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2010 Kia Forte sedan – Click above for high-res image gallery

Much like parent company Hyundai, Kia has been working hard to revive its brand image. New products like the Soul and Forte have been relatively well received so far, and with new stunners like the 2011 Sportage and Optima on the way, Kia should benefit from a healthy boost in sales. But strip away the sleek new designs and clever interior packaging, and you'll find that Kia's core value of crafting extremely safe vehicles is still holding strong, especially now that the 2010 Forte sedan has been named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The Forte received ratings of "Good" (the highest achievable) in front, side, rear and rollover impact crash tests – something that safety-minded buyers will surely appreciate. What's more, this gives the Forte more ammo to compete head on with the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, its two main competitors, which have also been dubbed as Top Safety Picks by IIHS. Curiously, only the sedan was mentioned in the IIHS study, so we can't say if this prestigious honor carries over to the two-door coupe Koup. Hit the jump to read the full IIHS press release.

[Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety]
Show full PR text
Kia Forte Awarded 'Top Safety Pick' By Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

New for 2010 Compact Sedan Wins Highest Award from IIHS

- Forte receives top ratings for front, side, rollover, and rear impact protection

- Compact sedan is third vehicle in company history to be named 'Top Safety Pick'

IRVINE, Calif., April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Following in the footsteps of the 2010 Soul urban passenger vehicle, the 2010 Kia Forte compact sedan has been recognized by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) with a 2010 "Top Safety Pick" award in the Small Car category. The new Forte, which replaced Kia's popular Spectra model, received the organization's top honor by earning "Good" ratings – the highest achievable – in frontal, side, rear and rollover impact crash safety tests. The Sedona minivan was chosen as a "Top Safety Pick" shortly after its launch in 2006.

"The Kia brand is growing rapidly in the U.S. thanks to new vehicles such as the Forte that embody our core philosophies of quality, value, style and safety," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing of Kia Motors America (KMA). "Forte offers buyers a youthful and dynamically styled vehicle with an impressive array of standard safety features, and being honored as an IIHS 'Top Safety Pick' award winner furthers its position as a top contender in its segment and a vehicle that offers consumers the entire package."

Ratings from the Institute are based on results from frontal, side and rear impact crash tests, and for the first time a good performance in a roof strength test to measure protection in a rollover also was required to win. Each vehicle's overall evaluation was based on various measurements specific to each crash angle, and overall impact on crash test dummies inside the vehicle at the time of collision. All vehicles must have electronic stability control available to be eligible.

Available in three trims, LX, EX and SX, pricing for the Forte sedan starts at $13,695 for the LX trim, while the EX begins at $15,995 and the SX starts at $17,495(1). In addition to competitive pricing, Forte also showcases a class-leading combination of standard safety features with active front headrests, advanced two-stage airbags, front seat-mounted and side curtain airbags, four-wheel disc brakes with an antilock brake system (ABS), brake assist (BAS), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), electronic stability control (ESC), a traction control system (TCS) and a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS).

All Forte models also come well-stocked with a long list of standard amenities, starting with a standard AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system outfitted with SIRIUS Satellite Radio capabilities with three months complimentary service(2). Also standard on all models is an auxiliary audio input jack and USB port for connecting personal MP3 players as well as Bluetooth®(3) wireless technology and connectivity with steering wheel-mounted controls, which enables hands-free operation for all compatible mobile phones.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Bring on the Fanboys!"

      Actually, this deserves attention from everyone, not just Hyundai/Kia "Fanboys". This just show how much has Kia changed in the market of reliability/quality, How hiring peter schreyer was the smartest move for Kia (even at 10million dollar a year salary to keep him) And how Kia is a true value carmaker (Hyundai's being going up in prices), giving you a car 1-2 grand cheaper than it's competitors for little or no compromise.
      • 5 Years Ago
      peter schreyer is the man. germans know design.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wasn't that many years ago that the KIA Spectra was sharply criticized for being a death trap. Shows how good management can change things.

      Hyundai and Kia have become respectable brands after having been crap.
      The new Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima are as slick as any mid-sized sedans out there.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I can speak for experience that these cars are safe. I am a 30 yo man, 6'4, 300 lbs and hit a stopped car on the interstate going 60mph in November (was blinded by the sun). I walked away with some chest bruises. No blood. No broken bones. Nothing else.

      I went two weeks later and bought another identical car (except a color change) and have loved every second of it.

      This car handles well, is fun to drive, looks great, and as proven now, is safe.

      Thanks Kia for the safety of this car - it saved my life.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Korean cars are fast edging out Japanese cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Cheap, Good looking, Dependable like Japanese or American cars, hey I am no fan boy but I might become one if Koreans keep their momentum. BTW I also love all Ford new products bring them all to USA. Funny how GM tried bringing their Australian and European products and ended up so badly here maybe wrong marketing? maybe wrong branding? but we only know ONE Ford in Euro,Asia,America just Ford no other extra unnecessary brands.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Bring on the Fanboys!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Quote: ""But strip away the sleek new designs and clever interior packaging, and you'll find that Kia's core value of crafting extremely safe vehicles is still holding strong,""

        Jesus. How much did KIA pay AutoBlog to insert their ad copy into this article?

        Since when has Hyundai-KIA ever produced "extremely safe vehicles" or held doing that that as a "core value?"

        The Hyundai Accent and KIA Rio have been shoddily made death traps for years.

        Hyundai even further reduced the limited safety margin of the Accent by removing ABS as a standard feature.

        So KIA has finally brought their ungainly looking transport appliance up to the industry standards met by almost every other manufacturer years ago.


        Is AutoBlog going to be treating every minor accomplishment of the Hyundai-KIA Corp. like it's the second coming?
        • 5 Years Ago
        it really looks good every time i see them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        tekdemon, what the hell difference does it make if the name is Chinese or Korean or whatever? Does anyone care how French "Chevrolet" is?
        • 5 Years Ago

        "The word Kia derives from Korean words meaning “to arise to the world out of Asia.” (Wikipedia) I can't read Korean, but I'm guessing it's some kind of acronym of words there.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Fan boys? With that kinda warranty, safety and price tag, I wouldn't mind owning one... but i'll never be a KIA fan boy

        • 5 Years Ago
        Not that it matters terribly, but according to Kia, the "ki" part comes from Chinese; lower on the Wikipedia page, it's referred to as a Sino-Korean word.

        Soon enough, everyone who associates the name with Sephia and can't get that out of their mind will be too old for the brand anyway.

        Kudos for doing it; hope next time they get Top Safety Pick right off the bat and don't have to keep making changes like they did this time. But live and learn, I guess.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's probably the best built car with a Chinese brand name.
        (to the geniuses who are gonna post and say that Kia is Korean you should go read up on what Kia's name means)
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Bring on the Fanboys!"

        No, it really is a decent little car. The Forte's interior is still cheaper-feeling than a Civic's, and it feels just that little bit cheaper on the road, but it's heaps nicer than the current domestic crop. And I will say this: I saw a white Koup out of the corner of my eye yesterday and actually registered "S5."
      • 5 Years Ago
      Haha... I beat Angelo and Luis to it! I really like the Forte! Kia, please keep making well designed cars! And please keep Peter Schreyer at the helm in design!
        • 5 Years Ago
        agreed. i didn't realize how good this thing actually looks in real life until i was behind one yesterday, for the money I can't think of a better car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Quote: ""Haha... I beat Angelo and Luis to it!"


        i LOL @ u fanbyz
      • 5 Years Ago
      Uhhhh...I'm a big fan of the new Kia products but, the company has NEVER been known for making highly rated vehicles in terms of safety. Seriously, why even mention that? The fact that they now have as many top safety picks as Ford, Honda, GM and Toyota shows their improvement. But don't pretend they've been doing it for a long time.
      • 5 Years Ago
      after seeing the forte coupe in person, it is surprisingly attractive. It looks far less Civic rip off in person and really looks good. I cant help but hope that their 2.0L turbo making 275hp and getting 34mpg makes it into one of these little kias. Put that engine in any forte or a soul and im sold.
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