From Kia press:
The 2011 Forte compact sedan returns to the Kia vehicle lineup with a new sibling, the all-new 2011 Forte 5-door hatchback. Launched under Kia Motors' ongoing dramatic design-led transformation, both vehicles seamlessly blend style, value, technology, safety features and comfort.
Since its debut in Summer 2009, the Forte compact sedan has racked up an impressive list of accolades, including being named a 2010 "Top Safety Pick" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), named to MSN Autos "Top 10 Cars Under $15,000" list, and named a "Consumers' Top Rated Vehicle" and "Top Recommended Vehicle" by Edmunds.com.
Joining the Forte line with the same sleek styling and multitude of features as its sedan sibling, the 2011 Forte 5-door offers consumers an added level of flexibility for everyday needs with its functional hatchback. Both iterations offer consumers numerous standard comfort and convenience features, including power windows, power door locks with remote keyless entry and hands-free Bluetooth® wireless technology connectivity.
Available in LX, EX and SX trim levels for the Forte sedan and EX and SX versions for the Forte 5-door, pricing for the stylish and feature-packed compact sedan starts at $14,995 for the base trim, while pricing for the all-new versatile hatchback begins at $16,895. Both the sedan and 5-door offer standard convenience features including air conditioning, SIRIUS® Satellite Radio capabilities with three months complimentary service , MP3 connectivity and Bluetooth wireless technology and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.
With aggressive design cues, the Forte sedan and Forte 5-door firmly establish themselves as strong contenders against the competition. Sporting a bold look set apart by crisp lines, swept-back headlamps and a sleek profile, Forte's wide, stable stance conveys motion while cruising the highway or parked in the driveway. The Forte 5-door shares a similar frontward facing stance with the sedan and offers a rounded rear to increase cargo capacity, space and functionality for those in the hatchback market.
From the front and side, Forte sedan and Forte 5-door project a clean and assertive presence with sweeping window arches, smooth fender flairs and body-color side mirrors and door handles. Turn signal indicators are integrated into the side mirrors on EX and SX trims, adding to the upscale appearance. The tasteful design cues are effortlessly streamlined to the rear with angled wrapped tail lamps and an uncluttered rear fascia, with SX models adding a silver-finished exhaust tip. Offering a more athletic profile, the SX trim comes with 17-inch alloy wheels paired with P215/45R17-sized tires.
With a wheelbase of 104.3 inches, an overall width of 69.9 inches and overall height of 57.5 inches, Forte sedan and Forte 5-door offer comfortable seating for up to five passengers. The Kia-engineered body achieves high torsional stiffness giving the Forte sedan and Forte 5-door taut, responsive handling, a smoother ride quality and greater refinement than its competitors, with a specially tuned, Kia-developed suspension adjusted perfectly for responsive handling on S-turn laden roads. Additional refinements are fitted throughout to help ensure a comfortable ride with good noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) reduction qualities.
The front-wheel-drive unibody structure employs an independent front suspension with MacPherson struts and a stabilizer bar and a torsion beam rear suspension with monotube shock absorbers and coil springs. This combination helps provide the optimal balance of handling and comfort. An engine-speed-sensitive, power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system adds the finishing touch for precise handling by providing the most advantageous amount of assist for varying road conditions. In keeping with the energetic essence of the SX model line for both the Forte sedan and Forte 5-door, a performance-tuned suspension gives the chassis a firmer feel and responsiveness resulting in a more spirited ride. The SX model also features larger front brakes for improved stopping capabilities.