What is it? Kia has added another variation to the Forte line with a 2011 hatchback model joining the sedan and Koup. For now at least, Kia calls it the Forte five-door. Maybe no carmaker with street cred wants to use the word wagon anymore, but the five-door could pass for a small wagon anyplace even if it does have a top-hinged hatch at the rear.
The overall length is a few inches less than the sedan, but the cabin remains spacious and neatly finished. The engine choices remain the same as the sedans four-cylinder offerings: a 156-hp, 2.0-liter and a 173-hp, 2.4-liter. The base transmission is a six-speed manual with a six-speed automatic as as available option.
What is new or notable? Push-button ignition, unusual in an entry level car. A six-speed automatic transmission with available paddle shifters replaces the earlier four- and five-speed automatics.
CR's take: The body type adds versatility to a reasonably competent but middling small car.
When will it be available? October 2010.
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