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Jan
08

2014 Kia Forte-More Style, More Potential

2014 Kia Forte is attempting to make its mark in a crowded field.  Kia says the 2014 Forte is, “rock solid”. It will have to be to compete in the crowded compact car field. The new Forte has huge potential for U.S. sales growth but success may boil down to its pricing. Take a personal walk-around with Michael Sprague, Executive VP of Marketing and Communications and see what you think?

Here are some review highlights from MotorTrend on the new 2014 Forte

Kia called the 2014 Forte “rock solid” at the 2012 L.A. auto show, but we’d just describe the new four-door as far more stylish than the one it replaces. Premium design touches include a new grille with a gray matte-like finish, which in person looks far less plasticky than the one on the outgoing car. The 2014 Kia Forte has done so much growing up that , Kia says the Forte will again be classified by the EPA as a midsize car. The term, “rock solid”, may refer to the fact that the new Forte was built with more high-strength steel than the Toyota Corolla. Kia also says the car’s transmission fluid has been designed to last throughout the car’s life.

The 2014 Kia Forte replaces a car that fell into obscurity, which itself took the place of the Spectra, a compact Kia most people forgot ever existed.  With the Fortes bold styling cues, competitive dynamics and some added premium features,   the 2014 Forte, has huge potential for U.S. sales growth, but given the crowded compact segment, the car’s success may largely depend on its pricing.

EXTERIOR

The new Forte sedan has bolder styling without resembling a 7/8-scale Optima. Longer, lower, and wider than the outgoing Forte, the new car has a take on Kia’s trademark Tiger Nose grille and bold — some might say over-styled — headlights with available HIDs and LED accents.

POWER

Most 2014 Fortes will be powered by Kia’s 1.8-liter I-4, a naturally aspirated unit that makes 148 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 131 lb-ft of torque at 4700 rpm mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic, just like the mechanically related Hyundai Elantra. (That car recently had its EPA-rated mileage figures changed to 28/38 mpg city/highway, still a respectable figure for a compact sedan.) The Forte EX will be available with a reworked version of Kia’s 2.0-liter I-4 that makes 173 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 154 lb-ft of torque at 4700 rpm. The previous-gen Forte’s optional 2.4-liter four has apparently been dropped from the lineup.

INTERIOR

Inside the new car, Kia says the Forte’s instrument panel conveys serenity, “as if small waves are radiating from a pebble dropped in a pond.” We’re not sure about that bit of design-speak, but buyers should notice that the center stack is canted 10 degrees toward the driver.

OTHER FEATURES
As with the Hyundai Elantra, the new Kia Forte will offer a number of upscale-for-the-segment features when it goes on sale in the first quarter of 2013, including front and rear heated seats, engine stop-start, and rear-seat air vents.