Monday, October 6, 2014

Stylish Versatility: 2014 Kia Forte5 Hatchback

Originally unveiled at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, the all-new Forte5 boasts eye-catching European-inspired hatchback design. Born from the Kia design studio in Seoul and overseen by Kia's global chief of design, Peter Schreyer, the Forte5'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.

Presented in two trim levels, EX and SX, the Forte5'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. The large 18-inch wheels fill the wheel wells on the SX, and the hatchback profile affords a performance-oriented European personality. Around back LED tail lights complete the premium feel of the exterior and a sporty rear valance with twin chrome exhaust tips maintains the Forte5's edgy demeanor.

Base power for the Forte5 is generated by a 2.0L GDI four-cylinder engine and communicated to the street through a six-speed automatic transmission. The performance-oriented SX comes standard with a 1.6L turbo four-cylinder. The SX also offers buyers the chance to pick their own gears with a standard six-speed manual transmission, or they may opt for the six-speed automatic featuring steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

To help further improve performance, the Forte5 features a sport-tuned suspension with a McPherson strut setup in front and a torsion beam rear design. The Forte5 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.

Inside the passenger cabin, the Forte5 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 Forte5'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 Forte5 apart from its competition.

The all-new Forte5 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. Forte5 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, ten-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.

Dimensions & specifications

Wheelbase: 106.3; overall length: 171.3; width: 70.1; height: 57.1

All vehicle measurements are in inches.

Engine: 2.0L four-cylinder – 173 hp at 6,500 rpm and 154 lbs-ft of torque at 4,700 rpm; 1.6L four-cylinder turbo – 201 hp at 6,000 rpm and 195 lbs-ft of torque 1,750-4,500 rpm.

Transmission: six-speed manual, six-speed automatic

EPA Fuel Economy: 2.0L four-cylinder – 24 city/34 hwy.; 1.6L four-cylinder turbo – 21 city/29 hwy.

Cargo capacity: 23.2 cubic feet

Safety features

Dual front airbags, front seat side-impact airbags, dual head curtain side-impact airbags, four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock, brake assist, electronic brake force distribution, traction control, vehicle stability management, hill-start control, side-impact door beams, tire pressure monitoring system, front fog lights, rear-view camera, Bluetooth hands free phone system, and remote keyless entry.

Optional safety features include: push button start with Smart Key, HID (high intensity discharge) headlamps, navigation system, and HomeLink universal transceiver.


Basic: 5-year/60,000 mile

Powertrain: 10-year/100,000 mile

Corrosion: 5-year/100,000 mile

Roadside Assistance: 5-year/60,000 mile 24-hour


The base Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2014 Kia Forte5 hatchback starts from $19,700 for the EX, $20,900 for the SX 6M/T and $21,900 for the SX 6A/T. Destination charges add $800.

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