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2020 Kia Forte GT

2020 Kia Forte GT

The 2019 Forte’s smarter and stronger twin

The GT version of the Forte was to arrive soon, but we expected it to make its debut at the Detroit Motor Show early next year. The South Korean automaker caught us by surprise by releasing the updated Forte GT for the 202 model year. It carries the good looks but adds more grunt and pace to the standard Forte.

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2019 Kia Forte

2019 Kia Forte

Third-gen compact sedan gets major makeover and Stinger-inspired styling

Introduced in 2008 as a brand-new nameplate, the Forte has already made a name for itself in the affordable compact car market. And while it might not be as popular as the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, the Forte was Kia’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S. in recent years and one of only 15 cars to earn the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+ rating for 2018. Not bad for an automobile that had nothing to brag about a decade ago. Almost six years old as of early 2018, the second-generation Forte is living its final months on the market, with a redesigned model introduced for the 2019 model year at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.

Redesigned from the ground up, the third-generation Forte follows in the footsteps of larger Kia models. Not only sportier on the outside, the new Forte comes with an upscale interior that moves it closer to the premium market. In addition to that, it’s the first Kia to borrow styling cues from the hot Stinger sedan. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been expecting Kia to add some "Sting" to its lineup ever since the four-door debuted in 2017. The new Forte arrives just in time for the redesigned Volkswagen Jetta, yet another affordable compact that wants to play in the premium league. But the Forte has other things to worry about too, like the popular Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. How does it stack against them? Let’s find out in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Forte Sedan.

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2017 Kia Forte

2017 Kia Forte

New front end design and available semi-autonomous features

The second-generation Kia Forte was launched in 2013, alongside its Korean counterpart, the K3. Penned by former Audi designed Peter Schreyer, the second-gen Forte is a significant departure from its predecessor in just about any department. Sporting a modern appearance, a more upscale interior, and new engines, the new Forte changed the way consumers think about

Kia

badged compacts. The second-gen model received its mid-cycle facelift for the 2017 model year.

From a quick glance, the updated car isn’t that big of a departure from the current Kia Forte, but there are some interesting changes to the front end and the interior. The new trim level is dubbed the “S” trim and is slated to sit between the entry-level LX trim and range-topping EX trim. I won’t go into too much detail yet, but if you’re in the market for a new Kia sedan, I suggest you wait until the 2017 model goes on sale – you’re going to like what the “S” trim has to offer over the LX trim.

With that introduction, let’s dive into the 2017 Kia Forte. Remember it’s not a huge departure from the previous model, so keep an open mind as you read over our review of Kia’s updated sedan.

Updated 06/30/2016: Kia announced prices on on the 2017 Forte sedan which is now available at Kia dealers nationwide. Check out the "Prices" section for the full details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Kia Forte.

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2017 Kia Forte5

2017 Kia Forte5

The eye-catching Soul isn’t the only five-door subcompact on offer from Kia’s showrooms. The more conservative Forte range also includes a hatchback model. The Kia Forte5 is an extension of the Forte sedan and is designed to appeal to buyers who might not be in love with the Soul’s polarizing boxy design. A major facelift for 2017 gives the Forte5 increased curb presence and a new family face.

If it seems like you’ve seen the Forte5 before, that’s because it’s been restyled to more closely resemble the mid-size Optima. Kia has also updated the amenities list, with items more traditionally found on premium cars, to enhance the Forte5’s wallet appeal. As Kia’s strategy seems to be to get the engineering down first and worry about the styling second, the facelift suggests that the underpinnings have reached world-class levels.

The better-looking Forte5 goes on sale later this year.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Kia Forte5.

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2015 Kia Forte Koup Mud Bogger

2015 Kia Forte Koup Mud Bogger

You can always count on Kia to make its presence felt at the SEMA Auto Show. Over the years, the Korean automaker has to some of the wildest concepts you’ll ever see. Some of the luminaries on this incredibly long list include the Kia DJ Booth Soul, the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Dee Edition, and lest we forget the entire roster of Justice League-inspired Kias that stole the show back in 2013. This year, Kia’s not bringing any super heroes to Las Vegas, but it is bringing the Mud Bogger, a heavily modified Forte Koup that draws its inspiration from mud racing.

The Forte Koup Mud Bogger is the brainchild of Kia and Lux Motorwerks, a New Jersey-based auto shop known for its aftermarket projects. That expertise was on full display in the creation of this racy, one-off Forte Koup. Every inch of the Forte was given some form of modification, be it the exterior, interior, or the chassis.

There’s something to be said for an otherwise normal Kia to be turned into a race car that can get down and dirty without hesitation. It may not be the craziest Kia concept we’ve seen at SEMA, but it definitely ranks right up there as arguably one of the most fun to drive. I’ll take that over a Kia Soul that doubles as a mobile DJ booth, thank you very much.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Forte Koup Mud Bogger.

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2014 Kia Forte

2014 Kia Forte

Much like its sister company, Hyundai, Kia has been designing cars that not only offer its customers low-cost options to higher-priced brands, but also cars that offer high-quality workmanship and stylish appearances. We all knew that the Kia Forte is going to be up for a significant redesign when its 2014 model year debuts at the 2012 LA Auto Show, but we were not too sure what direction Kia would take it.

But now that the covers have been officially pulled and we have our answer.

We want to say that the Forte blew us away, but that just wouldn’t be fair to it. Sure, there are things about it that we like, but some elements of the car still leaves a lot to be desired. Then again, a car like the Forte, or any other in this segment for that matter, isn’t subject to an all-or-noting affection level.

There are things about it we liked. There are things we didn’t like. At the end though, the Forte received good marks from us because the things we liked outweighed the things we didn’t like.

Not by much. But hey, that’s still worth some salt to us.

Updated 02/24/2014: TopSpeed editor in chief, Justin Cupler, spent a week with a Kia Forte EX with all sorts of goodies installed. Did he love it? Check out the "Driving Impressions" section after the jump.

Find out what we think of the new 2014 Kia Forte after the jump

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2014 Kia Forte5

2014 Kia Forte5

The Kia Forte5 is the forthcoming hatchback variation of last year’s new Forte sedan but packs some interesting and timely updates that make this one of the few hot hatches offered in the U.S. market. The highlights include a powerful turbocharged engine, sophisticated front and rear LED lighting, and a cabin with some boy-racer appeal via carbon-fiber-style surfaces and a six-speed manual box.

Let’s face it: hot hatches just aren’t sexy here. As much as our Euro counterparts get excited about the Fiesta ST, there’s a collective “huh?” in U.S. showrooms over the same car. It just seems too tall, too narrow and diminutive for someone to commit to years of payments. The Honda Civic Si is about as close to the recipe as possible and even this is only offered in staid sedan or also-staid coupe bodywork.

This is set to change with the new Forte5. The name is the dorkiest part: the style of low, crisp and wide proportions makes this car look more like a slammed Sportage or Cayenne than an econobox. The mechanical packages on the Kia show a half-step improvement versus corporate sibling Hyundai, with the turbo engine finally delivering some of the sportiness Kia says defines its products.

So where does the Forte5 site within the Forte line that also includes sedans and coupes? Right in that hot-hatch sweet spot, just moved a little further toward “cool” from the embarrassing current hatchbacks: the Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Spark.

Click past the jump for the full review of the Forte5 ahead of its arrival in U.S. dealers at the end of summer 2013.

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2014 Kia Forte Koup SX

2014 Kia Forte Koup SX

At the 2013 New York International Auto Show, Kia has debuted the 2014 Kia Forte Koup SX. The car promises much better performance over the standard model as well as a sportier look and feel.

With the debut of this new performance-minded model, Kia is hoping to give buyers interested in a Kia Forte a much sportier option. This model will have a more aggressive appearance and promises better performance to back up the looks. With this new performance-oriented model, Kia’s gunning for other sporty coupes from Europe and Japan.

The more powerful engine in the SX model should lead to a better 0-to-60 mph time. Because of the added power, the new model will require bigger brakes that will be housed by enlarged wheels that help fill out the wheel arches nicely. The more aggressive styling combined with the better performance seems to add up to a pretty impressive model.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2014 Kia Forte Koup SX.

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2013 Kia Forte 5-Door Cyborg Edition

2013 Kia Forte 5-Door Cyborg Edition

Compared to his Justice League contemporaries, Cyborg is without question the least recognizable superhero among the five that were used as inspirations on the Kia-DC collaboration that are being displayed at SEMA. Despite not having movies like Batman and Green Lantern, or not having stand-alone cartoons like Flash and Aquaman, Kia and DC Entertainment, together with RIDES Magazine, still gave the half human/half machine superhero for the modern ages an appropriate tribute.

Using the Kia Forte 5-Door as the platform, RIDES Magazine began the project by using an Aztec Silver paint job on the body of the car, a testament to the shiny chrome digs of Cyborg’s actual armor. Red LED lights were also installed into the newly added side ports because, you know, one of Cyborg’s eyes is red. Other exterior elements include a vented air scoop on the hood, a new set of 18" Rotiform TMB wheels with a chrome lip and red anodized bolts, a coil over suspension to give the Forte more aggressive maneuverability, and widened custom metal fenders that alludes to Cyborg’s ability to mechanically morph to face any adversary.

Inside, red perforated leather and red suede are visibly present throughout the cabin. The Cyborg emblem likewise features red and silver trim highlights, which is also visibly featured in the Forte’s interior design. There’s also a tablet on the center console because like Cyborg, this Forte 5-Door is always connected and ready to spring into action. The final touch inside the Forte is the JL Audio sound system.

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2012 Kia Forte Koup "Flash" by West Coast Customs

2012 Kia Forte Koup "Flash" by West Coast Customs

Kia’s partnership with DC Entertainment to raise awareness for the latter’s We Can Be Heroes campaign against hunger in the Horn of Africa apparently extends further than the recent Optima "Batmobile" we saw a week ago.

Turns out, the Korean automaker has another superhero-inspired model headed to the 2012 SEMA Auto Show. Together with the fellas over at West Coast Customs, Kia brought the Forte Koup "Flash" at Las Vegas.

Considering that there’s no car in the automaker’s entire line-up that can really give justice to The Flash and his lightning speed super powers, we’re not going to hold it against Kia. After all, the Forte Koup Flash actually looks sizzling. The red, orange, and yellow airbrushed exterior color is a trademark of Flash’s costume. The hood also bears the iconic Flash logo with a cutout right in the middle, allowing everybody to see the kind of engine this bad boy packs. A custom coil over suspension was also added, effectively improving the Forte Koup Flash’s handling while a new set of 20" Asanti color-matched wheels wrapped in Continental Extreme Contact tires.

Inside, the Forte Koup Flash’s seats have been reupholstered in black nappa leather with contrasting red suede and yellow stitching. Character artwork has also been embroidered into the seats. Likewise, the headliner also gets black suede upholstery with custom stitching and custom-painted pieces. West Coast Customs also installed two, 10" sub woofers and two sets of coaxial component speakers with a Quart four-channel amp. Finally, a pair of 7" Rosen Entertainment monitors plays a "We Can Be Heroes" campaign video in the front headrests.

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2012 Kia Forte Hat Trick

2012 Kia Forte Hat Trick

Kia’s presence at the 2011 SEMA Auto Show has been all about sports-inspired cars. The Optima Hybrid Griffin featured a basketball theme and the Kia Forte Hat Trick comes complete with a hockey theme, named after the act of a player scoring three goals in a single match. That feat is then followed by fans throwing their hats onto the ice.

Speaking of ice, the Forte Hat Trick is painted in a custom ice-metallic gray exterior paint and sits on a new set of 19" blue alloy wheels. Developed by Antenna, the car has also received a custom body kit and Forte Koup front bumper with carbon fiber accents and LED "hockey stick" fog lights, a quad-tipped exhaust, carbon fiber roof material, and a lowered suspension. The headliner features a built-in hockey coach’s play board and the rear cargo area features built-in compartments that house four carbon fiber hockey sticks and two jerseys color matched to the exterior of the car.

The interior also received a sporty makeover with two bucket seats with custom upholstery, custom-molded sports bottle drink holders in the center console, and a mini air hockey table mounted in the rear hatch area. The coolest part about the interior is the TVs mounted in the front seat headrests and wired to a Microsoft X-Box video game console featuring EA Sports NHL12 video game.

Updated 11/09/2011: Look in the picture gallery for new real life images of the Kia Forte Hat Trick from its official debut at the SEMA Show.

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2010 Kia Forte Hybrid

2010 Kia Forte Hybrid

Kia brought a hybrid version of the Forte sedan to this year’s SEMA Auto Show with the intent to show the world that a compact hybrid sedan can be anything but boring. The model revealed in Las Vegas is just a concept, but if enough customers show enough interest in this hybrid concept, then we can’t imagine that Kia wouldn’t run to the production line with this one.

The hybrid concept was designed by Kinetic Motorsports and its hybrid system combines a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine fueled by liquefied petroleum gas (propane) and lithium polymer battery with accentuated design characteristics, including body panel enhancements and a lowered stance, to create a one-of-a-kind personality for the environmentally-friendly sedan.

The package is finished by cast aluminum alloy wheels and low-rolling resistance tires for improved fuel economy and reduced road noise. On the inside, interior panel treatments feature custom enhancements, while a 1200 watt Infinity®2 audio system will entertain passengers.

Press release after the jump.

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2010 Kia Forte Koup Type R Concept

2010 Kia Forte Koup Type R Concept

Kia’s smallest car, the Forte, will be coming to the 2010 SEMA Auto Show in what looks to be a future special edition model. Okay, so Kia says it’s only a concept, but the future for the Forte Koup Type R Concept, which was inspired by the company’s first season of racing in the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, is very bright. The concept was designed by Kinetic Motorsports, who built and campaigns Kia’s Forte Koup race cars.

The Type R Concept gets a matte gray exterior paint job that works with enhanced exterior panels to make the front fenders, rocker panels, and rear quarter panels appear longer. BBS RG 18-inch forged aluminum alloy wheels and racing-inspired tires along with a modified front end add to the overall look of the car.

The interior of the Type R now offers custom seat/door treatments as well as a few ergonomic improvements for the driver. Other additions include a short throw shift kit with Kinetic gear shift knob and carbon inlay, and a dampened composite fiber disc clutch.

Press release after the jump.

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2010 Kia Forte EX

2010 Kia Forte EX

So, you want to buy a small sedan for the family? Something that gets great mileage, offers decent room inside the cabin and the trunk and is also able to give out a little power here and there. Let’s not forget fuel economy, this little sedan needs to get 30 miles per gallon or better on the highway. So, what shall you buy?

Well, Kia is offering up the Forte. A new sedan that offers loads for your money, but isn’t as cheap as Kias used to be.

The Forte is the kind of... sort of...the successor to the Spectra, but that really isn’t the case at all. Gone are the bland and boring looks of the old Spectra, replaced by a great soulful product. Kia needed this car in a big way considering all of the competition in the segment from Honda, Toyota, Mazda, Ford and Chevrolet.

With a muscular body style, the Forte continues the wonderful looks that came previously on the Soul. With a pronounced shoulder line that extends back to the rear, the car has a very butch look. The stance is wide and low, giving the Forte good cornering ability. The sweptback headlights and curved grille help give the front fascia a clean appearance.

Hit the jump for the full story.

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2011 Kia Forte Five-Door

2011 Kia Forte Five-Door

The Kia Forte line-up has just received a new member to sit next to the sedan and Koup versions: a five-door version that will go on sale in October.

The 2011 Forte 5-door version will be available will all the options from the sedan, but will also include a new front grille, alloy wheels, lower valence design, center console, paddle shifters, push-button start and navigation.

Under the hood there will be a choice of the 2.0 and 2.4-liter engines and a new six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

Basically, Kia has taken the Forte and Koup, added a fifth door, and made some additional minor adjustments. Voila, a whole "new" car.

Press release after the jump.

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2010 Kia Forte Koup R-Package

2010 Kia Forte Koup R-Package

The Kia Forte Koup is, top to bottom, one of the best models in Kia’s line-up - and that’s saying a lot. Fortunately for our neighbors in the Great White North, Kia will be releasing an upgraded package of the Forte Koup exclusively for them - a new R package that will be available for either the SX or EX model.

Among the new features included in the R package includes a performance exhaust, AIM drop-in performance air filter, stiffer springs, a strut tower brace, front skirts, side sills and a rear spoiler. The package is finished by 18-inch Europa wheels that are wrapped in Yokohama S-Drive rubber.

Sadly, the package comes with no performance upgrades, although we’re sure that those lucky Canadians wouldn’t mind it one bit because the car looks extremely awesome.

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2010 Kia Forte

2010 Kia Forte

Kia is going full speed ahead with is new image. The Soul is erasing the memories of the soulless Rio, and now the Forte is adding style that the Spectra never had. prices range from $13,695 to $18,495.

The 2010 Forte is being offered in three different trims: EX, LX and SX. Forte LX and EX are powered by a 2.0 Liter DOHC four cylinder engine, producing 156 HP and 144 lb-ft of torque, that features Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) and multi-port electronic fuel injection. The SX features an upgraded 2.4 Liter inline four cylinder engine, also with CVVT, which delivers 173 HP.

Why are we excited about a new little Kia? Well, budget-friendly Kia seems to be starting to turn a corner. Its Euro-only Cee’d has been getting good reviews for style and performance. This Forte looks great inside and out compared to the Spectra it replaces, and so our hopes are high.

Press release after the jump.

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2010 Kia Forte Koup

2010 Kia Forte Koup

Kia unveiled the Koup concept in 2008 at the New York Auto Show. Only one year later, at the same show, the Korean automaker brought out the Forte Koup, a model that kept quite faithful to the original concept. The Forte Coupe will be offered in EX and SX versions, with prices starting at $16,595 and $17,695, respectively.

The idea for the car is simple: a sleeker two door coupe version of the Forte sedan, this also means that the engine lineup will carry over from the sedan. The Koup will be available with either a 2.0 Liter four cylinder making 156 HP and a larger 2.4 Liter four banger putting out 173 HP. In either case, both engines are mated to either a six speed manual or a five speed automatic transmission. With standard equipment including: air conditioning, a driver’s seat height adjuster, adjustable rear seat headrests, tilt steering column, rear defroster, center console with dual cup holders, map lamps and variable intermittent wipers.

Press release after the jump.

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