The 2011 Forte compact sedan returns to the Kia vehicle lineup with a new sibling, the all-new 2011 Forte 5-door hatchback. Launched under Kia Motors' ongoing dramatic design-led transformation, both vehicles seamlessly blend style, value, technology, safety features and comfort. Since its debut in Summer 2009, the Forte compact sedan has racked up an impressive list of accolades, including being named a 2010 "Top Safety Pick" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), named to MSN Autos "Top 10 Cars Under $15,000" list, and named a "Consumers' Top Rated Vehicle" and "Top Recommended Vehicle" by Edmunds.com.
Joining the Forte line with the same sleek styling and multitude of features as its sedan sibling, the 2011 Forte 5-door offers consumers an added level of flexibility for everyday needs with its functional hatchback. Both iterations offer consumers numerous standard comfort and convenience features, including power windows, power door locks with remote keyless entry and hands-free Bluetooth®1 wireless technology connectivity.
Available in LX, EX and SX trim levels for the Forte sedan and EX and SX versions for the Forte 5-door, pricing for the stylish and feature-packed compact sedan starts at $14,9952 for the base trim, while pricing for the all-new versatile hatchback begins at $16,8952. Both the sedan and 5-door offer standard convenience features including air conditioning, SIRIUS® Satellite Radio capabilities with three months complimentary service , MP3 connectivity and Bluetooth wireless technology3 and steering wheel-mounted audio controls4.
Dynamic Exterior Styling
With aggressive design cues, the Forte sedan and Forte 5-door firmly establish themselves as strong contenders against the competition. Sporting a bold look set apart by crisp lines, swept-back headlamps and a sleek profile, Forte's wide, stable stance conveys motion while cruising the highway or parked in the driveway. The Forte 5-door shares a similar frontward facing stance with the sedan and offers a rounded rear to increase cargo capacity, space and functionality for those in the hatchback market.
From the front and side, Forte sedan and Forte 5-door project a clean and assertive presence with sweeping window arches, smooth fender flairs and body-color side mirrors and door handles. Turn signal indicators are integrated into the side mirrors on EX and SX trims, adding to the upscale appearance. The tasteful design cues are effortlessly streamlined to the rear with angled wrapped tail lamps and an uncluttered rear fascia, with SX models adding a silver-finished exhaust tip. Offering a more athletic profile, the SX trim comes with 17-inch alloy wheels paired with P215/45R17-sized tires.
Smooth and Seamless Ride
With a wheelbase of 104.3 inches, an overall width of 69.9 inches and overall height of 57.5 inches, Forte sedan and Forte 5-door offer comfortable seating for up to five passengers. The Kia-engineered body achieves high torsional stiffness giving the Forte sedan and Forte 5-door taut, responsive handling, a smoother ride quality and greater refinement than its competitors, with a specially tuned, Kia-developed suspension adjusted perfectly for responsive handling on S-turn laden roads. Additional refinements are fitted throughout to help ensure a comfortable ride with good noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) reduction qualities.
The front-wheel-drive unibody structure employs an independent front suspension with MacPherson struts and a stabilizer bar and a torsion beam rear suspension with monotube shock absorbers and coil springs. This combination helps provide the optimal balance of handling and comfort. An engine-speed-sensitive, power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system adds the finishing touch for precise handling by providing the most advantageous amount of assist for varying road conditions. In keeping with the energetic essence of the SX model line for both the Forte sedan and Forte 5-door, a performance-tuned suspension gives the chassis a firmer feel and responsiveness resulting in a more spirited ride. The SX model also features larger front brakes for improved stopping capabilities.
Modern and High-Tech Interior
Moving inside, the Forte sedan boasts a spacious 96.8 cubic feet of passenger volume, while the Forte 5-door offers an even larger 97.5 cubic feet. Driver and passengers have an impressive 40.0 inches of headroom and 43.3 inches of legroom in the front seats and 37.6 inches of headroom (38.4 inches for the 5-door) and 35.0 inches of legroom in the rear seats. The Forte sedan's trunk also offers an astounding 14.7 cubic feet of cargo space, with Forte 5-door providing 19.4 cubic feet, perfect for luggage and weekend getaways or around-town grocery shopping.
Capitalizing on the spacious interior, the Forte sedan and Forte 5-door make every effort to incorporate style and function, starting with a crisp, high-visibility center stack and a driver-oriented three-gauge instrument cluster exuding a stylish red glow. Pampering riders further, both versions offer a host of standard interior features, starting with comfortable, nicely appointed full cloth seats. A six-way adjustable driver's seat, tilt steering column, rear defroster and dual 12-volt power outlets in the center console are driver- and passenger-conscious luxuries standard on every vehicle.
Both EX and SX models offer a number of additional standard luxurious touches such as: power windows and door locks; remote keyless entry; air conditioning; map lamps; steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls; tweeter speakers; dual front and rear cup holders; and floor mats. New for 2011, steering wheel paddle shifters come standard on all SX trims to make for a more spirited driving experience.
Forte sedan and 5-door EX models also offer an optional Premium Package that includes a power sunroof with tilt and 16-inch alloy wheels outfitted with 205/55R16 tires. The power sunroof with tilt also is an available option stand-alone for all SX trims and the EX trim on the Forte 5-door.
The sporty SX model brings even more standard features for the sedan and 5-door, including a unique black interior with sport cloth fabric adorned with red stitching, a telescopic steering column, Supervision™ gauge cluster, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and metal-finish trim and pedals.
Impressive List of Safety Features
Forte offers an exceptional level of standard safety equipment, with features such as front active headrests, dual advanced front airbags5, front seat-mounted and side curtain airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, side impact door beams, front and rear crumple zones, four-wheel disc brakes with an Antilock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and a Brake Assist System (BAS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), a Traction Control System (TCS) and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
Lively Performance and Power
The Forte family's LX and EX trims are powered by a 2.0-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine, producing a spirited 156 horsepower6 and 144 pound-feet of torque, that features Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) and multi-port electronic fuel injection, both of which provide for greater performance and fuel economy. The SX features an upgraded 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine, also with CVVT, which delivers 173 horsepower7 .
New for 2011, Forte now offers six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmission options. Forte LX comes standard with the six-speed manual while EX and SX trim levels offer a standard six-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic™ clutchless shifting (optional on the LX trim). This six-speed automatic transmission is a proprietary design for Kia Motors that was engineered and built specifically for Kia vehicles.
Offering impressive fuel economy, the 2.0-liter engine offers a competitive 25/34 mpg (city/highway) when mated to either the manual or automatic transmissions, while the 2.4-liter engine turns out a notable 22/32 mpg8 when coupled with the manual transmission and 23/32 mpg8 (sedan) or 23/31 mpg8 (5-door) with the automatic transmission.
The optional Fuel Economy Package, available on the EX sedan model with the 2.0-liter powerplant, includes the six-speed automatic transmission, Motor Drive Power Steering (MDPS), "smart" alternator, new low-rolling resistance silica tires and aerodynamic enhancements. These improvements result in 27/37 mpg and an impressive combined fuel economy of 30 mpg8.
The EX and SX Technology Packages, available on both sedan and 5-door models, includes navigation, fully automatic temperature control, push button start, fog lamps (EX package only), automatic headlamps and chrome exterior door handles. The available SX Leather Package offers additional luxurious enhancements, including leather seat trim, heated front seats and an electro-chromic rear view mirror.
Jamming Sound System
Forte sedan and Forte 5-door come with an impressive combination of standard convenience features, starting with a standard four-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system outfitted with SIRIUS Satellite Radio capabilities with three months complimentary service. Also standard on all models is an auxiliary audio input jack and USB port for connecting personal MP3 players as well as Bluetooth wireless technology connectivity with steering wheel-mounted controls, which enables hands-free operation for all compatible cell phones. For true audiophiles, the EX and SX trims add a standard six-speaker sound audio system. Forte's advanced audio system also includes Speed Dependent Volume Control (SDVC), which automatically increases the volume at higher speeds for better listening enjoyment, and Power Bass, which automatically enhances the bass response and tone.
Like all Kia models, Forte and Forte 5-door are covered by a comprehensive warranty program, which offers consumer protection at an exceptional value. Included in this program are a 10-year or 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a five-year or 60,000-mile limited basic warranty, and a five-year or 100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty. A five-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan is also part of the comprehensive coverage program.