At the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, Kia displayed two shapely five-door models but only one will be launched immediately. The 2014 Forte 5-door, which is the model that permits Kia’s new compact Forte to go up against the Ford Focus, Subaru Impreza, Mazda 3, and the mechanically comparable Hyundai Elantra, are available in both four- and five-door forms.
In comparison with the blocky Forte5 it replaces, the new Forte 5-door is a breath of fresh air. It is stylish, swoopy, and similar to other new Kia designs, it appears to be a bit more upscale than it really is. The Base Forte 5-Doors are EX models, which mean that they’re really on-par with the top grade 2014 Forte sedan in terms of equipment. Kia has decided to launch the Forte hatch in Chicago by releasing the sportier Forte SX model.
This car is powered by a new 201-hp, 1.6-liter turbocharged I-4. The SX models get a new nose, with a truncated “tiger nose” grille and a huge, trapezoidal lower grille opening. In addition, it gets a set of distinctive 18-inch wheels and several minor interior and exterior modifications. The carbon fiber accents are everywhere. The pattern is featured on the SX’s rear valance panel, dash and door trim accents, and seat bolsters.
Furthermore, the SX models get perforated leather seating. Offered as an additional cost option are heated front and rear outboard seats. However, it’s not certain that 201hp will be sufficient. It may not be considered as a direct rival to models like a Volkswagen GTI, Ford Focus ST, or a Mazdaspeed 3. Potential buyers may be disappointed once they figure out that its output is almost 50hp lower than both the ST and 60hp lower than the MS3.
The new five-door Kia Forte was created at the design studio in Studio with development being managed by none other than Peter Schreyer, the brand’s global chief of design. This vehicle has that sophisticated hatchback profile with those large wheels an an aggressive posture. The combination gives it that unique European look which provides clues to its performance.
Forte’s shaped body immediately grabs one’s attention while making sure that Kia continues to take the lead when it comes to design, a tradition long held by the brand. Much like the sedan counterpart, the 5-door version remains to have swept headlights which extend to the front fenders. There are also the broad shoulders and raked windshield.
Combined all together, this allows the front section to have that athletic and smooth look. By putting in the LED positioning lights, this gives the front fascia a more premium look. Under the SX, the wheel wells are fitted with the 18-inch wheels. As already mentioned, the hatchback profile allows it to have that European performance-oriented character.
On its rear section, the rear hatch glass can be opened to display usable cargo film measuring 23.2 cubic feet. Rounding off the premium feel of the rear end and exterior are the LED tail lights. Further, the more athletic rear valance, which has that twin chrome exhaust, guarantees that this 5-door version has that edgy quality. Going on the inside, this latest model from Kia clearly shows the use of premium materials as well as soft touch points. Placed deep on the instrument cluster are the white-on-black gauges.
As these are large, information is easy to read. Helping give the interior that athletic touch are the chrome accents which borders the HVAC controls and the push-button start, though the latter is more of an option. Meanwhile the use of fiber-like carbon textures also help bring it that sporty feel. The steering wheel, which is wrapped in leather, and the shift knob also help prove its performance goals.
There are even features that are clearly class-exclusive. Examples include the air-cooled driver’s seat and the heated outboard seats for both the front and the rear. In addition, the electric driver-selectable steering guarantees that the Forte 5-door is ahead of the pack.