Keeping pace with Hyundai, Kia unveiled its latest production car today: the 2013 Forte 5-Door.
Like it or not Kia is a brand that’s going places. Last year the South Korean automaker’s U.S. sales topped half a million units for the first time ever. To continue that explosive growth they have to keep pushing, and one of the products that will carry them into the future is a stylish hatchback that was just revealed at the Chicago Auto Show this morning.
The 2014 Forte 5-Door is a logical extension of the brand’s C-Segment nameplate. Late last year they unveiled the redesigned sedan-version of the car at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Now the company is showing hatchback enthusiasts some love.
Kia calls the car “ultra hot” and it’s certainly a looker with “European style,” but as always you can judge for yourself. The new Forte 5-Door will be offered in two trim levels: run-of-the-mill EX and sporty SX.
The standard car (read: EX) is powered by a 2.0-liter direct-injection gasoline engine. It delivers an impressive 173 horsepower with 154 lb-ft of torque. Despite its sporty styling it is only offered with a six-speed automatic transmission. If you want three pedals and an H-pattern shifter you’ll have to step up to the SX version.
This sporty trim gets a host of enhancements, most importantly what’s behind its unmistakably Kia grille. Pop the hood and you’ll find a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It delivers a 201 horsepower roundhouse kick with 195 lb-ft of karate-choppin’ torque. That’s enough output to make this the most powerful Forte ever built by Kia. Drivers can choose between either a manual or automatic transmission; both offer six forward speeds.
Other niceties abound. SX cars feature standard 18-inch wheels, chrome-plated dual exhaust tips and LED tail lamps. The front and rear ends are also slightly different and they benefit from bigger brakes to help reign-in the extra power.
High-intensity-discharge (HID) headlamps are available on both models as is an optional navigation system with HD Radio. Other big-car touches include a 10-way power driver’s seat and heated front buckets, both of which are available at extra cost.
If you’re in the market for a stylish and feature-laden hatchback you can look for the Forte 5-door at Kia stores in the third quarter of 2013.
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