After strapping ourselves behind the wheel of Kia's new Forte sedan for our initial drive, we came away thinking that the new Korean was a stylish, reasonable alternative to the scads of Honda Civics and Toyota Corollas populating America's roadways. Now it's time for Kia to follow the handsome sedan up with its first-ever two-door
Underneath the attractive (if derivative) sheetmetal will be seating for five thanks in part to the same 104.3-inch wheelbase that underpins the sedan. The Koup does sit lower than the four-door, though, and Kia says the ride and handling has been retuned for a sportier feel and features beefier L-shaped lower arms propping up the expected McPherson struts in front. Sixteen-inch alloy wheels and speed-sensitive power steering come standard and an uplevel SX trim stiffens things up even further.
Powering the Koup is the same set of engine options as the sedan, meaning that the base and LX models get a 2.0-liter with 156 horsepower and 144 lb-ft of torque mated up with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic, while the top-level SX gets a 2.4-liter mill with 173 horsepower and 168 lb-ft torque that can be ordered with either a five-speed automatic or six-speed manual. EPA fuel mileage estimates range from 25/34 with the base engine to 23/31 with the larger engine and automatic transmission.
All Koup models include all the expected safety gear plus standard Bluetooth connectivity with steering wheel-mounted controls, a six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with Sirius, air conditioning, power windows, power door locks with remote keyless entry, cruise control with steering wheel-mounted controls, a driver's seat height adjuster and tilt steering. Options include a sunroof and heated leather seats. Want to know more? Click past the break for the full press release.