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Intrepidation

Revealed: Kia Forte (Spectra replacement)

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kia_forte_1_450.jpg

Just the other day, we were all looking at a teaser pic and speculating wildly, and now, here it is. Kia dropped official images of its Spectra successor, the Forte, on the interwebs, and it is one sharp little car. The styling that the Forte introduces is Kia's new look, from the pen of Peter Schreyer, also responsible for the first-gen New Beetle and TT. The face of the Forte combines chunkily-flared front fenders with a new corporate grille, and there's a distinctive depression down the lower part of the flanks that works well with the prominent swage line to lend a stone-hewn look to the car. The term Forte in musical notation means "play loud," but this new Kia is restrained and maturely drawn. Additionally, the two-door variant of the Forte should look even better.

While there's no new design ground being broken, the overall effect is clean and handsome, reminiscent of many other higher-end vehicles. Check out those rear lamps -- remind you of any 40-something thousand dollar luxury car? When the Forte hits Korean showrooms in August, a new four-cylinder engine will be under the hood, employing 1.6 liters of swept volume. A 2.0 liter will follow on directly, and may be the only engine we get in the US when the Forte arrives on North American highways and byways in 2009. Compared to the Spectra, the Forte looks worlds better, and even on its own, we think it looks like a million bucks. Okay, $500,000. Let the endless string of "it looks like" comments begin.

Source: Autoblog

Edited by Dodgefan
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All I have to say is wow. It looks really good,and not "good for a Kia" I mean good compared to the entire class. Looks like Kia built a better (looking) Civic. It reminds me of the TSX a bit too. Still, there are unique takes on the design cues, and the overall package looks better looking than the upcoming Cobalt (from what we've seen so far).

Proportions are very good too.

Edited by Dodgefan
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The back-end of it is very IS-ish, but I actually think it works better for Kia, what does that say for Lexus haha.

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from the one pic on here.

mostly agree with DF. i looked at it and thought civic front, cobalt rear, with a tad of nissan in the grill.

stylewise, it's not bad... i'm sure everyone will just agree it's very derivative.

looking at the article

a few focus elements in there too, not sure if it's old or new focus.

the rear lights ...are kinda lexusish.

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It looks like a cross between a Civic, Impreza, Lancer, and TSX.

Originality: FAIL

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That's a damn nice looking car.

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not bad. derivitive. but not bad. i'd get it over a civic or corolla or elantra.

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It looks like a cross between a Civic, Impreza, Lancer, and TSX.

Originality: FAIL

Few cars are original these days. The US-market Civic aped the Audi A4 at the back; the Impreza looks pretty much like any 1990's Japanese hatch, while the Lancer has more than a few echos of SEAT and Alfa Romeo at the bak while the front bullnose could easily pass for a Volvo. As for the Acura TSX - well given it's a rebadged European/Japanese Honda Accord, there's no marks for originality there either.

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Few cars are original these days. The US-market Civic aped the Audi A4 at the back; the Impreza looks pretty much like any 1990's Japanese hatch, while the Lancer has more than a few echos of SEAT and Alfa Romeo at the bak while the front bullnose could easily pass for a Volvo. As for the Acura TSX - well given it's a rebadged European/Japanese Honda Accord, there's no marks for originality there either.

True, with the number of cars produced, and the revisions that are made, it is very hard to be original. I think the main aim of the manufacturers recently has been to make something presentable and livable rather than original.

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Wow! I'm impressed. Kia will actually have a mainstream compact sedan that is near the top of the segment (along with the Mazda3 and Mitsubishi Lancer) in regards to exterior styling. This would be the first Kia product that I might actually consider buying. If they give it a nice interior and a 5 or 6 speed auto transmission, they might find themselves with a fairly competitive compact sedan. Job well done on the exterior styling, Kia!

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From the outside, it looks richer than an Astra 5-door. Very crisp. I cannot wait to see the coupe version. I didn't see any interior pictures at Autoblog, but the Koup concept's interior looked very close to production, and it was very nice. If this pans out in reality as good as it looks in photos, I might steer my mom toward one of these and out of her Cobalt, which she never liked anyway. The turbo coupe, if it is priced reasonably, might just undercut the excellent Cobalt SS Turbo. Well done, Kia.
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I REALLY like the beltline design. Very artful...makes it look like it's in motion. Very nice.

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Wow! I'm impressed. Kia will actually have a mainstream compact sedan that is near the top of the segment (along with the Mazda3 and Mitsubishi Lancer) in regards to exterior styling. This would be the first Kia product that I might actually consider buying. If they give it a nice interior and a 5 or 6 speed auto transmission, they might find themselves with a fairly competitive compact sedan. Job well done on the exterior styling, Kia!

I agree, Hyundai-Kia is making progress with each generation of new products. I think GM should at least watch them as closely as they watch Toyota.

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Its not bad, derivative (but like someone pointed out, what isn't anymore?) but not a mishmash. I think it will look better in just about any other color.

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Thats a good looking compact. Hopefully the next Cobalt is better looking than it.

Edited by frogger
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I agree, Hyundai-Kia is making progress with each generation of new products. I think GM should at least watch them as closely as they watch Toyota.

Some people here think that GM has NO clue what it is doing. Funny, then, that they send us off to training 3 times a year where we spend the entire day with the Accord, Grand Caravan, F-150, Corolla, etc. We even had to spend the day with the Avalanche and Ridgeline :rolleyes: Believe me, they are watching. They know. However, as one who ran my own business for 11 years, I can only imagine on a much bigger scale what it is like to try to figure out what your competition WILL BE doing in 3-5 years, which is how long it takes to get a vehicle from pen to production. I had a hard enough time figuring out whether mine would be open Xmas day or not! In the good 'ol days, even before the RenCen, the boys at Ford and GM probably golfed together. Now, how the hell are they supposed to know what is going on in Stuggart or Toyota city? Or Korea, or India, or...well, the list goes on.

We love to bash GM for losing half its market share, but why not bash Japan for squandering 30 years? It is a miracle that GM and Ford were 'allowed' 30 years of post-WWII dominance before Japan Inc launched their invasion.

I am sure one of the earliest production versions of the Forte will be on a container to some GM warehouse the day after its built. :AH-HA_wink:

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Some people here think that GM has NO clue what it is doing. Funny, then, that they send us off to training 3 times a year where we spend the entire day with the Accord, Grand Caravan, F-150, Corolla, etc. We even had to spend the day with the Avalanche and Ridgeline :rolleyes: Believe me, they are watching. They know. However, as one who ran my own business for 11 years, I can only imagine on a much bigger scale what it is like to try to figure out what your competition WILL BE doing in 3-5 years, which is how long it takes to get a vehicle from pen to production. I had a hard enough time figuring out whether mine would be open Xmas day or not! In the good 'ol days, even before the RenCen, the boys at Ford and GM probably golfed together. Now, how the hell are they supposed to know what is going on in Stuggart or Toyota city? Or Korea, or India, or...well, the list goes on.

We love to bash GM for losing half its market share, but why not bash Japan for squandering 30 years? It is a miracle that GM and Ford were 'allowed' 30 years of post-WWII dominance before Japan Inc launched their invasion.

I am sure one of the earliest production versions of the Forte will be on a container to some GM warehouse the day after its built. :AH-HA_wink:

Yeah, and GM will come out with it's competitive version six months before there is a redesign of the next Forte in like three years LOL

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Yeah, and GM will come out with it's competitive version six months before there is a redesign of the next Forte in like three years LOL

Malibu '04 - '07

Impala '05-'10

Cobalt '05 - '10

Silverado '99-'07

'Nox - '05 - '09

Yeah, you're right. 4 and 5 year model replacements is just NOT GOOD ENOUGH. :rolleyes:

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Some people here think that GM has NO clue what it is doing.

I remember GM of America introducing the Chevrolet Blazer to the UK market in late 1998. While British people back then were paying the equivalent of $5.30/gallon, GM decided to introduce it with no diesel option and in LHD only for a RHD market. Later, when they realised that it didn't sell, they debuted a RHD model. That didn't sell much better either - still no diesel - so after a couple of years it was withdrawn from the market. I recall at the time thinking GM had no clue what it was doing.

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That's a damn nice looking car.

I would agree, Pauli.

Chris

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I remember GM of America introducing the Chevrolet Blazer to the UK market in late 1998. While British people back then were paying the equivalent of $5.30/gallon, GM decided to introduce it with no diesel option and in LHD only for a RHD market. Later, when they realised that it didn't sell, they debuted a RHD model. That didn't sell much better either - still no diesel - so after a couple of years it was withdrawn from the market. I recall at the time thinking GM had no clue what it was doing.

Funny that I see a lot of Blazers in Brazil, and they are paying $2.30 a litre.

The Blazers were 'overbuilt'. I had a '98, and it was great for towing my 3,500 lb boat and for real 'off roading,' but as a boulevard cruiser, not so much. The UK roads are, for the most part, better than Canada's, and certainly better than Brazil's. I would expect the Blazer to sell better in a country as large as Brazil, but not in a country the size of southern Ontario.

Edited by CARBIZ
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Funny that I see a lot of Blazers in Brazil, and they are paying $2.30 a litre.

The Blazers were 'overbuilt'. I had a '98, and it was great for towing my 3,500 lb boat and for real 'off roading,' but as a boulevard cruiser, not so much. The UK roads are, for the most part, better than Canada's, and certainly better than Brazil's. I would expect the Blazer to sell better in a country as large as Brazil, but not in a country the size of southern Ontario.

Brazilians right now are paying roughly the equivalent of US$6/gallon - the price we were paying six years ago. Whatsmore, the Blazer produced and sold there gets a choice of engine units - a 2.4 litre bi-fuel petrol and a 2.8 litre turbodiesel, both quite different to the gutsy 4.3 litre petrol offered to Europeans. Here were the problems with our version:

1. Few Brits - and Europeans generally - buy 4x4s which don't have a diesel option and a 4.3 litre petrol will only attract company car buyers;

2. The Blazer was LHD only to begin with, which means difficultly driving in a RHD market, higher insurance rates, and poor resale values;

3. The Blazer was not as well built as its rivals.

The size of a particular country makes no difference whatsoever in determining whether people buy a 4x4 or not. Jeep's Cherokee, by contrast, has been a huge success in in the UK in all three reiterations sold since it went on sale here in 1993. Most sold are turbodiesels, and it's priced very competitively compared with rivals from Land Rover and Toyota.

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