Kia Forte
Kia Forte
2016 Kia Cerato (YD MY17) S hatchback (2017-04-22).jpg
Manufacturer Kia Motors
Also called Kia Cerato
Kia K3 (Korea)
Kia Forte K3 (Colombia & Singapore)
Kia Shuma (China)
Naza Forte
Production 2008-present
Model years 2009-present
2010-present (United States & Canada)
2011-present (Forte5)
Body and chassis
Class Compact car (C)
Body style 2-door coupe
4-door sedan
5-door hatchback
Layout FF layout
Predecessor Kia Cerato
Kia Spectra

The Kia Forte, known as the K3 in South Korea, the Shuma in China and the Forte K3 and Cerato Forte in Colombia and Singapore, is a compact car produced by 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 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 (2008-2012)

Kia Forte (TD)
2011 Kia Forte EX, front left (Joshua Tree).jpg
Manufacturer Kia Motors
Also called Kia Cerato

2009-present (China)

2013-present (Iran)
Model years 2009-2013
2010-2013 (United States & Canada)
2011-2013 (Forte5)
Assembly South Korea: Hwaseong (Hwaseong Plant)
China: Yancheng (Yancheng Plant) (DYK)[3]
Ecuador: Quito (AYMESA)
Iran: Tehran (SAIPA)
Kazakhstan: Oskemen[4]
Malaysia: Gurun (NAM)
Russia: Kaliningrad (Avtotor)
Designer Kurt Kahls (2006)
Tom Kearns (2006)
Body and chassis
Class Compact car
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.[5]

Coupe (Koup)

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.[6][7] 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, Russia 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.[8][9] The Forte two-door ("Koup") was previewed as the "Kia Koup" Concept, and was also designed in Kia's California design studio.[10][11] The Korean model went on sale on August 22, 2008.[12] The US model was unveiled at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show.[13][14]


The Forte is hatchback five-door debuted at the 2010 New York International Auto Show 2010.[15]

LPI Hybrid

In 2009, Kia unveiled the mild hybrid Forte at the Seoul Motor Show for the South Korean market.[16][17] 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.[18][19]


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.


The 2010 Forte received a "Top Safety Pick" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).[20]

Test Rating
Overall: 5/5 stars
Moderate overlap front: Good
Side: Good
Roof strength: Good
Head restraints & seats: Good

Market variations

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,[21] 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".[22]

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. It featured a four-speed automatic transmission at launch, and then received a six-speed automatic transmission with 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

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, the Forte is standard with a six-speed manual (replacing the 5 speed unit) and 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.[23] 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 for the 2010 model year and a six-speed from the 2011 model year.[24] 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).[25] 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.[26]

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 (2012-present)

Kia Forte (YD)
2013 Kia Cerato 1.6 in Subang Jaya, Malaysia (01).jpg
Manufacturer Kia Motors
Also called Kia Forte K3
Kia Cerato
Kia K3
Production 2012-present
Model years 2014-present
2017-present (Mexico)
Assembly South Korea: Hwaseong (Hwaseong Plant)
Malaysia: Gurun (NAM)
Mexico: Pesquería[27]
Russia: Kaliningrad (Avtotor)[28]
Algeria: Batna (GLOVIZ)[29]
Designer Kurt Kahl (2010)
Body and chassis
Class Compact car
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[30]
Transmission 6-speed manual
6-speed automatic[30]
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)
Hatchback (pre-facelift)
Sedan (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.[31] 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.[30]

The car was presented to the public for the first time outside of South Korea on Santiago Motorshow (Chile) as Kia Cerato, on October 3, 2012.[32]

2017 model year update

For 2017, the Kia Forte received a new facelift with restyled headlights and taillights. [33]

Forte Coupe (Koup)

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(TM) 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.[34]

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(TM), 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.

The Forte Koup was discontinued after 2016.[35]

Market variations


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, two airbags, front-and-rear parking sensors, keyless entry, push-button start, leather interior, power driver seat with memory)[36] 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.[37] The only engine available is the naturally-aspirated 1.6-liter petrol Gamma MPI producing 128 hp (130ps).[38]


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.[39] The test simulates the front corner of the vehicle hits a tree, utility pole, or even another vehicle at 40-mph.[39] According to the IIHS, this situation accounts for about a quarter of the serious injuries sustained in frontal crashes.[39][40]

Test Rating
Overall: 5/5 stars
Small overlap front: Poor (2014)
Good (2017)
Moderate overlap front: Good
Side: Good
Roof strength: Good
Head restraints & seats: Good
Front crash prevention: Superior (2017)
Headlights: Poor (2017)
Child seat anchors (Latch) ease of use: Acceptable (2017)

Third generation (2019-)

Kia Forte
Manufacturer Kia Motors
Also called Kia Forte K3
Kia Cerato
Kia K3
Production 2018-present
Model years 2019-present
Designer Peter Schreyer
Body and chassis
Class Compact car
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout FF layout
Engine 2.0 L Nu GDI I4 petrol 147hp
Transmission 6-speed manual
6-speed CVT

On January 15, 2018 at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, Kia unveiled the third generation Forte sedan. Taking styling cues from the Kia Stinger, the new Forte adopts a cab rearward exterior, resulting in a fastback profile and a short trunklid. The car is constructed with 54% advanced high-strength steel that is stronger than the outgoing model. The Forte will be offered with a 2.0L I4 carried over from the second generation model mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or Kia's first CVT.[41]


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.


Calendar year United States[42] Canada Global
2009 26,327
2010 68,500
2011 76,294
2012 75,681 352,226[43]
2013 66,146
2014 69,336 11,867[44]
2015 78,919 357,796[45]
2016 103,292 400,010[46]
2017 117,596


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  3. ^ "Forte". DYK. Retrieved . 
  4. ^ "A? "? ?"". Retrieved . 
  5. ^ Martinez, Nate (July 8, 2008). "Revealed! 2010 Kia Forte Sedan images hit the Web". Motor Trend. Retrieved 2009. 
  6. ^ Lavrinc, Damon (2008-03-20). "New York 2008: Kia KOUP Concept comes out". Autoblog. Weblogs, Inc. Retrieved . 
  7. ^ Hardigree, Matt (2008-03-20). "Kia Koup Concept Astounds, Konfounds". Jalopnik. Gawker Media. Retrieved . 
  8. ^ Kia Design Tempting youthful buyers with cheap chic Aug. 28, 2009. Globe and Mail
  9. ^ Kia Forte Design Concept, Peter Schreyer YouTube Video
  10. ^ Forte (All-new Cerato) & Forte (All-new Cerato) Koup Design Essay :Kurt Kahl (Senior Designer. Kia America Design Center). July 31st, 2009. Kia BUZZ
  11. ^ KOUP Q&A By Colin Jang. July 10th, 2009. Kia BUZZ
  12. ^ "Revealed: 2009 Kia Forte". TheCarBlogger. 2008-07-02. Retrieved . 
  13. ^ Sam Abuelsamid. "Chicago 2009: Spectra out, 2010 Kia Forte in". 
  14. ^ Phillips, Drew (2009-02-11). "Chicago 2009: Kia Forte rolls into Chi-town". Retrieved . 
  15. ^ Padgett, Marty (2010-04-01). "Kia Forte hatchback". Retrieved . 
  16. ^ Abuelsamid, Sam (2009-03-24). "Kia introduces production Forte LPI Hybrid in South Korea". Retrieved . 
  17. ^ Martinez, Nate (March 24, 2009). "Kia Launches Eco Dynamics Label in Korea, Unveils Forte Hybrid Model". Motor Trend. Retrieved 2009. 
  18. ^ FrugalOne (2009-03-25). "Kia Unveils Forte LPi Hybrid In Korea | Reviews | Prices | Australian specifications". Retrieved . 
  19. ^ GoAutoMedia (2009-06-30). "Hyundai 2010 Avante LPI Hybrid Electric Vehicle - Lithium-polymer leads the charge". GoAuto. Retrieved . 
  20. ^ "2010 Kia Forte". Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Retrieved . 
  21. ^ ":6?18?18?08FORTE?" (in Chinese). Retrieved . 
  22. ^ "Kia Motors launches locally-built Forte in China". Kia Press. 2009-06-18. 
  24. ^ Tan, Paul. "First photos of new Kia Forte Sedan". Retrieved . 
  25. ^ 2010 Kia Forte SX First Drive 06-11-2009, Archived June 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  26. ^ Korzeniewski, Jeremy (2009-09-07). "CONFIRMED: 2010 Kia Forte Koup will go on sale late summer". Retrieved . 
  27. ^ "Kia presenta el primer auto hecho en Nuevo León". Publimetro. 16 May 2016. Retrieved 2016. 
  28. ^ "Avtotor introduced complete production cycle of Kia Cerato sedan". 17 November 2014. Retrieved 2014. 
  29. ^ "Four models of the Kia brand in the Batna plant". Eco-Algeria. 2017-03-19. Retrieved . 
  30. ^ a b c "2014 Kia Forte Sedan". Car and Driver. November 2012. Retrieved . 
  31. ^ "2014 Kia Forte Unveiled, Heading to America Early Next Year". 2012-07-29. Retrieved . 
  32. ^ "New Kia Cerato / Forte unveiled in Chile". Ripituc. 2012-10-05. Archived from the original on 2012-11-30. Retrieved . 
  33. ^
  34. ^ "Introducing the 2015 Kia Forte Koup". TheNewsWheel. 
  35. ^ Padeanu, Adrian (2017-04-29). "Kia Forte Koup Dead After 2016 Model Year". 
  36. ^ "Cerato". Kia Motors Singapore. Retrieved . 
  37. ^ "Home". EUROSTYLE ... FOR SMARTER MOTORISTS. Retrieved . 
  38. ^ "Kia Forte K3 2015 | 4 Door Sedan | Kia Motors Singapore". KIA. Retrieved . 
  39. ^ a b c Halvorson, Bengt (2013-08-07). "Which Small Cars Are Safest? New IIHS Test Helps Answer That". The Car Connection. Retrieved . 
  40. ^ "2017 Kia Forte". Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Retrieved . 
  41. ^ Ogbac, Stefan (2018-01-15). "2019 Kia Forte First Look: More Stylish and Efficient Compact Now Offers a CVT". Motor Trend. Retrieved . 
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^

External links

  • Official websites:

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