Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Kia Re-Enters Compact Car Segment with the Forte Family (w/ Specs)
They say good things happen in threes. That’s exactly what happened when Columbian Autocar Corporation (CAC), the exclusive distributor of Kia vehicles in the country unveiled the 2015 Forte family. It’s been a while since Kia had an entrant in the compact car category, but now they’ve returned not with one, not with two, but three body styles of the Forte that’ll cater to consumers with different personalities and tastes.
“The three Kia Forte variants relate to different markets, but at the end of the day, they all carry the renowned Kia name and with it, is a guarantee of refreshing interiors, compelling styles, and powerful road performance,” says Ginia R. Domingo, CAC President.
The entry-level variant of the Forte is a four-door sedan. The 1.6 EX A/T carries a price tag of P 965,000 and is the elegant and versatile member of the family. It’s designed for families who want to stand out from the sea of ubiquitous compact sedan offerings. Outside, the classic exterior is complemented by standard 205/55R16 tires on all four corners while the choice of five colors: Temptation Red, Planet Blue, Aurora Black, Snow White Pearl, and Metal Stream cater to varied tastes.
Getting inside is a treat thanks to the Smart Key passive entry system with push button engine start/stop. In addition, it gets a robust list of standard features including a dual-zone climate control, and a tilt/telescopic steering column with leather wrapping on the three-spoke wheel. The tiller also has satellite controls for the audio system as well as offers access to the FLEX Steer system that varies effort and feedback from the motor-driven power steering (MDPS) system.
Underneath, the Forte sedan is available solely with a 1.6-liter Gamma 16-valve 4-cylinder engine with 130 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 157 Nm of torque at 4,850 rpm. Power is channeled through the front wheels using a 6-speed automatic with a sport mode and cruise control. Like all Forte models, it has a independent MacPherson Strut front suspension and a Coupled Torsion Beam Axle at the back.
Serving as the mid-range model, the Kia Forte Koup is a sleeker and sportier version that chops up the overall length by 30 millimeters while retaining the wheelbase. By shortening it and widening its track at the same time, the Forte Koup is certainly the sleek and sporty one in the family. The distinctive exterior is designed to head turns. The dynamism doesn’t stop with its lines. The transformation is capped off by removing two doors and making the two remaining doors frameless. And of course, as a sport-oriented model, it rides on 215/45R17 tires.
It has all the convenience features found in the Forte sedan such as heated power folding mirrors but gets even more luxurious touches such as a one-touch driver and passenger window.
For all its additional niceties, the biggest differentiator is the high-performance engine: a 2.0-liter Nu 16-valve 4-cylinder engine with 161 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 194 Nm of torque at 4,800 rpm. Like the Forte sedan, it’s mated solely with a 6-speed automatic, but unlike the sedan, the Forte Koup gets the control of paddle shifters along with the sport mode and cruise control.
Available in just three colors: Racing Red, Snow White Pearl, and Aurora Black, the Forte Koup 2.0 EX retails for P 1,090,000.
Finally, the range-topping variant of the Forte family is the Forte hatchback, a European-inspired 5-door that provides ample space for five adults and luggage while providing the unmistakably sporty, dynamic, and polished look for a hatchback. Like the Forte Koup, the Forte hatchback rides on 215/45R17 tires. It’s differentiated by having partial leather seats (other models have full fabric seats only) and alloy trim on the pedals.
Mechanically, it shares the Forte Koup’s 2.0-liter Nu 16-valve 4-cylinder engine and 6-speed automatic but is decisively more safety conscious. While the Forte sedan and Forte Koup both receive dual SRS airbags, ABS, and a rear parking camera, the Forte hatchback ups that by gaining front and rear proximity sensors to go with the rear parking camera as well as Electronic Stability Control with Hill Start Assist (HAS) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM).
As the flagship of the Forte family, the hatchback is officially designated as the Forte 2.0 SX 5-door hatchback and retails for P 1,190,000. It comes in a choice of five colors: Racing Red, Planet Blue, Aurora Black, Snow White Pearl, and Metal Stream.
“The all-new Kia Forte truly exudes a dynamic presence on the road and we can’t wait for everyone to try a different driving experience aboard any of these three variants,” adds Ms. Domingo.