After launching the 2019 Kia Forte sedan, the Korean manufacturer has just revealed the five-door Forte5 variant at a private event in Montreal. An interesting move, since Canada is rarely the locale for the major unveiling of an all-new car.
And yet, it’s might not be unusual at all. The province of Quebec is a very strong market for Kia Canada—and for hatchbacks in particular—so it’s fitting that the Forte5 is unveiled here. And it won’t be sold on the U.S. market anyway. It will once again rival the Honda Civic, the Hyundai Elantra GT, the Mazda3 Sport, the Toyota Corolla and the Volkswagen Golf.
From a styling standpoint, the sedan and hatchback are very similar, and they ride on the same 2,700-millimetre wheelbase. However, the Forte5 is 130 mm shorter than the sedan, but its rearmost side windows are larger to blend in with the elongated roofline. In addition, the five-door will come standard with Kia’s GT Line appearance package that includes glossy black exterior trim, red front grille inserts, alloy wheels with red centre cap striping and a rear bumper diffuser. Simply put, the 2020 Kia Forte5 will benefit from a more dynamic look than the sedan.
Trim levels haven’t been finalized yet, but lower grades will be equipped with the Atkinson-cycle, 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that’s found in the Forte sedan. It develops 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, matched to a continuously variable automatic transmission, or what calls IVT—I standing for Intelligent.
The high-end trim, which will likely be called the SX, will boast the company’s turbocharged, 1.6-litre four that develops 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet, managed by a dual-clutch, seven-speed automated gearbox. A manual gearbox could be available as well, but has yet to be confirmed. We’ll be able to spot a turbo variant by its dual exhaust tips.
Instead of the torsion beam rear suspension found under the sedan, the Forte5 receives a multilink setup, so driving dynamics should be a little sharper. Interior distinctions between the two cars include a flat-bottomed steering wheel, sport seats, alloy pedals and sportier accenting.
As in the sedan, buyers will be able to equip the Forte5 with features such as LED headlights, a power sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, simulated leather upholstery, an eight-inch touchscreen with navigation, a Harman/Kardon sound system, an intelligent key system and the usual advanced safety gizmos.
The 2020 Kia Forte5 will go on sale next fall—there will be no Forte5 for the 2019 model year—and will be on display at the upcoming Montreal International Auto Show alongside the 2020 Kia Soul and Soul EV as well as the 2019 Kia Niro EV. Pricing and trim breakdown will be announced at a later date.