Kia Adds Stylish New Forte Hatchback To Line-up

BY Burnpavement

The addition of third body style to Kia’s best selling model is set to attract a broader range of customers.

Cycle & Carriage Kia is introducing a third member to the Forte family – the Forte Hatchback, (in addition to the Cerato Forte sedan and Forte Koup) to strengthen its representation in what is arguably Singapore’s most important market sector – the ultra-competitive mid-sized car segment (the C-segment).

As well as its all-new body shape, the new Forte Hatchback (the official name for the 5-door model) introduces styling, equipment, refinement and technical improvements, which are also featured on the new 2011 Forte sedan and two-door Koup models introduced last December. These include six-speed transmission with paddle shifters, boot-type gear shift, LED side repeaters, and integrated blue-tooth. Technically similar to its sedan and Koup sister cars, the new Forte hatchback has the same overall width, height and wheelbase as the sedan. The difference lies in the reduction of 190 mm in the rear overhang, therefore the five-door model is 4,340 mm long. Despite its more compact dimensions, the hatchback’s cargo volume of 385 litres (VDA) is highly competitive in its class.

At its introduction during early 2009, Kia’s new Forte sedan raised mid-sized sedan (C-segment) car design to a new level of sophistication. Now, Kia’s international design teams, under the direction of Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer, have re-visited the corporation’s best-seller to create the new Forte five-door Hatchback. The roof, rear side panels, C-pillar, tailgate, rear bumper, light clusters and two-tone spoiler are all new. At the front, bold styling incorporates a new radiator grille, new lower air-intake grille and new-shape fog lamps. The door mirrors are new, with LED repeaters and re-styled ‘double five-spoke’ 16-inch and 17-inch alloy wheels will be available. The rear combination lamps which have etching-processed lenses, are split across the tailgate shut line and a sporty rear diffuser allows the exhaust tailpipe to be displayed.

Like its sedan and coupe siblings, the new Forte hatchback presents buyers with a range of state-of-the-art safety systems and equipment. Available ‘active’ technologies include: ESC (electronic stability control) to enhance cornering ability, several systems to boost braking performance and two systems to help avoid contact with pedestrians and other vehicles when reversing — obstacle sensors in the rear bumper.

For the Singapore market, Kia’s new Forte five-door is available with a four-cylinder gasoline engine similar to those featured in the sedan. The 1,591 cc Gamma engine produces 124 ps and acceleration to 100 km/h takes 10.3 seconds with this model. Every new Forte five-door comes with an all-new six-speed automatic transmission equipped with a gate-type shift pattern and offering the driver fully automatic or sport modes. The presence of steering wheel ‘paddle shifters’ allows drivers to change gears using fingertip control.