Kia Forte Looks Like an Affordable Stinger

by Edgar Hayes January 16, 2018, 0:38
Kia Forte Looks Like an Affordable Stinger

No idea yet. In the sedan-friendly US, Kia doesn't bother with a Forte hatch.

Kia has used the North American International Auto Show in Detroit to unveil what will become its latest-generation Cerato sedan, under the guise of the US-market Kia Forte.

When Kia previewed the all-new Forte with some very Stinger-ish renderings, I thought to myself, "There's no way Kia will actually make it look like this in production". The cowl point was also pushed back five inches.

Called "Stinger-esque" is the third-generation Forte's headlamp design and layout. The exterior of the Forte looks pretty good with the company's Kia's signature tiger nose grille that is shared with the Stinger.

The new-generation Cerato grows in length by 81mm to 4640mm, width has been increased by 17mm to 1798mm, and overall height rises by 13mm to 1440mm. "(20-cm) color touchscreen", Kia says.

The interior gains similar stylistic improvements, with the Forte/Cerato dumping the current car's organic (others might describe it as "bizarrely lumpy") dashboard for better furniture that bears many similarities to that of its corporate cousin, the Hyundai i30. In doing so, NVH levels are also reduced by 5dB.

Other technical changes include retuning of the electric-assist power steering, reworked suspension geometry to make the auto feel more nimble and "evolutionary improvements" to throttle response and brake feel for shorter stopping distances. The engine can be mated to either a six-speed manual or Kia's new Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). Kia says that its engineers have researched all of the issues that are typically associated with CVT transmissions, and have worked to iron them out with this new unit.

The Nu engine also uses Atkinson-cycle and cooled exhaust-gas-recirculation technologies. Blind-spot collision warning, lane keep assist, forward collision assist and adaptive cruise control are equipped as standard on the new Forte. The Forte's infotainment system can read aloud SMS text messages via Bluetooth depending on a driver's or passenger's smartphone.

The Korean automaker revealed the larger and more fuel-efficient 2019 Kia Forte with design inspiration from the company's slickly designed Stinger auto, which popped onto the scene past year. The tally made it Kia's best-selling vehicle in the 2017, WardsAuto data shows, overtaking 2016's No.1-selling Soul subcompact box and Kia's No.2 of 2016 and 2017, the Optima midsize sedan.

Last year, sales of the Forte (which include a hatchback variant) rose 13.8% to 117,596.

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