Kia Forte awarded IIHS 'Top Safety Pick'

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]
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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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