Kia Forte – Naza Kia’s Exceptionally Sporty New Car is its Best Car to date

Published on November 26th, 2009

There were rumours and unconfirmed reports on a few interactive community websites on the Internet not too long ago that Naza Kia Sdn Bhd (NKSB), the official distributor for Kia vehicles in Malaysia, was about to introduce an exceptionally sporty new four-door sedan that would leave many speechless and wanting one because of its attractive and aggresively sporty styling and design.

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Truth be told, the rumours and unconfirmed reports that were flying around turned out to be true as Naza Kia proudly and rather openly launched the eagerly awaited and anticipated Kia Forte recently right smack in the middle of Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle in full view of the curious Malaysian public.

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The aesthetically-pleasing and easy-on-the-eyes Kia Forte is both a head-turner and an attention grabber. This was clearly evident during its launch as media photographers and members of the public with their ever ready handphone cameras who just so happened to be passing by the launch area jostled to snap pictures of what is probably Kia’s best car to date in terms of design. The Kia Forte owes its good looks to its creative and forward-thinking designer, Peter Schreyer, widely regarded as one of Europe’s best and most acclaimed automotive designers around.

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In Malaysia, the Kia Forte will be available in three variations, the entry level Forte 1.6 EX, the 1.6 SX, and the range topping 2.0 SX. According to Naza Kia, apart from its obvious superior styling, the Kia Forte will be able to set itself apart from its rivals through handling which supposedly can match any of its rivals in its segment, being equipped with the highest levels of specifications while being quite affordably priced, and by having the latest technology Kia has researched and developed incorporated into it, such as the four-speed ‘Gate Type’ automatic transmission.   

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Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Naza Kia Sdn Bhd, SM Nasarudin SM Nasimuddin said, “The Kia Forte is a complete package for those who want style, functionality, technology and safety. Its low wedge shaped design also enhances the performance of the car with increased fuel efficiency. The Kia Forte is capable of delivering its worth, and we are confident that it will be a frontrunner within its league.”

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The entry level Kia Forte 1.6 EX comes rather well equipped, rolling on 15-inch wheels with additional lighting available in the form of front fog lights, while having safety features such as Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) fitted as standard. Inside the cabin, safety is again prioritized as dual front seat airbags come as standard safety features for the benefit of the front passenger and driver. Night driving in the Kia Forte is made better thanks to the addition of an electro chromic rear view mirror which reduces headlight glares. Increased audio connectivity with the provision for USB and iPod connectivity is another welcome feature which is available in all three variants.

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The Kia Forte 1.6 SX is a unique model amongst its competitors as it comes with the state-of-the-art ‘Smart Key’ and push-button ignition button that both starts and stops the engine with the simple press of a button. The Forte 1.6 SX also features all the standard specifications made available on the EX variant. The SX variant offers improved driving stability and car handling thanks to the availability of the electronic stability control (ESC) package.

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Apart from boasting both ESC and ABS, it is also equipped with a host of other electronic safety driving aids such as Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Brake Assist System (BAS), and Traction Control System (TCS). The SX variant also features the Supervision Cluster, in other words meter cluster, which provides better visibility for safer maneuvering when driving, especially at night. Each element of the Supervision Cluster illuminates a reddish tone throughout the interior when lit, creating a somewhat warm and rather inviting atmosphere if one is permitted to say so.

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With comfort as one of the main themes, the Kia designers have created the Kia Forte 1.6 SX with an ergonomically designed telescopic steering that allows adjustments of steering distance and height in order for drivers to adjust the steering accordingly for a more comfortable driving position. In order to maximise on comfort within the Forte’s cabin, air-conditioning in the SX variant is an enhanced climate control system which includes full automatic air conditioning with optimum control. For increased air conditioning efficiency, the SX variants windshields are coated with protective ultra violet tints to filter out harmful rays of the sun. 

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Forte models that roll on 17-inch alloy wheels also come with the highly accurate Rear Parking Assist System (RPAS) that detects distance and obstructions whilst parking. The RPAS system when in use is displayed on the car’s ‘Message Centre’ which comes as standard for SX variants. For increased audio connectivity and in-car-entertainment (ICE), the 1.6 SX variant comes equipped with a convenient and welcome in dash six compact disc changer.

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The range topping Forte 2.0 SX is powered by a Theta II 2.0-Litre DOHC CVVT engine that pushes out a respectable 150hp of power coupled with 194Nm of torque. Not surprisingly, the 2.0 SX variant rolls on 17-inch alloy wheels and comes equipped with similar features as the 1.6 SX variant. What makes the 2.0 SX variant the range topping model apart from its bigger engine displacement is its premium leather package, the availability of no less than six airbags, and something Kia engineers call a Motor Driven Power Steering System (MDPS), which functions to enhance steering stability, while supposedly reducing fuel consumption. 

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“Our aim is to provide customers and potential Kia owners with vehicles of quality and performance. To date, the Forte has achieved a total overseas market sale of 237,402 units. We believe together with Our Principal, we are able to continue contributing to increasing its sales. We hope to see the Forte as a key player in the automotive industry. Naza Kia Sdn Bhd will target to sell 6,000 units of the Forte annually,” SM Nasarudin commented.

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The Forte 1.6 EX retails at RM75,800 On The Road (OTR), while the Forte 1.6 SX and 2.0 SX retail for RM81,800 OTR and RM93,800 OTR respectively. The Forte variants come in a choice of six trendy new colours – Clear White (the new ‘in’ colour), Bright Silver, Metal Bronze, Titanium Silver, Spicy Red (The Forte’s sexy colour) and Ebony Black (still a favourite with the masses).

The locally assembled Forte range (which explains the competitive pricing) is the first of several new vehicles to be introduced to the Malaysian automotive market by Naza Kia Sdn Bhd. 2010 will see Naza Kia Sdn Bhd introducing no less than four new models in various segments.

The smart and sharp looking Kia Forte is now available for viewing at all authorized Naza Kia showrooms nationwide.

For more information on the Kia Forte and Naza Kia Sdn Bhd, log on to www.nazakia.com.my

text: 1Motoring  pix: Dinesh Appavu

Comments

  1. Posted by _wildej_ on December 25th, 2009, 21:33

    I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
    And you et an account on Twitter?

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