Early look: Kia Forte shows it’s face

UPDATE: Here we have some latest images of the 2014 Kia Forte!!

The very first detailed shots of the production-ready Kia Forte 4-door sedan are out and it looks like that the appearance of the much-anticipated compact sedan is going to be close to the Kia KOUP concept.

The highly acclaimed KOUP concept previewed the design direction Kia cars will take in the near future and the Forte clearly follows that direction.

The Forte sedan will be the first production model to carry Kia’s new corporate look and will feature sportier design overall. It will include more distinctive design elements such as striking side character lines and a subtly designed grille. The H-shapped grille is set to become a Kia trademark in the future.


Kia will initially introduce the Forte with two fuel efficient gasoline engines. First available, will be the brand new 1.6L four cylinder rated at 124hp. The other, a more powerfull 2.0L engine, will be available soon after the official launch.

This new model will replace the Spectra, or as it’s called on other markets, the Cerato and is expected to enter the U.S. market by mid-2009. A two door variant, reportedly dubbed the Forte Coupe, will follow later in the year.

Expect more info and plenty of closer images on August 21. when Kia Motors officially pulls the wraps off it’s new Forte sedan (official Korean debut). [Source: Clubforte]

UPDATE: 2010 Kia XK spy shots

kia_forte_1.jpg      kia_forte_2.jpg      kia_forte_3.jpg

Click image to enlarge!

52 thoughts on “Early look: Kia Forte shows it’s face

  1. I am really impressed. I would rather have this than a Civic. When are you bringing this here Kia??? 5 lug rims? Will this have the Beta II?

  2. Wow! I direct Lancer competitor. this is what I call sporty. Its a beauty man. doesnt remind of of any car now once fully revealed. as usual, I’m lost for words. Now, I cant wait to see the interior.

  3. How big is this thing, it’s very hard to tell from the photographs. It look’s reasonably big, but who knows.
    Chance says, he’d rather have this car rather then a Civic and K-Sport says it’s a Lancer Competitor?? which i both cases makes it a smallish vehicle.
    Patrick may be able to help me out here, as he know’s Australian cars. Is it as big as a Holden Commodore or a Ford Falcon?? or for you others here, maybe a 5 or 7 series BMW, or a lot smaller.

  4. Ok, I’m with you now, small to medium, about Mazda3 size, or as has been said, Honda Civic or Mitsubishi Lancer.

  5. Great looking car. It looks like it shares same base as the american Hyundai Avante HD (Elantra)?!?

  6. Wow, I am impressed as well, and, as some of you already know, I own a 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS. From looking at pics of this ’09 Kia Forte, I can tell you that it looks like it’s within inches of my Lancer’s size in most dimension areas. Great looking rig, I would’ve traded our ’01 Kia Sportage 4X4 in for one of these had it been there last year. Peter Schreyer has made his presence known with this baby!

  7. I cant believe my eyes. The 1.6 liter has just 6 less horsepower than the previous 2.0! I can’t wait to hear the horsepower on the Beta III engine! The back does slightly remind me of Elantra and Subaru Legacy.

  8. the lights [rear] remind me of some other car’s lights but I cant recall which one.

  9. Im impressed. its much better looking than i thought it’d be. Great that they’re adding a 1.6L to market as well. will the US get that smaller engine as an option???

  10. The 1.6 is avaliable in Kia Rio. But as far as I know,this is not the same 1.6L engine as used in Rio, but the one found on cee’d. It shares platform with cee’d and Hyundai i30. Don’t know if the Elantra is also build on that same platform.

    In the next days I’ll show you the pic that proves cee’d and TD sharing the same technical components (platform).

    Other than that, I should add my share and comment how I like the new Forte. To me, it looks absolutely fantastic. It has a very clean design and although I can find a little bit of Civic in front and Lexus IS 250 in rear, it’s still a great looking and unique vehicle.

    I love the side profile and rear lights. The front is good too and I can already imagine the sporty two door version and expect it to look even better.

  11. Ah yes, the lexus IS.
    I didnt really understand what you meant him, by saying ‘a PIC that proves cee’d and TD shares a common platform’. maybe its the engine bay pic or something like that.
    I hope my honda loving friend will like this one. I bet he will comment on the head lights. ‘but who cares?’ I say. it matches with the rest of the design and gives it a more agressive look that says “Bring on the Lancers and Imprezas!!!”. Speaking of these 2, I love to see this car in my fav motor sport: Rally.
    I say Civic suits techno geeks. a needle moving in a dial looks more… u know… cool compared to digi numbers changing. I say digital speed meters are not for sporty cars and thats why mitsu and subaru didnt put it in their C-seg racers.

  12. the lancer may have the sporty edge over this car (dunno about the interior tho) but i would much rather have this car than the lancer. it just has this… appeal~ the unique character line is just great!

    one thing tho guys, since it was designed in irvine, california – not frankfurt – it was most likely designed by the US chief designer tom kearns… just a thought.

    ksport, my favorite is drifting… formula drift (not D1). Daijiro Yoshihara FTW!!! yeah~
    would be all over the rumored factory-backed team with the Hyundai Genesis Coupe when or if they start competing 😀

  13. Now this car looks reaaally sharp- at least in these pics!! If Kia wants to make significant in-roads into the North American market – just put a few tech toys in a quality interior and target two differing markets segments.For the vast majority, offer a small 4 cylinder which sips fuel and competes directly with the Civic in fuel economy- but also offer a few with the turbo 4 cylinder talked about in the Koup concept for the performance enthusiast to compete directly with the Civic Si ! Man- I`m betting the car would really catch on. Any thoughts ?

  14. the 1.6L in the Rio is the only engine of that size in the US by Kia/Hyundai. not to mention OUR 1.6L has 106HP – not 125 or whatever this one’s got. I, too, am curious of the info on this car based on the cee’d. but god i hope so. Never seen a cee’d in person but i hear great things…

  15. does anyone think it will have paddle shifters? lancer has those

  16. This looks great. I can’t wait to see it in person.

    If the 1.6L makes near 130hp they might as well offer it as the base engine here in the US. It probably would have the best gas mileage in its class.

  17. I think the Forte’s 1.6 liter engine is similar to the 1.6 liter CVVT engine found in the euro market Kia cee’d hatchback.

  18. yes, thats what himi said AG4.
    Anyway, does anyone think the 2.0L will get paddle shifters? like Mitsu lancer?

  19. I agree with Eugene, it does look like a Honda Accord (the USDM model at least) in the side picture. It will definitely be cheaper than the Honda Accord, and the Honda Civic, when you consider how Hyundai and Kia have always priced their vehicles $1000s less than their competition. That’s what they still advertise in the commercials here in the USA, “Sportage costs $3000 less, or the equivalent of a years worth of gas[oline].” The 1.6L in the the USDM Rio is rated on Kia.com at 110 hp; the Spectra’s 2.0L has 138 bhp. Though in some of the strict emissions states (like California) they have less horsepower (Hyundaiusa.com lists the Elantra with the 2.0L and 138 Horsepower for ULEV, and 132 Horsepower for PZEV). I would say (though I’m not an official Kia representative) that the TD will be on the same platform as the Hyundai Elantra.
    As for this vehicle, I think it looks fantastic. I agree with Greg, hopefully it’ll be at NAIAS 2009. The rims look amazing, the different angles look great, etc. I can’t wait to see one in person. Himi, will this be called Forte in all markets, or will Spectra and Cerato keep their names in their respective markets?

  20. —I would say that the TD will be on the same platform as the Hyundai Elantra.—
    Actually, it will be base on the cee’d platform, not Elantra.

  21. If Hyundai and Kia want to differentiate themselves, they must put their vehicles on their own platform. Kia built the Sorento’s platform from the ground up, and now thy are just throwing it away. Although, the Sorento never did share its platform.

  22. It sure does look similar at the first glance, but a closer look reveals much nicer front fascia on Kia Forte. Only the front of Toyota reminds me on Forte, the side and rear of the car looks awfully plain and un-attractive.
    The back of Forte looks much better in my honest opinion.

  23. I’m with Himi, the front is the only part with much resemblance. The side shows to be different, and the rear of the Allion looks like an older Hyundai Accent, especially with that rear wiper and it being that hatchback in a sedan look. I’m really eager to see one of these (Fortę) in person, and drive one. That 1.6L would be great in the Rio over here in the USA since that’s the engine already in it, but this one is apparently rated with more horsepower. Possibly better fuel economy now as well?

  24. Well, it looks a bit like forte in the front but the forte looks much better and agressive. If one would look at allion at first glance know would say its made to compete with lancer or civic. I never like any of toyota’s deigns. the 1.6 cerato sells the better than the 2.0 here in UAE

  25. —If one would look at allion at first glance know would say its made to compete with lancer or civic —
    correction: one would look at allion at first glance NO ONE would say its made to compete with lancer or civic

  26. hmmm… to be very honest…

    the front of allion and the forte look almost identical…except for certain minor details.

    The body and the side panel looks quite similar too. The way the side panels are pieced together look almost copied entirely from allion.

    Guess the kia desigers cannot copy the whole thing from allion, and had to modify the design on the rear.

  27. even if it is a copy, there’s something that makes the Forte look more agressive.

  28. I developed an interest in KIA a few months ago when I drove a 2008 Optima as a loaner car for about 10 days while my Civic coupe was in the body shop. I had no idea that KIA made such nice cars! They certainly seem to keep that a secret! I’ve been driving Civics for over 30 years and I’ll certainly consider a KIA when it’s time to purchase my next car! I hope their gas mileage will be right up there with my Civic, however! Otherwise, forget it.

  29. Hi there! This is a very nice welcoming post from a Honda owner!:) Welcome to the KIA-WORLD.
    You sure did notice, what other owners did before and that’s the proggress Kia has been making lately. You said you drove the Optima and the Optima is even not considered to be the new-age Kia.

    I hope your interest in Kias stays here, as the company is preping some really cool new models, which will all be able to compete against Hondas and Toyotas in every area you choose.

  30. Hi Himi,
    My interest in KIA continues to grow. I look forward to seeing their “new offerings” in the near future and will continue to check their website for current news. You all sound like a friendly group of folks!

  31. Himi and Boris,
    I’m from Abingdon, Maryland about 20 miles north of Baltimore. (And I work right next door to a Kia Dealership!!)
    Civicguy (Ed)

  32. This wont have the Beta II anymore, its supposed to have a 2.0 with more power than the spectra, so im 99% sure this will have the all New 2.0 Theta II engine that makes 160hp

  33. Forte aka Cerato 1.6 litre Petrol Engine + a CNG option for Singapore.
    A Japanese beater…Kill the Corolla, Civic, Lancer, Mazda3, Sunny, Latio etc.
    Will Top The Chart in Singapore Sales with C & C competitive pricing.

  34. It will be available in your country soon. It will soon be available worldwide as the new Cerato. You can get it if you aren’t in Europe. In Europe, they only have the cee’d.

  35. hope the coupe will bring a much stronger stand in the crowd. Plus why do most still have this feeling that Korean made aren’t so much worth it? Anybody care to explain?

  36. I’m a kia service technician, and I found out today the 2.0 will have 164hp and the Forte SX will have a 2.4L, 6 speeds, 174hp. I can’t wait to see them at our dealership in march.

  37. Torque is 148 lb-ft. Why come here to b!tch about your stupid petty problems? Your name shows that you ost likely drive a WRX STI, which will definitely not roll so much in a corner. Have you driven the civic? Did you drive the Forte with the spor-tuned suspension? Don’t know? Well then you can’t make a stereotype.

  38. i actually really like this car ha, never really liked
    kia but i could go for that ha. reminds my of my car a
    bit [[scion tc]]

  39. I actually bought this car and I love it. Of course the no NAv is a problem but I receive Nav from my cell phone provider. strange enough I have heard people tell me it looks like a Honda Civic and also a BMW shape. I seen it and decided i wanted it. What “sold me” was the 10.5:1 compression ratio in a 4 cyl….. It’s an awesome car all around

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