Kia Forte

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Kia Forte
2015 Kia Cerato (YD MY15) S sedan (2016-07-07) 01.jpg
Manufacturer Kia Motors
Also called Kia Cerato
Kia K3 (KDM)
Kia Forte K3 (Colombia & Singapore)
Kia K3 (Forte) or Shuma(Koup) (China)
Naza Forte
Production 2008–present
Model years 2010-present (United States & Canada)
2011-present (Forte5)
Body and chassis
Class Compact car
Body style 2-door coupe
4-door sedan
5-door hatchback
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel drive
Predecessor Kia Cerato
Kia Spectra

The Kia Forte known as the "Kia K3 Koup" in South Korea is a compact car produced by the South Korean manufacturer Kia Motors since mid-2008. It replaced the Kia Cerato and is available in two-door coupé, four-door sedan, five-door hatchback variants. It is not available in Europe, where the similar sized Kia Cee'd is offered (except for Russia and Ukraine, where the Cee'd and the Forte are both available). In South Korea, this car is marketed as the Kia K3.

In some markets, such as Costa Rica, Australia and Brazil, the Forte is marketed as the Kia Cerato replacing its predecessor of the same name. In Colombia and Singapore, the name Kia Cerato Forte is used,[1] while Naza Automotive Manufacturing of Malaysia has assembled the vehicle since 2009, selling it there under the name Naza Forte.[2]

First generation (2009–2012)[edit]

Kia Forte
2010 Kia Forte SX 1 -- 08-22-2009.jpg
Manufacturer Kia Motors
Also called Kia Cerato
Production 2008–2012
2013-Present (Iran - SAIPA)
Model years 2009–2013
2010-2013 (United States & Canada)
2011-2013 (Forte5)
2014-present (Iran)
Assembly South Korea: Hwaseong, Gyeonggi (Hwasung Plant)
Ecuador: AYMESA (2010 - present)
China: Jiangsu (Yangcheng Plant)
Russia: Kaliningrad (Avtotor)
Kazakhstan: Ust-Kamenogorsk[3]
Designer Kurt Kahls (2006)
Tom Kearns (2006)
Peter Schreyer (Tiger Nose grille: 2006, Koup: 2007)
Body and chassis
Class Compact
Body style 2-door coupe
4-door sedan
5-door hatchback
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel drive
Wheelbase 2,650 mm (104.3 in)
Length 4,480 mm (176.4 in) (coupe)
4,530 mm (178.3 in) (sedan)
4,340 mm (170.9 in) (hatchback)
Width 1,765 mm (69.5 in) (coupe)
1,775 mm (69.9 in) (sedan, hatch)
Height 1,400 mm (55.1 in) (coupe)
1,460 mm (57.5 in) (sedan, hatch)
Predecessor Kia Cerato
Kia Spectra

The first generation Forte shares the same platform as the Hyundai Elantra (HD), though employing a torsion-beam rear suspension in place of the Elantra's multilink design.

Kia has stated that the Forte was specifically designed to target younger buyers attracted to sharper auto designs.[4]

Coupe (Koup)[edit]

The two-door coupe "Forte Koup" was originally unveiled as a concept car in the form of the "Kia Koup" on March 20, 2008 at the New York International Auto Show.[5][6] The concept sported a twin scroll turbocharged version of the 2.0-liter Theta II inline-four engine. The production Forte Koup is badged as the "Kia Cerato Koup" in Australia, Costa Rica and South Africa. It is called the "Kia Shuma" in China, and "Kia Koup" in Chile.


The Forte sedan was designed in Kia's California design studio by Tom Kearns and his team.[7][8] The Forte two-door ("Koup") was previewed as the "Kia Koup" Concept, and was also designed in Kia's California design studio.[9][10] The Korean model went on sale on August 22, 2008.[11] The US model was unveiled at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show.[12][13]


The Forte is hatchback five-door debuted at the 2010 New York International Auto Show 2010.[14]

LPI Hybrid[edit]

In 2009, Kia unveiled the mild hybrid Forte at the Seoul Motor Show for the South Korean market.[15][16] Taking its underpinnings from the Hyundai Elantra LPI Hybrid, the car is powered by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). It is powered with a 85-kilowatt (114 hp) 1.6-litre LPG engine coupled with a 15-kilowatt (20 hp) electric motor and a lithium-polymer battery pack, making it the first production car to use lithium-polymer batteries.[17][18]


Engine type Displacement Power Torque Transmission
1.6 L Gamma I4 (gasoline) 1,591 cc 126 hp (94 kW; 128 PS) 15.9 kgf·m (156 N·m; 115 lbf·ft) 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic (6-speed automatic + paddle-shift as of 2011 model)
1.6 L Gamma I4 (LPG hybrid) 1,591 cc Continuously variable automatic
1.6 L CRDi VGT I4 (turbocharged diesel) 1,582 cc 128 PS (94 kW; 126 hp) 26.5 kgf·m (260 N·m; 192 lbf·ft) 4-speed automatic
2.0 L Theta II I4 (gasoline) 1,998 cc 156 PS (115 kW; 154 hp) 19.8 kgf·m (194 N·m; 143 lbf·ft) 5 and 6- speed manual, 4-, 5-, and 6-speed automatic
2.4 L Theta II I4 (gasoline) 2,359 cc 173 PS (127 kW; 171 hp) 227 N·m (167 lbf·ft) 6-speed manual, 5-speed automatic MY 2010/6 speed auto MY 2011
1.6 L Gamma T-GDI (G4FJ) I4 (turbo gasoline) 1,591 cc 186–204 PS (137–150 kW; 183–201 hp) @5,500 27.0 kg·m (265 N·m; 195 lbf·ft) @1,500-4,500 6-speed manual, 6 speed automatic, 6 speed dual clutch transmission.

Market variations[edit]

Kia Cerato interior


For the Chinese market, Kia has offered the "Forte Furuidi" since 2009. The Furuidi was unveiled at the Nanjing International Expo Centre,[19] and is available with the 1.6- Gamma and 2.0-liter Theta engines. "Furuidi" means luck and auspiciousness in the Chinese language—and has a pronunciation similar to its English name "Forte".[20]

In Malaysia, the Forte is assembled by the joint-venture company Naza-Kia and is called the "Naza Forte". It is offered with the 1.6-liter Gamma and 2.0-liter Theta II engine variants, with six-speed automatic transmissions.

In Singapore, the car was called the Cerato Forte, and was offered with the same 1.6-liter Gamma and 2.0-liter Theta II engine variants as in Malaysia, with a four-speed automatic transmission at launch, and a six-speed automatic transmission + paddle shifters after the 2011 facelift.


In Russia and Ukraine, the Cerato (Forte) is available as the Cee'd's notchback counterpart, with the coupe and saloon available together. The Forte is not available in other European countries, due to the relatively low popularity of small family sedans there. Despite the LPI Hybrid being launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Forte is still not offered in European countries outside Russia and Ukraine.

North America[edit]

In the United States, the 2010 LX and EX included a 2.0-liter CVVT engine and a standard five-speed manual transmission, with an optional four-speed automatic or a five-speed automatic with the Fuel Economy Package. For the 2011 model year, Forte is available with an optional six-speed automatic, with the four- and five-speed automatics being discontinued.

The LX is the base model. It comes standard with electronic stability control (ESC), and seat- and side-mounted airbags. The standard stereo includes four speakers, AM/FM radio, CD/MP3 player, and Sirius XM Radio. An iPod-compatible USB input jack and an auxiliary port for an external music device and steering wheel mounted audio controls are also integrated with the sound system. Bluetooth handsfree technology is also standard.[21] The second-tier EX adds air conditioning, power windows and door locks, cruise control, a six-speaker radio, a key fob with keyless entry, and turn signal indicators on the side mirrors. The SX has the 2.4-liter engine with a six-speed manual or optional five-speed automatic transmission.[22] The SX also adds alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever, a tilting and telescoping steering column, sport-cloth seats, and a metallic finish to the interior. Later production models have soft-touch panels on the armrest and door, as well as on the dashboard. For 2011, the EX and SX sedans are automatic-only, while the base sedan and all models of the Koup and Forte5 continue to offer the choice of manual or automatic.

An optional Fuel Economy Package adds low resistance silica tires, a more efficient alternator, a five-speed automatic transmission, and aerodynamic enhancements to increase fuel efficiency. With the Fuel Economy Package, the Forte EX has a 27 mpg-US (8.7 L/100 km; 32 mpg-imp) fuel consumption in city driving and 36 mpg-US (6.5 L/100 km; 43 mpg-imp) in highway according to United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).[23] Automatic transmission models include an "Eco" display on the instrument panel that tells the driver when better than expected fuel efficiency is reached, hoping to influence driving habits toward more efficient operation.

For the Forte Koup, an optional leather package is available on both EX and SX trims. When combined with the EX trim, leather is utilized for the upholstery, steering wheel and shift lever; heated front seats and a sunroof are also included with the package. When paired with the SX trim, it includes only heated leather seats and the sunroof, as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever are already fitted as standard.[24]

The Forte sold in Canada has similar specifications and equipment as the US-market model. Some differences include the addition of power windows, door locks and power heated exterior mirrors on the base LX trim, a telescopic steering wheel on the EX trim, and a standard sunroof and automatic climate control system on the SX trim. The EX and SX also have a chrome-trimmed rear garnish and door handles. In contrast to the transmissions offered in the United States, the automatic transmission on offer in Canada is a 6-speed.

Second generation (2013–present)[edit]

Kia Forte K3
2014 Kia Cerato (YD MY15) S hatchback (2015-07-16) 01.jpg
Manufacturer Kia Motors
Also called Kia Cerato
Kia K3
Production 2013–present
Model years 2014–present
Assembly South Korea: Hwaseong, Gyeonggi (Hwasung Plant)
Russia: Kaliningrad (Avtotor)[25]
Mexico: Pesquería, Nuevo León[26]
Designer Peter Schreyer (2010)
Body and chassis
Class Compact
Body style 2-door coupe
4-door sedan
5-door hatchback
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel drive
Engine 1.6 L Gamma MPI I4 petrol 128hp
1.6 L Gamma GDI turbo I4 petrol 201hp (2-Door and 5-Door only)
1.8 L Nu MPI I4 petrol 148hp (Sedan only)
2.0 L Nu MPI I4 petrol 159hp
2.0 L Nu GDI I4 petrol 173hp[27]
Transmission 6-speed manual
6-speed automatic[27]
Wheelbase 2,700 mm (106.3 in)
Length 4,350 mm (171.3 in) (5-Door)
4,560 mm (179.5 in) (Sedan)
Width 1,780 mm (70.1 in)
Height 1,435 mm (56.5 in) (Sedan)
1,450 mm (57.1 in) (5-Door)
Curb weight 1,240–1,345 kg (2,734–2,965 lb) (Sedan)
1,320–1,415 kg (2,910–3,120 lb) (5-Door)
Kia Cerato hatchback (Australia; pre-facelift)
Kia Cerato sedan (Australia; pre-facelift)

Kia released images of the second generation Forte for the 2014 model year in late July 2012, when the company revealed its Korean-market counterpart, Kia K3.[28] The car is completely redesigned with a lower, wider, and longer stance.

The 2014 Kia Forte includes LED headlights and tail lights as a standard feature, and will further Kia's driver-oriented cockpit design inside. To make it more fuel efficient, the Forte is offered with the new Nu engine, in a 1.8 Liter DOHC MPI 4-cylinder producing 148 hp (110 kW) with 131 pound-feet (178 N·m) of torque, and a 2.0 Liter DOHC GDI 4-cylinder rated at 173 hp (129 kW) with 154 pound-feet (209 N·m) of torque.[27]

The car was presented to the public for the first time out of South Korea on Santiago Motorshow (Chile) as Kia Cerato, on October 3, 2012.[29]

2017 Model Year Update[edit]

Kia Forte (US; facelift)

For 2017, the Kia Forte will receive a new facelift with restyled headlights and taillights. The 2017 models will also exclusively be offered in multi point injection, rather than the gas direct inject, offered in previous years.[30]

Forte Coupe (Koup)[edit]

The base EX comes standard with a 2.0-liter GDI four-cylinder I4 engine, and the SX comes with a more powerful 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque for a compact car.

The base Forte Koup EX comes with an impressive list of standard features including 16-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth®, SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio and cruise control buttons, tilt and telescoping steering column, FlexSteer®, power windows and LED positioning headlights with fog lights.[31]

The Koup SX comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, UVO eServices with Rear Camera Display, dual chrome exhaust tips, and LED tail lights. The SX also features performance enhancements including larger bumper and grille openings, larger front brakes, alloy sport pedals, black gloss grille inserts, and the front fascia and rear valance also include carbon fiber-look trim.

Both trims come with optional HID headlights, navigation system with HD Radio™, heated steering wheel, power lumbar, sunroof, heated front seats and ventilated driver's seat, leather-trimmed seating, SmartKey with push-button start, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Market variations[edit]


For the Singapore market, the car is known as the Forte K3 and is available in EX (16-inch steel wheels, dual airbags, rear air conditioner, LED daylight running lights, leather interior and rear parking sensor) and SX (17-inch alloy wheels, six airbags, front-and-rear parking sensors, keyless entry, push-button start, leather interior, power driver seat with memory)[32] trims, with LED daylight running lights and rear aircon vents standard. Eurostyle touchscreen entertainment system available as an optional upgrade through a tie-up with a local installer.[33] The only engine available is the naturally-aspirated 1.6-liter petrol Gamma MPI producing 128 hp (130ps).[34]


IIHS crash test scores[35]
Moderate overlap frontal offset Good
Small overlap frontal offset (2012-2014) Poor[36] (2015–present) Marginal
Side impact Good
Roof strength Good

In a small overlap frontal crash test carried out by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Kia Forte scored the lowest in the group.[37] The test simulates the front corner of the vehicle hits a tree, utility pole, or even another vehicle at 40-mph.[37] According to the IIHS, this situation accounts for about a quarter of the serious injuries sustained in frontal crashes.[37]


Kia Racing, a factory-sponsored team in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, has currently entered a few Fortes in the series. Kia has proven to be notably competitive in the series as well as the SCCA World Challenge touring car class alongside the factory-sponsored Kia Rio in the Touring Car B-Spec class.


  1. ^ "Kia launches the new Cerato Forte for the Singaporean market". iCars Singapore. 2009-01-31. Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  2. ^ Yaohan, Seow (2009-11-26). "Naza Kia Launches The Forte In Malaysia". Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  3. ^ "AО "Азия Авто"". Retrieved 2010-10-30. 
  4. ^ Martinez, Nate (July 8, 2008). "Revealed! 2010 Kia Forte Sedan images hit the Web". Motor Trend. Retrieved September 30, 2009. 
  5. ^ Lavrinc, Damon (2008-03-20). "New York 2008: Kia KOUP Concept comes out". Autoblog. Weblogs, Inc. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  6. ^ Hardigree, Matt (2008-03-20). "Kia Koup Concept Astounds, Konfounds". Jalopnik. Gawker Media. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  7. ^ Kia Design Tempting youthful buyers with cheap chic Aug. 28, 2009. Globe and Mail
  8. ^ Kia Forte Design Concept, Peter Schreyer YouTube Video
  9. ^ Forte (All-new Cerato) & Forte (All-new Cerato) Koup Design Essay :Kurt Kahl (Senior Designer. Kia America Design Center). July 31st, 2009. Kia BUZZ
  10. ^ KOUP Q&A By Colin Jang. July 10th, 2009. Kia BUZZ
  11. ^ "Revealed: 2009 Kia Forte". TheCarBlogger. 2008-07-02. Retrieved 2009-10-18. 
  12. ^ Sam Abuelsamid. "Chicago 2009: Spectra out, 2010 Kia Forte in". 
  13. ^ Phillips, Drew (2009-02-11). "Chicago 2009: Kia Forte rolls into Chi-town". Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  14. ^ Padgett, Marty (2010-04-01). "Kia Forte hatchback". Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  15. ^ Abuelsamid, Sam (2009-03-24). "Kia introduces production Forte LPI Hybrid in South Korea". Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  16. ^ Martinez, Nate (March 24, 2009). "Kia Launches Eco Dynamics Label in Korea, Unveils Forte Hybrid Model". Motor Trend. Retrieved October 5, 2009. 
  17. ^ FrugalOne (2009-03-25). "Kia Unveils Forte LPi Hybrid In Korea | Reviews | Prices | Australian specifications". Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  18. ^ GoAutoMedia (2009-06-30). "Hyundai 2010 Avante LPI Hybrid Electric Vehicle - Lithium-polymer leads the charge". GoAuto. Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  19. ^ "预告:6月18日18点08直播FORTE福瑞迪上市发布" (in Chinese). Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  20. ^ "Kia Motors launches locally-built Forte in China". Kia Press, 18 Jun 2009. 
  22. ^ Tan, Paul. "First photos of new Kia Forte Sedan". Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  23. ^ 2010 Kia Forte SX First Drive 06-11-2009, Archived June 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ Korzeniewski, Jeremy (2009-09-07). "CONFIRMED: 2010 Kia Forte Koup will go on sale late summer". Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  25. ^ "Avtotor introduced complete production cycle of Kia Cerato sedan". 17 November 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  26. ^ "Kia presenta el primer auto hecho en Nuevo León". Publimetro. 16 May 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2016. 
  27. ^ a b c "2014 Kia Forte Sedan". Car and Driver. November 2012. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  28. ^ "2014 Kia Forte Unveiled, Heading to America Early Next Year". 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2012-09-08. 
  29. ^ "New Kia Cerato / Forte unveiled in Chile". Ripituc. 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Introducing the 2015 Kia Forte Koup". TheNewsWheel. 
  32. ^ "Kia Forte K3 Singapore sales brochure" (PDF). 
  33. ^ "Home". EUROSTYLE ... FOR SMARTER MOTORISTS. Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  34. ^ "Kia Forte K3 2015 | 4 Door Sedan | Kia Motors Singapore". KIA. Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  35. ^ "Kia Forte". Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Retrieved 2013-09-05. 
  36. ^ "2012-2014 Kia Forte - Small Overlap Front Test". Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Retrieved 2013-09-05. 
  37. ^ a b c Halvorson, Bengt (2013-08-07). "Which Small Cars Are Safest? New IIHS Test Helps Answer That". The Car Connection. Retrieved 2013-09-05. 

External links[edit]

  • Official websites: