So, you already know the prices and the colors of Kia Philippines' latest compact-car offerings: Forte (sedan), Forte Koup (coupe) and Forte 5 (hatchback). Aside from that basic information, we're sure you're itching to know what's really inside the Philippine-market Forte models.
Here, then, are 10 things you need to know about these new compact, front-wheel-drive Kias.
1. The Forte sedan is powered by a 1.6-liter in-line-four D-CVVT MPI gasoline engine rated at 128hp (at 6,300rpm) and 157Nm (at 4,850rpm). Both the Forte Koup and the Forte 5 get the bigger 2.0-liter in-line-four D-CVVT MPI gasoline powerplant that tops out at 159hp (at 6,500rpm) and 194Nm (at 4,800rpm).
2. All three Forte models are equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission with Sport mode, but only the coupe and the hatchback have paddle shifters.
3. Dimension-wise, the Forte hatchback is the tallest at 1,460mm, followed by the sedan at 1,445mm and the coupe at 1,420mm. Meanwhile, the sedan is naturally the longest at 4,560mm from bumper to bumper, compared to the coupe's 4,530mm and the hatchback's 4,350mm. The three have an identical width of 1,780mm and an identical wheelbase of 2,700mm.
4. The sedan has slightly smaller 16-inch alloy wheels shod with 205/55 tires. The coupe and the hatchback both have 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 215/45 rubber.
5. Both the sedan and the coupe have cloth seat material, while the hatchback boasts leather perches. The front seats are of the bucket type, and all rear seats split-fold 60:40.
6. The transmission knob in all three Forte models is leather-wrapped, and the instrument cluster has a dot matrix LCD display. All three also have an audio system that features a CD and MP3 player with touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, auxiliary port and six speakers. A rear-view camera is also standard.
7. Underpinning these three Forte models are MacPherson struts in front and coupled torsion beam axles in the rear. Brakes are ventilated discs in front and solid discs at the back.
8. Among the safety features found on these Forte models are: front airbags, antilock brakes, parking assist, Isofix child-seat anchors, and keyless entry with alarm.
9. Kia claims that the Forte hatchback's total cargo capacity is 657L. That's a lot!
10. This second-generation Forte sedan was actually introduced globally back in 2012. Kia Philippines sold the first-gen model in our market, but it was met with a lukewarm reception--perhaps why distributor Columbian Autocar Corporation wasn't initially hot about bringing in the next model. (We even reported last year that a CAC officer had said that the new Forte wouldn't reach our shores.) We guess the company bosses had a change of heart. Well, we sincerely hope the new Forte trio will fare much better on the showroom floor this time around.
UPDATE as of June 12, 2018: Thankfully, those considering the brand's most popular models will be happy to know that the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law's effect on its lineup isn't too drastic. The biggest jump in cost belongs to the mid-level Sportage SL diesel. In 2017, the crossover went for P1,395,000, now it's priced at P1,475,000—that's an P80,000 increase. This is followed by the top-of-the-line Soul (up by P45,000), and the double cab, air-conditioned version of its K2500 light commercial truck (up by P37,000). Other than the models mentioned above, no Kia vehicle saw an increase in price over P30,000. The popular Picanto city hatch's GT-Line variant only increased by P11,000, and the Rio 1.4 GL subcompact hatchback by P20,000. With the exception of its 11-seat model, the Grand Carnival maintained its 2017 pricing, too.