Kia debuts the 2014 Forte 5-door at the Chicago Auto Show

Article by Christian A., on February 10, 2013

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.

Press Release

Kia Forte 5-door

Kia Motors America (KMA) ignited the 2013 Chicago Auto Show when the all-new, ultra-hot Kia Forte 5-door rolled on-stage. 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 Kia 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 Kia 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 Kia 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 Kia 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 display, Bluetooth® wireless technology, SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio, 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. Kia 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™, 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 Kia 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 Kia 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 Kia Forte 5-door's edgy demeanor.

Sporty Cabin with Premium Features

Inside, the Kia 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 Kia Forte 5-door apart from its competition.

Thrilling Driving Experience

The Kia 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 Kia 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 Kia Forte 5-door features a sport-tuned suspension with a McPherson strut setup in front and a multilink rear design. The Kia 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.

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