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Attractive two-door Forte Koup... coupé
Strengthens Kia's increasingly younger and sportier image

Kia Forte Koup: front/side, static photo.

The Koup is slightly shorter and lower than the four-door Forte.


16 April 2009.


  EX / SX trims


Slowly but surely, Kia Motors is expanding with its controlling partner, Hyundai Motor Company, from their original budget price argument, to increasingly more diversified spheres, including fun oriented ones as illustrated by the new Kia Soul for instance. It is still the economy class ticket principle, but with an enhanced quality compared to a not-too-distant past.

Kia Forte Koup: rear static photo.

Seating for up to 5 passengers, with a boot capacity of 356 litres.

Precisely, the all-new Forte Koup underlines Kia's advance to a more youthful and sporty image, especially that it is Kia's first ever two-door coupe. On the other track, Hyundai can keep stretching its luxury ambitions into more exclusive segments, without leaving its basic budget segments of course.

Unveiled last Thursday at the New York International Auto Show, the new Koup is planned for the American market (and South Korea) from this summer (no plans announced yet for Europe), joining a line of 12 models, including the all-new 2010 Soul and 2010 Forte sedan.

Kia Forte Koup: dashboard, steering wheel and console photo.

Rake and reach adjustable steering column with  the SX trim.


The Forte Koup shares the same platform with the new four-door Forte, but the coupé comes slightly shorter and lower (see Kia Koup dimensions and specifications) than the sedan, with the same wheelbase of 2649mm, an overall length of 4480mm (4529 for the sedan), width of 1765mm (sedan at 1775mm) and height of 1340mm (1461mm). The Coupe seating is also configured for up to five passengers.

The front-wheel-drive monocoque chassis (known also as unibody or unitary body structure) is based on an independent front suspension with MacPherson struts and anti-roll bar, and a torsion beam rear suspension. The Forte Koup SX comes with a firmer ride with reduced body roll.

Kia Forte Koup: front seats photo.

Optional leather seats for EX and SX.

Steering is by a power-assisted rack-and-pinion system. Kia says that the power assistance is engine-speed sensitive, which means that the variation in assistance depends on the engine revving, not on the car's actual speed necessarily.


The new Koup will be available in EX and SX trim levels. Standard EX equipment includes body-coloured bumpers, power heated outside mirrors with integrated indicators and 16-inch alloy wheels fitted with 205/55 R16 tires. The SX trim gets a sportier profile with 17-inch alloy wheels and 215/45 R17 tires. More about the equipment follows in the interior section).

Kia Forte Koup: centre console, multimedia and climate control photo.

Centre console with air condition and various audio controls.


The base Forte Koup EX gets a 2.0-litre DOHC four-cylinder engine, with 16 valves, Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) and multi-port electronic fuel injection, generating 156 hp / 6200 rpm and a maximum 144 lb/ft (195 Nm) of torque at 4300 rpm. Specific output stands at 78.07 hp per 1000cc.

Kia's fuel consumption figures for the 2.0-litre engine give 25/34 mpg (city/highway, US gallons) with either the five-speed manual transmission or the optional four-speed automatic, which is the equivalent of 30/40.8 UK mpg, or 9.4 / 6.9 litres per 100 km, or 10.6 / 14.4 kms per litre.

The Forte Koup SX version comes with a 2.4-litre in-line four-cylinder engine, also with 16 valves, DOHC and CVVT, delivering 173 hp / 6000 rpm and 168 lb/ft (227.7 Nm) of torque at 4000 rpm. It extracts a specific output of 73.33 hp per litre. The 2.4-litre engine fuel consumption figures are:

Kia Forte Koup: instruments cluster photo.

Kia Forte Koup: steering wheel photo.

Standard steering wheel controls and (top) sporty gauges.

22/32 US mpg with the six-speed manual, which is the equivalent of 26.4/38.4 UK mpg, or 10.7 / 7.3 litres per 100 km, or 9.3 / 13.6 kms per litre.

- 23/31 US mpg with the five-speed automatic transmission, or the equivalent of 27.6/37.2 UK mpg, or 10.2 / 7.6 litres per 100 km, or 9.7 / 13.2 kms per litre.

Both EX and SX versions get dual exhaust ends. More details can be found in the specifications page.


The transmissions available for the Koup include (as for the Forte sedan) the standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission (EX models).

The SX model features a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional five-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic.


Inside, front headroom is 983mm (896mm at the rear) with 1107mm of legroom (861mm at the rear), in addition to a cargo volume of 356 litres (416 litres in the sedan).

Standard EX interior features include air conditioning, height adjustable driver’s seat, rake adjustable steering column, cruise control with steering wheel-mounted controls, centre console with dual cup holders, map lamps, variable intermittent wipers, adjustable rear seat headrests, power windows and power door locks with remote keyless entry.

Kia Forte Koup: CD, auxiliary, MP3 and Sirius controls.

USB, iPod and MP3 players controlled via the audio head unit.

The SX standard interior equipment adds sport cloth seats with red stitching, rake and reach adjustable steering column, trip computer, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob, metal pedals and metal finish trim.

Options available for both versions include a power moonroof and a leather package which adds to the EX trim leather seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob and heated seats. With the SX trim, the leather and heated seats are added while the leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob are already standard.

Kia Forte Koup: USB and auxiliary input jacks with iPod and MP3 compatibility

USB and auxiliary input jacks with iPod and MP3 compatibility.

A standard six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system is fitted with SIRIUS Satellite Radio capabilities and free trial service for three months. USB and auxiliary input jacks in the centre console are standard with iPod and MP3 compatibility via the audio head unit. A standard Bluetooth connectivity enables hands-free operation for compatible cell phones.


Both EX and SX Forte Koup are equipped with standard dual front airbags, front seat-mounted and side curtain airbags, four-wheel disc brakes with an antilock brake system (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC) and a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS).

Kia Motors America covers all its models by a basic warranty of five years or 60,000 miles, plus 10 years or 100,000 miles for the powertrain, five years or 100,000 miles against perforation, in addition to a five-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan.

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