next year. For this year, Kia Motors targets the sale of 30,000 units. Annual sales for the model will rise to 250,000 annually from 2010, it said.

Kia Motors revamped its lineup to boost sales by redesigning its minicar Morning, mid-sized sedan Lotze and new Mohave sport-utility vehicle. It also plans to add a small crossover vehicle, known as Soul, later this year.

Kia Motors last month raised its domestic sales target to 364,000 units this year from 327,000, fueled by strong sales of its Morning mini-car.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Im not one to get into the "this car looks like" but I actually thought that was the Civic front end when I glanced at the shot.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This car is really nice. Too bad my new choice for the best looking small car goes to the Cruze. This has to place 3rd- behind the Astra.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So Huyndai and Kia take styling cues from Honda and sundenlly Honda make ugly looking cars? Huh?

      "Every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief;
      All kill their inspiration and sing about the grief."
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't understand why they don't bring us the diesel. With a 1.6L diesel this thing would get 40-50mpg Prius style fuel economy that is actually fun to drive. With a 2.0L gasser it just another mid-30 mpg econobox, yawn.
      • 7 Years Ago

        • 7 Years Ago
        I'm not going to argue that the guy is an idiot, but the front is clearly a civic ripoff:

        • 7 Years Ago
        Please - no one is WORSE than the Chinese - where you can basically substitute a body panel from a Chinese copy onto the original.

        And doesn’t “BMW 3 SERIES/IS350” imply that the IS350 copied from BMW?

        Or what about the rear of the Honda City – where numerous posters commented on how it looked exactly like a BMW?

        And how really similar is the Forte’s front fascia w/ that of the Civic?

        Yeah, they have similar shaped headlamps, but so do many cars (the grilles are a totally different shape and size).

        Heck, I guess the Honda’s CRV’s rear is a total rip-off of Volvo by having the taillights placed on the D-pillar.

        Mitsu used to have and Saturn currently has the SAME smallish grille as the Civic w/ the wide-T accent – gee, I wonder who copied whom?

        And the current Accord totally ripped-off the C-pillar “kink” from Infiniti which, in turn, ripped it off from BMW – not to mention the front fascia that a no. of posters stated looked like (gasp) the Sonata’s front.

        I could keep going but somehow, I doubt that you'll get the point.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Dude are you on the same kind of smack as the moron trying to sell his 1 million mile Silverado for 30 grand?

        You need to start sharing some of that powerful stuff.
      • 7 Years Ago
      No problem with the hazard light switch position. Now, could carmakers remove the rear defroster buttons from being integrated invisibly into the climate control switchgear?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Pete ala Audi did a great job on this baby, despite the overlords of Hyundai getting their 3 won in. Welcome globalization and the impending Asian dominance. With Genesis', Sonata's and upcoming Forte's, Hyundai/Kia is poised to kick arse in North America. Looks like 1 million sales between the two isn't too far off.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Lancer back?

      I thought it was the BMW 3 series? - Oh, wait, no, it was the Lexus IS or any one of another 3 or 4 different models.
      • 7 Years Ago
      very clean design, down to the key fob.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Oooh the next gen Honda Civic, looks much better now. I wonder when it will hit Honda Dealerships.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If the car has a 200-hp option I'm signing up right the heck now.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Those seats with the red squiggly lines on them are a joke, right?

      Other than that it looks like a pretty decent package, especially for $12k.
        • 7 Years Ago
        That's a cutaway image showing where the seat-heater coils live.
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