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First Drive: 2014 Kia Forte

The art of making an affordable, fun-to-drive small car.

by on Feb.13, 2013

The look of the 2014 Kia Forte sedan builds on the maker's now-familiar tiger-nose design.

Car making is an art.

But it seldom reveals the kind of breakthrough genius or inspiration that infused, say, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Instead the creativity and improvement seem to come in increments.

The new 2014 Kia Forte is a case in point on how well-thought out incremental changes can improve a vehicle substantially.

Sitting on an all-new chassis that is longer, wider and lower than the previous-generation Forte, the updated version of the Forte delivers slightly better performance and some incremental improvements in the suspension and steering that make it more fun to drive out on the open road. It’s also roomier and a lot more pleasant to look at.

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And that we can credit to Peter Schreyer, the maker’s new president but, more importantly, one of the industry’s most creative designers.  His arrival at Kia in 2006 marked a grand transformation of a brand whose products could then best be described as cheap and cheerful. The former Audi styling chief introduced Kia’s distinctive “tiger-nose” theme that today positions it as one of the industry’s design trend-setters.


First Look: 2014 Kia Forte

German design for a Korean compact.

by on Nov.30, 2012

Former Audi design chief's latest work for Kia is the new 2014 Forte sedan.

With the introduction of the 2014 Forte, Kia reveals the continuing shift from generic styling to a distinctly European look that has helped it draw in a wave of new buyers in recent years.

Longer, wider and lower than the previous Forte, the new sedan bears the distinctive touch of Peter Schreyer, the former Audi design chief who joined the Korean carmaker in 2006. His work on such models as the latest Kia Optima have won kudos for both the maker and its styling chief – and helped make the Forte one of the most eagerly anticipated debuts during a crowded 2012 LA Auto Show.

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“The all-new Forte significantly raises the bar, offering upscale amenities and eye-catching appeal,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing & communications, KMA. “When you combine exclusive available features like a ventilated driver’s seat and UVO eServices in a car with such an attractive design, it’s very clear the all-new Forte sets a new standard for the compact segment.”