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Why the 2014 Kia Forte Koup Matters:
Kia is banking on its redesigned family of Forte models to pound the final nails into the coffin containing its old reputation as a purveyor of cheap, sub-standard cars and SUVs. The process of pounding nails has been, excuse the pun, in full swing since the current version of the Forte debuted, the first car designed under Kia’s Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, following his departure from Audi and Volkswagen.
Now, with the second-generation Kia Forte, the automaker takes another leap forward in terms of design, providing upscale style and amenities at a reasonable price. Offered as a 4-door sedan, a 5-door hatchback, and a 2-door coupe, the 2014 Kia Forte matters primarily because it signals to rival car companies that they can no longer phone it in when designing and engineering their compact cars.
When the Forte goes on sale, it will compete against every compact car on the market including heavy hitters such as the Chevrolet Cruze, Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Mazda 3, Nissan Sentra, Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen Golf, and Volkswagen Jetta.
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What’s New for the 2014 Kia Forte Koup:
- Bigger inside, and out
- More powerful engines
- Standard FlexSteer technology
- Upgraded interior design and materials
- Standard Bluetooth with UVO eServices
- Standard reversing camera system
- Upscale options uncommon in small car class
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New 2014 Kia Forte Koup: Styling and Design
Unlike the approach Kia took with the redesigned 2014 Forte Sedan and 2014 Forte 5-Door, the new 2014 Forte Koup retains some of the flavor of the vehicle it replaces, most noticeably in the car’s roofline and greenhouse. The end result is a great looking little car with a more tailored appearance than its corporate cousin, the Hyundai Elantra Coupe. Compared to the unappealing Honda Civic Coupe, the Kia is on a different planet. And now that Scion has dipped its tasteful tC into the “Hey Lookit Me!” bin of styling gimmicks for 2014, the Forte Koup ought to be able to earn a big share of small coupe sales after it arrives.
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New 2014 Kia Forte Koup: What’s Under the Hood
There are two different engines offered for the 2014 Kia Forte Koup. The EX models contain a new direct-injected 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine good for 173 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 154 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,700 rpm. A direct-injected and turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine powers the SX model, generating 201 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 195 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,750 rpm and 4,500 rpm.
The Forte Koup EX comes only with a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the Forte Koup SX offers a choice between a 6-speed manual gearbox and a 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Both versions have a standard sport suspension, employing MacPherson struts in front and a torsion beam rear axle setup in back. The SX also has larger front brakes, 18-inch aluminum wheels, and more aggressive P225/40R18 tires.
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New 2014 Kia Forte Koup: Features and Technology
Every new 2014 Forte Koup is equipped with a reversing camera and Kia’s UVO eServices technology, which pairs with a smartphone to provide a variety of telematics services via the standard in-dash touchscreen display or advanced voice recognition technology.
Highlights include HD Radio, Bluetooth streaming audio, access to the App Store, and 911 Connect, which activates if the Forte Koup’s airbags deploy to help speed assistance following a collision. Pandora Internet radio and Twitter access are scheduled for a Fall 2013 software release, along with text message alerts when the car has exceeded a pre-set speed, when the car is operating past a pre-set curfew, and when the car has travelled beyond a pre-set geographical limit.
Options for the redesigned 2014 Forte Koup include a navigation system, an Infinity premium audio system, a power sunroof, and a Smart Key passive keyless entry and push-button ignition system. Leather seats are available, along with dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a ventilated driver’s seat, and a 10-way power driver’s seat.
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New 2014 Kia Forte Koup: What Autobytel Thinks
If you’re buying a new compact car, the 2014 Kia Forte deserves plenty of consideration. And if you’re buying a new compact coupe, the 2014 Kia Forte Koup is, in my eyes, the best in a small class of competitors.
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