Update: 2014 Kia Forte 5-Door Arrives In Chicago

By Brandon Turkus

February 07, 2013

For more information about the Kia Forte, including news, reviews, photos, and videos, please visit its master landing page.
 
Hyundai built a hot hatch. It’s called the Veloster Turbo, and it has 3.5 doors and a 201-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder under the hood. Now, bitter rival/sister company Kia has done its take on the hot hatch, offering up a stylish, five-door Forte with the same 201-horsepower engine. Verdict? Well, the Forte wins on looks.
 
This is an impressive looking small car, blending the right elements of the new Forte Sedan with the overall profile of a Hyundai Elantra GT. The smaller front grille looks better than the maw on the Sedan, giving the front end a cleaner look, overall. On the turbocharged SX model, a pair of meaty exhaust tips are sit on each side of a small diffuser. It looks good, and is certainly the most aggressive look we’ve seen from Kia.
 
The interior is pretty much identical to the Sedan. So that means a logical layout, Kia’s UVO system, and decent materials.
 
But on to that engine. It’s a 1.6-liter, borrowed from the Veloster Turbo. Like the Hyundai from which it’s pilfered, it delivers 201 ponies and 195 pound-feet of torque (all of which are available between 1750 and 4500 rpm. For those that aren’t interested in baking the front tires, the base Forte EX will come to market with a 2.0-liter, naturally aspirated four-pot, that delivers 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. Adequate numbers, but we’ll take the turbo, thanks. A six-speed automatic is the sole gearbox for the 2.0-liter, while buyers of the turbo will get a standard six-speed manual and an optional automatic.
 
Look for the 2014 Forte 5-Door at your local Kia dealer during the third quarter of this year.
 
Please scroll down for the official press release from Kia.
 
KIA MOTORS AMERICA UNVEILS ALL-NEW FORTE 5-DOOR AT 2013 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW
201-HP Turbocharged Four-Cylinder Engine is First for Forte 5-Door SX
 
Lower, longer and wider, the all-new Forte 5-door combines European style with the practicality of a hatchback
Forte 5-door is expected to go on sale in the third quarter of 2013
 
CHICAGO, Feb. 7, 2013 – Kia Motors America (KMA) ignited the 2013 Chicago Auto Show when the all-new, ultra-hot Forte 5-door rolled on-stage today.  The all-new Forte 5-door SX’s eye-catching European-inspired hatchback design is complimented by an all-new 1.6-liter gasoline direct-injected (GDI) turbocharged four-cylinder engine putting out 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque, making the all-new Forte 5-door SX the most powerful Forte from KMA to date.  The Forte 5-door is expected to go on sale in the third quarter of 2013, and pricing will be announced closer to launch.
 
“We received very positive feedback after the all-new Forte sedan made its debut at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, and we expect the all-new Forte 5-door will build upon that success,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing & communications, KMA.  “The combination of a useful hatchback for carrying cargo and the sportiness of the turbocharged SX trim make the all-new Forte 5-door a dual threat in the segment.”
 
Presented in two trim levels, EX and SX, with two distinct engine choices, the Forte 5-door will offer customers Kia’s long list of premium amenities and features not normally found in the compact segment.  Under the hood, the Forte 5-door packs a punch, with the EX’s 2.0-liter GDI four-cylinder engine putting out a healthy 173 horsepower and 154 lb.-ft. of torque through a 6-speed automatic transmission.  The performance-oriented SX comes standard with the hard-charging 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder, a first for the Forte line.  The SX also offers buyers the chance to pick their own gears with a standard 6-speed manual transmission, or they may opt for the 6-speed automatic featuring steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
 
Standard Features and Technology Take Value to New Levels of Sophistication
Carrying on Kia’s reputation of offering tremendous value, the all-new Forte 5-door offers buyers an impressive allotment of technology and safety features.  The base EX comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, UVO eServices with rear camera display1, Bluetooth®2 wireless technology, SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio3 , leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio and cruise control buttons, FlexSteer™, tilt and telescoping steering column, power windows, and LED positioning headlights with fog lights.
 
The SX trim ups the ante with standard 18-inch alloy wheels, dual chrome exhaust tips, and LED tail lights.  Forte 5-door SX also offers an aggressive front fascia with larger bumper and grille openings, black gloss grille inserts, larger front brakes, alloy sport pedals, front and rear seats with carbon fiber-style accents.  The lower front fascia and rear valance also feature carbon fiber-look trim pieces.
 
Additionally, both EX and SX trim levels offer optional HID headlights, navigation system with HD Radio™4, sunroof, heated steering wheel,10-way adjustable power driver’s seat, heated front seats and cooled driver’s seat, heated rear outboard seats, leather seating surfaces, SmartKey with push-button start, electric chromatic rearview mirror and dual-zone automatic climate control.
 
Stunning European Design Language
Born from the Kia design studio in Seoul and overseen by Kia’s global chief of design, Peter Schreyer, the Forte 5-door’s sophisticated hatchback profile, large wheels and aggressive posture give it a distinctly European appearance that speaks to its performance intentions.  The chiseled body commands attention and continues Kia’s tradition as a design leader in the industry.
 
Like its Forte sedan counterpart, the Forte 5-door’s swept headlights stretch deep into the front fenders and the raked windshield and broad shoulders give the front end a sleek, sporty appearance.  LED positioning lights add a premium look to the front fascia.  Moving around the vehicle, the large 18-inch wheels fill the wheel wells on the SX, and the hatchback profile affords a performance-oriented European personality.  Around back, the rear hatch glass opens to reveal 23.2 cubic feet of usable cargo space.  LED tail lights complete the premium feel of the exterior and a sporty rear valance with twin chrome exhaust tips maintains the Forte 5-door’s edgy demeanor.
 
Sporty Cabin with Premium Features
Inside, the Forte 5-door features premium materials and soft touch points. Large, easy-to-read white-on-black gauges nestle deeply into the instrument cluster.  Chrome accents around the HVAC controls and optional push-button start, along with carbon fiber-like textures on the dash and seats, add a sporty touch.  A grippy leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob are further evidence of the Forte 5-door’s performance aspirations. Class-exclusive available features such as front and rear heated outboard seats, an air-cooled driver’s seat and driver-selectable electric steering further set the Forte 5-door apart from its competition.
 
Thrilling Driving Experience
The Forte 5-door SX is the most powerful Forte built by Kia to date, utilizing a 1.6-liter GDI turbocharged four-cylinder that help improve performance.  Power is seamlessly transferred to the front wheels via a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.  The GDI powerplant produces 201 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 195 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,750-4,500 rpm.  The advanced powertrain features double overhead cams with dual continuously variable valve timing to help improve efficiency and performance. 
 
The Forte 5-door EX comes standard with a 2.0-liter GDI powerplant producing 173 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 154 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,700 rpm.  During durability testing, the engines are run 300 continuous hours at redline under full load then for an additional 20 hours at 10 percent above redline under full load.
 
To help further improve performance, the Forte 5-door features a sport-tuned suspension with a McPherson strut setup in front and a multilink rear design.  The Forte 5-door rides on standard 205/55R-16 tires while 225/40R-18 tires are included with the SX trim for an even more sporting driving experience.
 
Kia:  One of the World’s Fastest Moving Global Automotive Brands
Kia Motors America is one of only three auto brands to increase U.S. sales in each of the past four years, and in 2012 the company surpassed the 500,000 unit mark for the first time.  With a full line of fun-to-drive cars and CUVs, Kia is advancing value to new levels of sophistication by combining European-influenced styling – under the guidance of chief design officer Peter Schreyer – with cutting-edge technologies, premium amenities, affordable pricing and the lowest cost of ownership in the industry.  Kia recently joined the exclusive ranks of Interbrand’s “Top 100 Best Global Brands,” and is poised to continue its momentum with seven all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles scheduled to arrive in showrooms in 2013.  Over the past decade Kia Motors has invested more than $1.4 billion in the U.S., including the company’s first U.S. assembly plant in West Point, Georgia – Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia – which is responsible for the creation of more than 11,000 plant and supplier jobs.  The success of the U.S.-built* Optima and Sorento in two of the industry’s largest segments has fueled Kia’s rapid growth and is complemented by Kia’s comprehensive lineup which includes the Soul urban passenger vehicle, Sportage compact CUV, Optima Hybrid, the Forte sedan, 5-door and Koup compacts, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and the Sedona minivan.
 
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 765 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA. In 2012, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and gained U.S. market share for the 18th consecutive year.  Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new technologies.
 
Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its website – www.kia.com. For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com.