Roadfly.com - 2010 Kia Forte Road Test and Review
In 2009, Kia unveiled the mild hybrid Forte at the Seoul Motor Show for the South Korean market. 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.For the Chinese market, Kia has offered the "Forte Furuidi" since 2009. The Furuidi was unveiled at the Nanjing International Expo Centre, 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".In Russia, the Cerato (Forte) is available as 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 compact sedans there. Despite the LPI Hybrid being launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Forte is still not offered in European countries outside Russia.In the United States, the LX and EX include 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. 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. 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). 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. 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.