Kia launches China-built Forte sedan

Following the official US unveiling, Kia Forte compact sedan has now been launched in China. Kia will build it at its brand-new China manufacturing plant owned by Kia Motors and Dongfeng Yueda company.   

Kia Motors announced today that it has launched the Forte compact sedan in China market. The official launching ceremony was held at Nanjing International Expo Centre in front of 600 invitees. The all-new Forte sedan made its first appearance at Shanghai Auto Show in April and it received rave reviews from local automotive media, as well as auto show visitors.

The China-built Forte has been praised for its refined and dynamic exterior design, ample interior space and cutting-edge features that surpass the local market’s expectations. The all-new Forte sedan is a very important car for Kia as the company wants to strengthen its presence in China market. With the slew of new models including Forte compact sedan, the company plans to establish itself as an affordable premium automaker and a leading car brand in the world’s largest car market.

The C-segment Forte sedan is a strategic model for the brand globally but also has a special significance in China where Kia has seen its new car sales increasing by more than 13 percent so far this year. The China-produced Forte will be sold under the name Fu-Rui-Di (sounds funny, doesn’t it!?) but according to Kia, the name combines Chinese characters for luck, auspiciousness and advance. The name alludes to a car designed for those who lead the road to success.



Kia will manufacture the new Forte sedan at one of its two China manufacturing plants in the Jiangsu province. When compared to the US-spec Forte sedan, the China-built model received some exterior and interior styling updates along with its convenience features to better satisfy the China consumer tastes.

Already sporty exterior design has been enhanced with slightly redesigned fog lamps. Some minor styling changes have been also made to the radiator grille, head lamps and tail-lamps. Inside the Forte benefits from chrome finishings that were adopted to the center fascia and main switches while high-lustre metal grain has been generously used to meet the Chinese consumer tastes.

In China, Kia Forte will be available in two four-cylinder gasoline configurations. Bas Forte sedan will be powered by 1.6L Gamma engine (also found in the Soul crossover) while the top of the range Forte will be equipped with advanced 2.0 Theta engine. Both engines are known to deliver superb fuel economy, but Forte will also be equipped with “eco lamp” that will help the driver maximize their gas mileage.

Interior of the China-built Forte will not lack any of convenience features seen on US-spec Forte models. The model will have a push start ignition, smart key, Supervision TM gauge cluster and auto cruise control. Information on the instrument cluster and audio screen are all displayed in Chinese, instead of English.

To provide the local consumers a first-hand experience, Kia Motors announced it plans to hold large-scale road shows and test drives for the new Forte sedan in major cities across China. The company has also decided to set up exclusive showrooms for the visitors to review the car’s newest technologies and experience the superior quality of Kia’s new Forte compact sedan.

21 thoughts on “Kia launches China-built Forte sedan

  1. Congratulations to Kia Motors China(?)! The “eco lamp” that is mentioned in this article is only available on the automatic transmission equipped Fortes in the USA (so I’ve been told- haven’t had the opportunity to test drive any with a manual transmission).

  2. Fu Rui Di = Fruity.. a banana mobile? I’ve seen those push button key fobs screw up, I’d rather have a key..

  3. The 1.6 Gamma is Also found in the Hyundai i20, Hyundai i30, and Mercedes A Class.

  4. The 1.6 Gamma will only come in the Next Gen Accent and Rio for US sale in stock form. It will be Turboed in the Accent SE and Elantra Coupe. The Hybrid Form of the 1.6 Gamma shown in the KIA Soul and C’eed will end up in Rios and Accents as well for American sale.

    1.6 Gammas will not be in the US Spec Forte, or Soul.

  5. The 1.6 Alpha in Current Gen Accents is a fun Motor, but the 1.6 Gamma from what I hear takes that fun, peps it up more while it has superior than Toyota Prius fuel Economy in the Hyundai i20. The 1.6 Gamma is a motor with the potential the break the back of the American, German, and Japanese makes her ein the US when it comes over.

    I think the 1.6 Gamma is as important for Hyundai/KIA as the CVCC engine was for Acura/Honda, In a historical sense. Am I wrong guys?

    Just think about it the Honda CVCC engine made at least 32 MPG for a small car standard. The 1.6 Gamma will force the entire market to make 50 MPG in a B-Segment small car as standard tech.

  6. “Eco lamp” ha! ha!

    I had such a useless gadget on my 1982 Scirocco and 1985 Jetta. It becomes real annoying real fast. Was promply disconnected. All these things want you to do is upshift, upshift, upshift again, feather the gas pedal, and lug the engine.

  7. No, it is VERY different! For one, it isn’t available on manual transmission models, and it goes to white or red if your instant MPG is worse than EPA estimates. When you floor it, it promptly switches to red, then white, and after about a minute if you aren’t high revving it, it goes back to green. It is no more annoying than the movement of the speedo or tach. That HUGE fuel gauge is annoying though.

  8. Also, HyundaiSmoke, the Base model of the Soul comes with the 1.6 Gamma engine. The Alpha 1.6 is a dinosaur. The 1.6 Gamma in the Soul is very fum to drive and accelerates adequately, but the Rio 1.6 Alpha M/T sucks in acceleration.

  9. They dont sell 1.6 Gammas yet in the US. But the Next gen Rio and Accent for US sale will have that as a base engine.

  10. Greg, I think the ECO lamp is green or off, it does not change colors. Soon as the throttle is lightly applied the light goes off.

  11. hoh.. even Singapore didn’t get the push start ignition.. smartkey.. blabla.. damn!!

  12. Yeah, you are right. When I was driving the Forte, I tried to get it to change color, but it kept going off when I was throttling. I remember seeing something on Kia Buzz about it changing color, so that is where I got that part of it. I was thinking the one in mine was malfunctioning! HyundaiSmoke, the 1.6L engine in the BASE Soul is the Gamma. It is not the Alpha because it is all aluminum and has more HP and torque.

  13. Greg is correct. I just looked up the parts for the Soul and it has “1.6L Gamma” and “2.0L Beta” though when I checked the Rio it just says “Engine” with no details.

    Bernard- as Greg has mentioned, this Eco lamp is different than what you are remembering. According to what we were educated about it, it is related to throttle input. Our Ride & Drive trainer told us he did 90mph and saw the Eco lamp. He might have been making that part up, but if it is totally based on throttle input then the speed would not effect it. Though the faster you drive over a given point, the more fuel you use (example: at 65mph you theoretically will have 33 MPG, but at 90mph you will have 23 MPG), it would still be more economical to drive with a light foot than “pedal to the metal”…


  14. i found crash test vids of forte on youtube conducted by ANCAP. never heard of them. the car was right hand drive too. i didnt like the front impact… :S . it did well on the side impact. there was no pole test.

  15. Greg, youre right. In the past they said they werent selling the 1.6L Gamma in the soul here. I havent been really paying too much attention to the Soul. They need to get an Auto tranny for the 1.6 though. Why is the MPG for the same 1.6 L so much lower than its Euro Cousins? Damm American crash regulations.

  16. 1.6L Soul sold in the UK.
    Fuel consumption PETROL
    Urban 7.9 (35.8)
    Extra Urban 5.7 (49.6)
    Combined 6.5 (43.5)

    Even when you convert the mpg to EPA specs which are now tested to 75 MPH the Soul would will get a lot better MPG. So, What gives? Why is our American Soul so Thirsty?

    Note Numbers in Parentheses are MPG

  17. What is in parentheses is miles per imperial gallon. Convert that to SAE gallons, and 35.8 = 29.8, 49.6 = 41.3, and 43.5 = 36.2. So, even in SAE gallons it gets a lot better gas mileage. EPA says that the Soul Can get Up to 31 in the city, and up to 37 on the highway, so maybe the UK is just more optimistic, because the EPA isn’t guessing, Kia is. And the reason they can get better highway miles in the UK is because they go at slower speeds.

  18. Sure Greg, but even at slower speeds the Soul should get better MPG. I checked the i20 1.6L I see a dissappointing 44 MPG when converted to SAE. I just hope that the 1.6L Gamma Small car hybrid system they are testing for the Soul and C’eed is ready for the Accent by then. I always get told by Hyundai that there will be a Hybrid Accent sometime in 2010. So well see.

    Its a simple system. A 20 HP Motor atached to the engine with batteries accessible under the back seats, an intergrated starter alternator, a regenerative braking system, and electric steering pumps with chain link belts.

  19. I warned Hyundai customer service that I wont buy, unless I get my hybrid, and that Sonata Hybrid wont be enough to be keep me happy. Please Hyundai, like I said dont force me to buy a Used Prius. There are plenty out there now for sale for good prices. Just give me my Hybrid Accent please.

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