It doesn’t seem that long ago that the current Kia Forte sedan was being launched, heralding a new era in Kia small cars. The current Forte is perhaps the first truly competitive Kia small car, and we’ve taken a liking to the sporty Koup version. Since its launch though, the company has grown leaps and bounds, settling into a role as a bolder, more driver-focused brand than Hyundai.
Models like the Optima and upcoming Quoris (really now?) illustrate this change. The next step is a redesign of its small car, and Kia has revealed some images of the all-new 2013 Kia Forte, and boy does it look good. The 2013 makes its mark as a more substantial vehicle than it replaces – both in style and substance.
The new car is lower, longer and wider than the model it replaces. Stylistically the Forte moves up to a new level; the current Forte has an attractive but plain appearance. The 2013 is more dynamic and manages to not be as overwrought as the “Fluidic Sculpture” Elantra. Inside, we expect it to be a similar story, with a more driver-focused cockpit feel.
The Forte comes packing some upscale touches such as LED headlights front and back. Even in the mid-size segment we haven’t risen to that level of standard equipment yet. LED lighting helps gives the car a premium appearance and appears to be a standard feature. The Forte continues with the Hyundai/Kia strategy of next-generation Hyundai models debuting first. Staggered launches for the two brands help to keep sales stable. Today’s small car segment is filled with highly competitive models like the 2013 Dodge Dart, 2013 Chevrolet Cruze, 2013 Ford Focus and the company’s own 2013 Hyundai Elantra. Sorry Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, but those aforementioned models are the ones to beat now. With Kia’s success in other segments, we’re eager to see where the 2013 Forte places among the small car pack.