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Apparently abandoning the Spectra nameplate, Kia has moved on to the Forte for its upcoming Civic/Corolla fighter. Ready for model year 2010, Kia applies clean lines and lofty horsepower ratings to a car that should be one of, if not the, roomiest car in its class.

Standard in the engine bay for North America will be a 156-horsepower 2.0L four-cylinder. 173 horsepower will be available via the 2.4L. The basic Forte offers 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmissions. Upgrading the engine and trim also upgrades the transmission offerings: a 6-speed manual and 5-speed automatic become available.
ABS, stability control, and disc brakes all around come as standard equipment along with Kia’s exceptional warranty of 10 years/100,000 miles for the powertrain. That’s peace of mind. For peace in your wallet, a special fuel mileage package will include the smaller engine with the 5-speed auto, special power steering, aero enhancements, and low rolling resistance tires. That Forte should see 36mpg on the highway without any punishing price barriers as is normally the case with hybrids and diesels.
Looking very much like the Mitsubishi Lancer, Kia will likely be able to separate itself from some of the pack if/when the two-door Forte arrives. Forte nomenclature originally arrived after the Koup concept previewed what Kia labelled a Spectra replacement, you may recall. Check out all 37 pictures in the gallery below.