• Feb 11, 2009

Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2010 Kia Forte

We got our first look at the 2010 Kia Forte earlier this morning, and we are pleased to say that it looks even better in person as it does in photos. The replacement for the Spectra retains many of the design elements first seen on the Koup Concept, and we're glad it does. The complex lines of the side profile and particularly where the A-pillar meets the hood make it quite attractive. Even Kia admitted that the Spectra was a fairly forgettable car, but we're guessing that the Forte will be making waves in the small sedan segment. In addition to the standard 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty, Forte owners will get a 2.4L inline-4 with 173 horsepower and up to 25/34 mpg in SX trim, while the LX and EX offer a 2.0L inline-4 with 156 horsepower and 26/36 mpg. Pricing has yet to be announced, but expect it to be highly competitive within its class. More details on the car can be found in the press release after the jump, and we highly encourage checking out our high-res gallery of live shots that show off the car's angles.



Live photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.

PRESS RELEASE:

KIA MOTORS AMERICA INTRODUCES ALL-NEW KIA FORTE
Kia's New Compact Sedan Makes its Debut at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show

Kia Motors debuts sporty and fuel-efficient compact sedan

New Forte blends impressive new style with Kia Motors quality and value

CHICAGO, Feb. 11, 2009 – On the heels of announcing the widely acclaimed, all-new Kia Soul, Kia Motors America (KMA) today introduced the all-new 2010 Kia Forte (pronounced for-tay) compact sedan at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show. Forte blends Kia's exciting new design direction under the tutelage of Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors' chief design officer, with a multitude of standard features. The 2010 Kia Forte will go on sale in North America in late spring or early summer of 2009.

"Kia Motors' product line is rapidly evolving and the Forte compact sedan is another head turner," said B.M. Ahn, group president and CEO, KMA and KMMG. "The Forte is an aggressively stylish blend of comfort and practicality – and with a host of standard features it provides the great quality and value that consumers have come to expect from Kia vehicles."

Style in Motion
Sporting stylish and aggressive design cues, the new Forte firmly establishes itself as a strong contender in its segment. With a bold look set apart by crisp lines, swept-back headlamps and a sleek profile, Forte exudes a confident stance that conveys motion both while cruising the highway and parked in the driveway. Available in three trim levels (LX, EX and SX), Forte offers a sleek, sophisticated design. The sportier SX trim offers a more athletic profile with 17-inch alloy wheels paired with P215/45R17-sized premium tires and a rear spoiler.

Smooth and Comfortable Ride
With a wheelbase of 104.3 inches, an overall length of 178.3 inches, an overall width of 69.9 inches and overall height of 57.5 inches, Forte offers one of the roomiest interiors in its class with seating for up to five passengers. The Kia-engineered body achieves high torsional stiffness giving Forte better handling, smoother ride quality and greater refinement than its competitors, with a specially tuned suspension adjusted perfectly for responsive handling on curvy roads. Additional refinements are fitted throughout Forte to help ensure a comfortable ride with good noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) reduction qualities.

Built on a front-wheel-drive unibody frame, Forte utilizes an independent front suspension with MacPherson struts and a stabilizer bar and a torsion beam rear suspension with struts and coil springs. This combination helps provide the optimal balance of handling and comfort. An engine-speed-sensitive, power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system adds the finishing touch for precise handling by providing the most advantageous amount of assist for varying road conditions. In keeping with the sporty essence of the SX model line, a sport-tuned suspension gives the chassis a firmer feel and responsiveness resulting in a sportier and more spirited ride. The SX model also features larger front brakes for improved stopping capabilities.

Attractive and Practical Interior
Forte boasts a class-leading 96.8 cubic feet of passenger volume, while driver and passengers have an impressive 40.0 inches of headroom and 43.3 inches of legroom in the front seats and 37.8 inches of headroom and 35.0 inches of legroom in the rear seats. Forte's trunk also offers an impressive 14.7 cubic feet of cargo space, one of the largest in its class, perfect for luggage for weekend getaways.

Capitalizing on its spacious interior, Forte pampers its riders with a host of interior features, starting with comfortable, nicely appointed full cloth seats. A six-way adjustable driver's seat, tilt steering column, rear defroster and dual 12-volt power outlets in the center console are driver- and passenger-conscious luxuries standard on every vehicle.

EX and SX models offer a number of additional standard luxurious touches such as: power windows and door locks; remote keyless entry; air conditioning; map lamps; steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls; dual front and rear cup holders; and floor mats. Forte EX and SX models also include standard cruise control with an optional sunroof and leather-trimmed seats. Also standard on SX models is a telescoping steering column as well as sport cloth seats adorned with red stitching, further enhancing its energetic persona.

Peppy Performance
Forte LX and EX are powered by a 2.0-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine, producing 156 horsepower and 144 pound-feet of torque, that features Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) and multi-port electronic fuel injection, both of which provide for greater performance and fuel economy. The SX features an upgraded 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine, also with CVVT, which delivers 173 horsepower – more than the most powerful versions of the Toyota Corolla or even the 2010 Mazda3.

Two transmission options are offered for the 2010 Forte: a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission (LX and EX models). The SX model features a standard six-speed manual transmission and an optional five-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic®.

The optional Fuel Economy Package, available with the 2.0-liter powerplant, will include the five-speed automatic transmission, Motor Drive Power Steering and low-rolling resistance tires with aero enhancements. These improvements result in class-leading combined fuel economy of 36 mpg (highway).

Music that Moves
Forte comes with a standard four speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system outfitted with SIRIUS Satellite Radio capabilities with three months complimentary service. Standard on all models is an auxiliary audio input jack and USB port for connecting personal MP3 players. Standard Bluetooth® connectivity enables hands-free operation for compatible cell phones. For true audiophiles, the EX and SX packages also add a standard six speaker surround audio system and steering wheel controls.

Standard Kia Motors Safety
Forte offers a class-leading level of standard safety equipment, with features such as active front headrests, advanced two-stage airbags, front seat-mounted and side curtain airbags, four-wheel disc brakes with an antilock brake system (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC), a traction control system (TCS), and a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS).

Industry-Leading Warranty
Like all Kia models, Forte is covered by a comprehensive warranty program, which offers unprecedented consumer protection. Included in this program are a 10-year or 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a five-year or 60,000-mile limited basic warranty, and a five-year or 100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty. A five-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan is also part of the comprehensive coverage program.

2009 Product Line
Kia Motors America offers a dynamic and diverse product line of 11 vehicles to meet the needs of all lifestyles. The 2009 vehicle line features the functional Rondo CUV and award-winning Sedona minivan along with a wide variety of popular passenger cars, including the refined Amanti full-size sedan, purposeful Optima midsize sedan, versatile and compact Spectra and Spectra5, and sporty yet fuel-efficient Rio and Rio5 subcompacts. The vehicle line also features the affordably luxurious Borrego, rugged Sorento and value-packed Sportage SUVs. The 2010 Soul will further complement the lineup when it arrives in dealerships this spring.

2010 KIA FORTE SPECIFICATIONS

GENERAL INFO

Body configuration: Compact sedan
Body type: Steel unibody
Drivetrain layout: Front engine, front drive
Passenger capacity: 5

ENGINE

Type
LX & EX: 2.0-liter, in-line four-cylinder, aluminum block and aluminum head
SX: 2.4-liter, inline four-cylinder, aluminum block and aluminum head

Valve gear
LX & EX: DOHC, four valves/cylinder w/ CVVT
SX: DOHC, four valves/cylinder w/ CVVT

Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
LX & EX: 156 @ 6200
SX: 173 @ 6000

Torque (lb.-ft @ rpm)
LX & EX: 144 @ 4300
SX: 168 @ 4000

Bore x stroke (mm)
LX & EX: 86.0 x 86.0
SX: 88.0 x 97.0

Displacement (cc)
LX & EX: 1998
SX: 2359

Compression ratio
LX & EX: 10.5:1
SX: 10.5:1

Emissions rating
50-state: LEV-II (ULEV) Tier-2 (Bin 4)
CAL: LEV-II (SULEV PZEV)

Fuel tank capacity (gal.): 13.7

Engine oil capacity (qt.)
LX & EX: 4.1
SX: 4.5

DRIVETRAIN

Transmission
LX & EX: Five-speed manual
SX: Six-speed manual
LX & EX: Electronically controlled four-speed automatic
EX w/ Fuel Economy Package
SX: Electronically controlled five-speed automatic w/ Sportmatic

SUSPENSION

Front: Independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Rear : Torsion beam w/ struts, coil springs, stabilizer bar

STEERING

Type: Engine-speed-sensitive, power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Turning circle, curb-to-curb (ft.): 33.8

DIMENSIONS (in.)

Exterior:
Overall length: 178.3
Overall width: 69.9
Overall height: 57.5
Wheelbase: 104.3
Track, front/rear: 61.3 / 61.6
Ground Clearance: 5.9

Interior:
Headroom, front/rear: 40.0 / 37.8
Shoulder room, front/rear: 55.7 / 54.7
Legroom, front/rear: 43.3 / 35.0
Front hip room, front/rear: 53.0 / 53.3
Interior volume (cu. ft.): 96.8
Cargo volume (cu. ft.): 14.7

BRAKES

Type: Hydraulic, power-assisted vacuum w/ four-sensor, four-channel ABS + ESC
Front
LX & EX: 11.0-inch ventilated discs
SX: 11.8-inch ventilated discs
Rear
10.3-inch solid discs

TIRES & WHEELS

Tires
P195/65R15 (LX)
P205/55R16 (EX)
P215/45R17 (SX)

Wheels
5.5J x 15 steel (LX)
6.0J x 16 alloy (EX)
7.0J x 17 alloy (SX)

FUEL ECONOMY (mpg)
LX & EX
SX

City/Highway
5-speed M/T
TBD
--
6-speed M/T
--
TBD
4-speed A/T
25 / 34 (est.)
--
5-speed A/T
26 / 36 (est.)
TBD


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 41 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I never thought I'd actually want a Kia. Nicely done.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Better looking than the Civic, both inside and out.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not on the inside, that's for sure.

        I still like Civic inside and out, but Forte is gorgeous.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Looks great! Like a sporty, less generic Civic...

        Not hard to beat a Honda interior these days. Especially the current Civic.
      • 5 Years Ago
      26/36 mph and 173 horsepower? Seems like the Koreans are competing spec for spec now instead of just on price and are handily beating the competition! (Mazda 3 has less power and way worse FE, Corolla and Civic have similar FE for much less power).
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Mazda FTW!

        he's talking about the base mazda 3 you dumbass!

        are you really trying to compare a mazdaspeed 3 to this? did you forget about the $10,000 price difference between those two?

        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Mazda FTW!

        wow. my bad. my apologies.

        i guess i should learn how to read lol

        • 5 Years Ago
        Go drive a Mazda3 and then we'll talk.


      • 5 Years Ago
      .....And it looks like an Audi because Kia hired Audi's Design Chief Peter Scheyer.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Audi and Honda called. But that being said, it's not a bad-looking car
      • 5 Years Ago
      No mention of nav or push-button start, both of which are available in other markets and were shown on early US spec vehicles. [Almost] Every other car in it's class offers nav and quite a few have advanced tech features. Nice to see the USB port though. Should be popular with young adults who like style and safety on a budget.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love the looks, the specs, and the price.
      • 5 Years Ago
      " Forte owners will get a 2.4L inline-4 with 173 horsepower and up to 25/34 mpg in SX trim, while the LX and EX offer a 2.0L inline-4 with 156 horsepower"

      Hmmmm Those trim levels looks very familiar.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Only the blind (or unsophisticated think the Forte looks like the Civic).

      First off, the side/greenhouse and rear of the Forte looks NOTHING like the Civic (that's most of the car).

      Second, w/ regard to the front, the Forte's grille is totally DIFFERENT - much larger and wider and w/o that chrome bar across the top (speaking of grilles, Saturn and Subaru also use grille shapes w/ a chrome bar across the top much like the Civic, but funny how no one accuses Saturn or Subaru of "copying" Honda; but then again, Honda wasn't the one to originate the grille w/ the chrome bar across the top - that was Mitsu, so they all, including Honda, "copied" Mitsu).

      Third, the only thing on the Forte even resembling the Civic are the headlights - while both have "kinks", the Forte's kink is different and Forte's headlights are noticeably larger (w/ both a larger grille and headlamps, the Forte doesn't have the "ricer" look that the Civic does).

      The people who say the Forte "copies" the Civic are the same idiots who say the Sonata copies the Accord (despite, the Sonata looking NOTHING like the Accord from the front and side; and the Accord's taillights are hardly original - previous gen Camry and various GM models have had similar taillights).

      Gee, the CR-V has taillights on the D-pillar - I guess that means the CR-V is a copy of Volvos w/ that feature.

      The ones who have surmised that the Forte has the same basic/clean lines as Audi (but w/ more angular character lines) are correct.

      If we are going to talk about copying - let's talk about the current Accord (front: 2007 Sonata; side/greenhouse: totally Nissan/Infiniti w/ the C-pillar "kink", but then again, Nissan/Infiniti copied that from BMW; rear" Saturn).
      • 5 Years Ago
      This car is gorgeous! Anyone who thinks it looks anything like the Civic is blind and stupid. The Forte Coupe, due out by the end of the year, is going to be an aboslute knockout. This car will sell like crazy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The headlights look like there from a honda civic and the back already ulooks smashed in.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Attractive car on the outside and inside. Should make all of its competitors a little nervous.
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