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Model Kia Cerato (known as Spectra in the US) was available since 2004, but in 2009 it was replaced by a brand new sedan, which was shown at the Chicago Auto Show - Kia Forte – the successor of Cerato and Spectra. In fact, these are two models of one and the same vehicle, only in different countries it is called differently. In most markets, the old name Cerato remained, but the Forte came to change Kia Spectra.
The appearance of a new sedan became simple but solid with the strict lines of the body. The long bonnet, sloping rear pillars and short elevated trunk emphasize the wedge-shaped profile of a model and prove that low-cost sedan may also look dynamic. A peculiar hallmark of many contemporary models of Kia is the trapezoidal grille with a chrome surround. The elongated headlights make the front of Forte look more “severe”. The front bumper has a stylish air intake, and on its sides there are mounted fog lamps. The front roof racks stylistically are a continuation of the profiled bonnet. Elegant and original window line with a bend in the area of the rear-view mirrors improves the overview.
The platform is borrowed from the Kia Spectra, but it was seriously finalized. Forte is a bit larger in size than its predecessor. With a length of 4530 mm it is larger by 20 mm, and the wheelbase increased by 40 mm (2650 mm). The width grew by 40 mm to 1775 mm, but the height reduced by 10 mm to 1460 mm. From the side the sedan looks squatter.
The cabin of Kia Forte leaves pleasant impressions. The qualitative plastic finishing looks good, especially with the silver inserts on the center console, steering wheel and the door. Instrument dials are located in separate wells. In the center there is a speedometer with the screen of trip computer inside. To its right there is a tachometer and to the left – the pointers of fuel level and coolant temperature. Illumination in the cabin is emotionally bright red. The switches on the center console are simple and very clear.
The front seats are wide and comfortable, even in the basic version they are provided with many settings. But the steering column is adjustable in height only; tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel is available only in the most expensive version of the SX. In all Forte modifications the steering wheel has audio control buttons. The second row provides enough of legroom. But high passengers can feel the lack of headroom due to the sloping rear roof pillars.
The sedan has a roomy trunk with volume of 425 liters. The opening is wide, and the loading line is low, the rear seats can be folded if desired in the ratio of 60:40.
Technical Equipment and Trim Levels
Basic modification of the Kia Forte LX is considered budget. But despite that its equipment provides: the USB-port, connection Bluetooth, audio system with CD-player and satellite radio, anti-lock ABS brakes, braking power the BAS, ESC stabilization system and anti-wheels skidding system TCS. In modification EX the manufacturers added central locking, electric windows, air conditioning and cruise control.
Among the equipment of the most expensive version SX are: 17-inch wheels and a trip computer, and among the options - leather upholstery, heated seats and a panorama glass roof, navigation system and a 360-watt audio system. A special package for fuel economy is also available, including an aerodynamic package, electric power steering, tires with low coefficient of rolling resistance, energy saving generator and a special 5-speed automatic transmission.
Forte LX and EX are available with 2.0-liter engine capacity of 156 hp at 6200 rev / min. Its torque is 195 Nm at 4300 rev / min. With the economic package the fuel consumption is small - 8.7 liters / 100 km in the urban cycle and 6.5 l / 100 km in the country. By the way, only this option is available with 5-speed automatic transmission, in other cases it is 5-step “mechanics” or 4-step “automatic”.
Modification SX is equipped with a more powerful 2.4-liter 173-horsepower engine. It has a calm nature and its peak torque of 227 Nm falls at 4000 rpm / min. Nevertheless, “four” reaches a maximum of 6500 rev / min rather briskly. Acceleration to 100 km / h takes 7.7 seconds. With the 6-speed manual transmission the car consumes 10.7 liters / 100 km in city and 7.3 l / 100 km out of town.
Drive and Comfort
The car performs cornering well, but the trajectory should be frequently corrected with light steering. The suspension provides the appropriate level of comfort on the road, and at the same time it does not give the body much roll in the corners. SX version has stiffer shock absorbers and an increased front stabilizer bar. Therefore the drive is harder; however, the manageability of a sedan is improved.
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