Also making its world premiere at New York Auto Show today is a hatchback variant of Kia's hugely popular Cerato Forte. The five door model joins the current four-door saloon and two-door (Koup) coupe versions of the Forte.
Stylistically, the hatchback conversion of the Forte is far less adventurous than you would expect from a company that has churned out some interesting designs lately including the Optima and Sportage. There are no photos of the interior yet, but Kia's release makes word of a revised center console, new paddle shifters for the automatic transmission and the addition of a push-button start. North American consumers will have a choice of the 2.0 and 2.4-liter engines while customers in other markets will be able to choose from the 1.6 and 2.0-liter powerplants. More interestingly, the Forte 5-door has been fitted with Hyundai Group's latest six speed automatic transmission. This means that we can expect to see the sedan version be fitted with the 6 speeder quite soon. If the Forte comes fitted with a new 1.6L Turbo powerplant in the future, the Japanese are in deep s--t!
In Singapore, the Forte 5-door would make a good alternative to the Hyundai I30. For those who are upset that the Kia Ceed is not available locally, they can take heart that the 5-door Forte could make a local debut. Folks at Cycle & Carriage, please make it happen!