When Kia debuted the second-generation Forte sedan at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, we knew it was only a matter of time before the Korean brand revealed the 5-door hatchback version. And that time has come at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show.
The Forte 5-door's front end design looks quite similar to the sedan. Lower, longer, and wider than the outgoing Forte 5-door, the overall design is very European. A raked front windshield and broad fenders give the Forte 5-door some flare that we really like.
The Forte 5-door will be available in two trim levels: EX and SX. The base EX model features 16-inch alloy wheels, Kia's UVO infotainment system with backup camera, Bluetooth, satellite radio, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls, tilt and telescoping steering column, power windows, and LED headlights with fog lights.
Step up to the sportier SX model and you'll find 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-chrome exhaust tips, and LED taillights. The front fascia of the SX model has a more aggressive design with a larger bumper and grille opening. Stopping power is increased with larger front brakes, and alloy sport pedals provide a racier interior feeling.
HID headlights, a navigation system, HD radio, sunroof, heated steering wheel, 10-way adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats and cooled driver's seat, heated rear seats, push-button start, dual-zone climate control, leather seating surfaces, and automatic dimming rear view mirror are available on both the EX and SX models.
Inside the Forte 5-door features 23.2 cubic feet of cargo space. We like the carbon fiber-like textures on the dash and seats, as they give the Forte 5-door a unique touch for this segment.
The base EX model is powered by a direct-injection 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. The SX model receives more grunt courtesy of a turbocharged direct-injection 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. While the EX model is available with only a six-speed automatic transmission, a six-speed manual transmission is an option on the SX model.
Kia said the Forte 5-door's suspension has been tuned for a sporty ride and handling. Hopefully this means it won't be jittery as we've noted with a few Kia's as of late.
Pricing and fuel economy ratings will be released closer to the 2014 Kia Forte 5-door's launch in the third quarter of 2013.
For all the latest automotive news from the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, be sure to check out our hub here.
This story originally appeared at The Car Connection