The Kia Forte is a compact sedan manufactured by Kia Motors, one of the leading automakers in South Korea. The Kia Forte was introduced in three different body styles, such as four-door sedan, two-door coupé, and five-door hatchback. Though it is not accessible in Europe, an analogous sized sedan, the Kia Cee'd is made available for European buyers. However, in Ukraine and Russia, both the Kia Cee'd and the Kia Forte is available. The Kia Forte is sold under the name the Kia K3 in South Korea.
In some automobile markets, such as Australia, Costa Rica, and Brazil, the Kia Forte is sold with the name the Kia Cerato replacing its forerunner of the similar name. In Singapore and Colombia, the Kia Forte is sold as the Cerato Forte. As the Kia Forte was assembled in Malaysia by Naza, it was sold there with the name Naza Forte.
The first generation Kia Forte, which was introduced in 2009, shared its platform with the Hyundai Elantra, though using a torsion-beam back suspension instead of the multilink design of the Hyundai Elantra. According to Kia, the Kia Forte was specially designed to attract younger buyers by offering sharper auto designs to the vehicle.
The two-door coupe was at first unveiled as a concept sedan with the name Kia Koup at the International Auto Show in New York on the 20th of March 2008. The coupe featured a double scroll turbocharger adaptation of the 2.0-liter Theta II, I-4 engine. The coupe was manufactured with the badge, the Kia Cerato Koup in Costa Rica, Australia, and South Africa. In China, the Kia Cerato Koup is recognized as the Kia Shuma, whereas in Chile, it was known as the Kia Koup.
The sedan body style of Kia Forte was designed by Tom Kearns and his team in the California design studio of Kia. The two-door, Kia Forte Koup was foretasted as the Kia Koup Concept, and it was also designed in the same California design studio of Kia. The Korean mock-up went on auction on the 22nd of August 2008. The American model was unveiled at the Auto Show in Chicago in 2009.
The five-door hatchback body style of Kia Forte was unveiled at the International Auto Show in New York in 2010.
Kia introduced the hybrid version of Kia Forte at the Motor Show in Seoul in 2009 for the automobile market in South Korea. It adopted the underpinnings of the LPI Hybrid version of the Hyundai Elantra, and the sedan is operated through the liquefied petroleum gas. It is motorized with a 1.6-litre liquefied petroleum gas engine, which is capable of producing a maximum power of 114 HP (85-kilowatt). The engine is paired with an electric motor with lithium-polymer battery set to get an additional power of 20 HP (15-kilowatt), making the hybrid Forte the first production vehicle to employ the lithium-polymer batteries.
Kia published the pictures of the second generation and the current Kia Forte for the model year 2014 during late July 2012, when the automaker unveiled the Kia K3 in the Korean automobile market. The Kia Forte is totally redesigned with a lower, broader, and longer posture.