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Review by Justin Pritchard, photos courtesy Kia

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2014 Kia Forte

Kia’s been busily updating their popular Forte model range for the 2014 model year, and the resulting vehicle is hitting dealer lots soon. After bowing on this year’s auto show circuit and starring in a Super Bowl commercial alongside a former Miss USA, the new Forte underwent several finishing touches and is now readying for launch.

The Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Nissan Sentra are all square in the new Forte’s sights, and the model’s remarkable look, which is California-designed and inspired by models like the Kia Optima and Sportage, was noted by the crowds it gathered at the auto shows.

“The all-new Forte significantly raises the bar, offering upscale amenities and eye-catching appeal,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing & communications, Kia Motors America. “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.”

The new Forte is truly all new, now riding a new chassis, offering new features and new power plants.

2014 Kia Forte2014 Kia Forte
2014 Kia Forte. Click image to enlarge

Available feature content will include next-generation UVO connectivity, which makes it easy to access multimedia on the move via voice command. The underlying functionality of this Microsoft-powered system exists in numerous other vehicles under different names, most notably, Ford Sync. Look for redundant steering-wheel mounted controls in most grade levels.

A back-up camera, segment-exclusive ventilated seats and a heated steering wheel will all be available, too. Ditto keyless access with push-button start, automatic climate control and xenon HID headlights. Additionally, Kia’s ‘Flex Steer’ system can be specified, allowing drivers to fine-tune the steering feel of their Forte in real time between three distinctive modes.

So yeah – this is a ride that will truly raise the bar on the level of luxury and technology available in its highly competitive segment. There’s even an Idle Stop and Go (ISG) system that shuts the engine down a la hybrid when the vehicle is stopped.

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