Kia Forte: New Compact Sedan Unveiled in Chicago & Toronto

Kia Forte: New Compact Sedan Unveiled in Chicago & Toronto
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Unveiled simultaneously at the Chicago Auto Show and the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, Kia took the wraps of its new Forte compact sedan.

The Forte will be offered in three trims with LX and EX models featuring a 2.0-liter four cylinder engine with 156hp and 144 ft-lbs of torque. An SX model will also be offered with a larger 2.4-liter four cylinder boasting 173hp and 168 ft-lbs of torque. This is more power than what is offered in either the top line Mazda3 or Toyota Corolla.

A five-speed manual is standard on the LX and EX with an optional four-speed automatic. We’re a little disappointed to see a four-speed on a brand new cars these days but those who so choose can opt for the SX, which comes with a six-speed manual as standard an an optional five-speed automatic.

Kia will offer a Fuel Economy Package, featuring the 2.0-liter engine with a five-speed auto, motor driven power steering (as opposed to electric), low rolling resistance tires and improved aerodynamics. This will result in a class-leading 36 mpg on the highway.

LX models will be quite basic but EX and SX models will include standard power windows and locks, remote keyless entry, AC and steering-wheel mounted audio and cruise controls. A sunroof and leather seating will be optional. SX owners might just want to stick with the cloth seats, however, as Kia has equipped the Forte SX with styling red stitching.

SX models will also get plenty of other upgrades to match that red stitching, including a sport-tuned suspension, larger front brakes, a rear spoiler and 17-inch wheels with significantly sized 215/45/17 tires.

Wow.. a Kia we’re actually excited to drive!

Note: At the Canadian International Auto Show, Kia also had the Koup Concept on display (first featured at least year’s New York Auto Show) and according to Kia rep Sixto Fernandes, Kia will launch a new coupe in the summer and we should expect it to look very close to the concept.

2010 Kia Forte:

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Kia Koup Concept:

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Official release after the jump:

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