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Kia launches 2009 Forte sedanEnlarge Photo
The new sedan replaces the current Spectra (Cerato), Kia’s top-selling model in the U.S., and will eventually be offered as a coupe. A hatchback model will also be offered but this car has been ruled out for the North American market.
The Forte is expected to go on sale by the middle of next year in other markets and will be followed by the new coupe several months later. It will initially come with two compact petrol engines, a 1.6L four-cylinder unit with 124hp (92kW) and a more powerful 2.0L unit to be announced later. A 128hp (95kW) 1.6L turbodiesel will also be offered in some markets. Furthermore, a turbocharged performance model as previewed by the Koup concept could also make an appearance.
Inside, the Forte shows the upgraded interior design aesthetic that really took off with the C’eed, and what appear to be more premium materials, including soft-touch plastics and leather upholstery. While the Forte certainly doesn’t break any new ground in its interior design, it does show that Kia is intent on moving its vehicles up the ranks and changing perceptions about its quality. Upmarket features include satellite navigation, voice-recognition, active headrests and vehicle stability control.
Kia has spent more than $200 million and 29 months developing the new car, and is predicting worldwide sales to top 250,000 units annually.
2009 Kia Forte sedan