On the heels of announcing the widely acclaimed, all-new Kia Soul, Kia Motors America (KMA) today introduced the all-new 2010 Kia Forte (pronounced for-tay) compact sedan at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show. Forte blends Kia's exciting new design direction under the tutelage of Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors' chief design officer, with a multitude of standard features. The 2010 Kia Forte will go on sale in North America in late spring or early summer of 2009.

"Kia Motors' product line is rapidly evolving and the Forte compact sedan is another head turner," said B.M. Ahn, group president and CEO, KMA and KMMG. "The Forte is an aggressively stylish blend of comfort and practicality – and with a host of standard features it provides the great quality and value that consumers have come to expect from Kia vehicles."

Style in Motion

Sporting stylish and aggressive design cues, the new Forte firmly establishes itself as a strong contender in its segment. With a bold look set apart by crisp lines, swept-back headlamps and a sleek profile, Forte exudes a confident stance that conveys motion both while cruising the highway and parked in the driveway. Available in three trim levels (LX, EX and SX), Forte offers a sleek, sophisticated design. The sportier SX trim offers a more athletic profile with 17-inch alloy wheels paired with P215/45R17-sized premium tires and a rear spoiler.

Smooth and Comfortable Ride

With a wheelbase of 104.3 inches, an overall length of 178.3 inches, an overall width of 69.9 inches and overall height of 57.5 inches, Forte offers one of the roomiest interiors in its class with seating for up to five passengers. The Kia-engineered body achieves high torsional stiffness giving Forte better handling, smoother ride quality and greater refinement than its competitors, with a specially tuned suspension adjusted perfectly for responsive handling on curvy roads. Additional refinements are fitted throughout Forte to help ensure a comfortable ride with good noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) reduction qualities.

Built on a front-wheel-drive unibody frame, Forte utilizes an independent front suspension with MacPherson struts and a stabilizer bar and a torsion beam rear suspension with struts 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 sporty essence of the SX model line, a sport-tuned suspension gives the chassis a firmer feel and responsiveness resulting in a sportier and more spirited ride. The SX model also features larger front brakes for improved stopping capabilities.

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Attractive and Practical Interior

Forte boasts a class-leading? 96.8 cubic feet of passenger volume, while driver and passengers have an impressive 40.0 inches of headroom and 43.3 inches of legroom in the front seats and 37.8 inches of headroom and 35.0 inches of legroom in the rear seats. Forte's trunk also offers an impressive 14.7 cubic feet of cargo space, one of the largest in its class, perfect for luggage for weekend getaways.

Capitalizing on its spacious interior, Forte pampers its riders with a host of 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.

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; dual front and rear cup holders; and floor mats. Forte EX and SX models also include standard cruise control with an optional sunroof and leather-trimmed seats. Also standard on SX models is a telescoping steering column as well as sport cloth seats adorned with red stitching, further enhancing its energetic persona.

Peppy Performance

Forte LX and EX are powered by a 2.0-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine, producing 156 horsepower 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 horsepower – more than the most powerful versions of the Toyota Corolla? or even the 2010 Mazda3.

Two transmission options are offered for the 2010 Forte: a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission (LX and EX models). The SX model features a standard six-speed manual transmission and an optional five-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic®.

The optional Fuel Economy Package, available with the 2.0-liter powerplant, will include the five-speed automatic transmission, Motor Drive Power Steering and low-rolling resistance tires with aero enhancements. These improvements result in class-leading combined fuel economy of 36 mpg (highway).

Music that Moves

Forte comes with a standard four speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system outfitted with SIRIUS Satellite Radio capabilities with three months complimentary service?. Standard on all models is an auxiliary audio input jack and USB port for connecting personal MP3 players. Standard Bluetooth® connectivity enables hands-free operation for compatible cell phones. For true audiophiles, the EX and SX packages also add a standard six speaker surround audio system and steering wheel controls.

Standard Kia Motors Safety

Forte offers a class-leading level of standard safety equipment, with features such as active front headrests, advanced two-stage airbags, front seat-mounted and side curtain airbags, four-wheel disc brakes with an antilock brake system (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC) and traction control (TCS), and a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS).

2010 Kia Forte Specifications

GENERAL INFO

Body configuration

Compact sedan

Body type

Steel unibody

Drivetrain layout

Front engine, front drive

Passenger capacity

5

ENGINE

Type

LX & EX:  2.0-liter, in-line four-cylinder, aluminum block and aluminum head SX:  2.4-liter, inline four-cylinder, aluminum block and aluminum head

Valve gear

LX & EX:  DOHC, four valves/cylinder w/ CVVT SX:  DOHC, four valves/cylinder w/ CVVT

Horsepower (hp @ rpm)

LX & EX:  156 @ 6200 SX:  173 @ 6000

Torque (lb.-ft @ rpm)

LX & EX:  144 @ 4300 SX:  168 @ 4000

Bore x stroke (mm)

LX & EX:  86.0 x 86.0 SX:  88.0 x 97.0

Displacement (cc)

LX & EX:  1998 SX:  2359

Compression ratio

LX & EX:  10.5:1 SX:  10.5:1

Emissions rating

50-state:  LEV-II (ULEV) Tier-2 (Bin 4) CAL:  LEV-II (SULEV PZEV)

Fuel tank capacity (gal.)

13.7

Engine oil capacity (qt.)

LX & EX:  4.1 SX:  4.5

DRIVETRAIN

Transmission

LX & EX: Five-speed manual SX: Six-speed manual LX & EX: Electronically controlled four-speed automatic EX w/ Fuel Economy Package SX: Electronically controlled five-speed automatic w/ Sportmatic

LX & EX
Gear ratios :1 M/T A/T
1st

3.308

2.919

2nd

1.962

1.551

3rd

1.189

1.000

4th

0.905

0.713

5th

0.702

--

Reverse

3.583

2.480

Final drive

4.188

3.681

Clutch type

Single dry plate w/ hydraulic control

Torque converter

EX w/ Fuel Economy Package & SX
Gear ratios :1 M/T A/T
1st

3.267

3.939

2nd

1.931

2.093

3rd

1.636

1.349

4th

1.216

0.962

5th

1.027

0.713

6th

0.829

--

Reverse

3.588

3.347

Final drive

4.063 (1, 2, R) 2.955 (3, 4, 5, 6)

3.099

Clutch type

Dual mass flywheel w/ hydraulic control

Torque converter

SUSPENSION
Front

Independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs, stabilizer bar

Rear

Torsion beam w/ struts, coil springs, stabilizer bar

STEERING

Type

Engine-speed-sensitive, power-assisted rack-and-pinion

Turning circle, curb-to-curb (ft.)

33.8

DIMENSIONS (in.)

Exterior:

Overall length

178.3

Overall width

69.9

Overall height

57.5

Wheelbase

104.3

Track, front/rear

61.3 / 61.6

Ground Clearance

5.9

Interior:

Headroom, front/rear

40.0 / 37.8

Shoulder room, front/rear

55.7 / 54.7

Legroom, front/rear

43.3 / 35.0

Front hip room, front/rear

53.0 / 53.3

Interior volume (cu. ft.)

96.8

Cargo volume (cu. ft.)

14.7

BRAKES

Type

Hydraulic, power-assisted vacuum w/ four-sensor, four-channel ABS + ESC

Front

LX & EX:  11.0-inch ventilated discs SX:  11.8-inch ventilated discs

Rear

10.3-inch solid discs

TIRES & WHEELS

Tires

P195/65R15 (LX) P205/55R16 (EX) P215/45R17 (SX)

Wheels

5.5J x 15 steel (LX) 6.0J x 16 alloy (EX) 7.0J x 17 alloy (SX)

FUEL ECONOMY (mpg)

LX & EX

SX

City/Highway
5-speed M/T

TBD

--

6-speed M/T

--

TBD

4-speed A/T

25 / 34 (est.)

--

5-speed A/T

26 / 36 (est.)

TBD