Kia Forte has a new Fuel Economy Package

Discussion in 'Kia' started by MaxxMPG, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    [​IMG] Kia Forte is a promising new entry in the compact sedan market

    [FIMG=RIGHT][/FIMG]Chris Bernius - CleanMPG - 06/12/2009

    Unique Fuel Economy Package option on the EX model makes a good showing... --Ed.

    Kia released details on the new Forte sedan, and it looks to be very competitive with other compacts on the market. Replacing the Spectra and taking a quantum leap ahead in technology and creature comfort, the new model follows the new Soul into a market that is ready for revival in these financially tight times.

    Here are some of the highlights -
    Pricing - Starting at $13,695 for the LX version, $15,795 for the EX, and $17,195 for the SX version.

    Compact Exterior Size - At 178.3 inches long, 69.9 inches wide, and 57.5 inches tall, on a 104.3 inch wheelbase, it's about mid-pack in compact sedans. Kia spent extra time and resources on the structure and suspension to provide better handling, ride quality and overall refinement.

    Generous Interior Size - Overall interior room is 96.8 cubic feet, with front seats offering 40" headroom and 43.3" legroom, and rear seats offering 37.8" headroom and 35" legroom. Trunk is 14.7 cubic feet, which Kia notes is best in class.

    Comprehensive Safety Package - Active front head restraints, dual front airbags, front seat side airbags, side curtains, four wheel disc brakes with ABS and EBD, stability control, traction control, and TPMS.

    Powertrains - The LX and EX versions share a 2.0-liter CVVT DOHC engine, with 156 horsepower (head of the class again), and 144 pound-feet of torque. The SX offers a 2.4-liter engine with 173 horsepower.

    Four transmission options are available. On the LX/EX, the standard 5MT or optional 4AT. The SX has a standard 6MT and optional 5AT with "Sportmatic" shift feature.

    Fuel Economy - Here's where the Forte plays its hand well.
    EPA city/highway for 2.0L engine 25/34 (both manual and automatic)
    EPA city/highway for 2.4L engine, 6 speed manual - 23/31
    EPA city/highway for 2.4L engine, 5 speed automatic - 22/32

    Competitive fuel economy, but then there's a new idea in the Forte. There will be an optional Fuel Economy Package available on the EX model. It will include:
    - The 2.0-liter VVT powerplant
    - The five-speed automatic transmission
    - Motor Drive Power Steering (MPDS)
    - “Smart” alternator
    - Silica tires (for LRR)
    - Aero enhancements.
    EPA city/highway - 27/36 mpg, and a class-leading combined fuel economy of 30 mpg.

    The Fuel Economy package shows an approximate 10% gain in fuel economy, both around town and on the highway. A quick check of Kia's website shows the list price of the FE package to be $600, but it doesn't seem to be "clickable" alongside the leather or "premium" (moonroof and fancy wheels) packages. But the "build your own" calculator with an EX sedan with the FE package shows a total of $18090 including destination. That's right in the heart of compact sedan territory.

    If there is enough demand for the FE package, could the technology could spread to other models within the lineup? We can only hope.
  2. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    That's nice and all, but can I get the FE package along with the 6mt transmission? That's where I'd be shopping.

    Price is cool. Space is cool.
  3. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    I don't think the 5spd manual was rated @ 27/36. I believe that number on the site was for a 6 spd manual on the 2.0.

    The 5 spd manual is rated for 25/34. I was looking at this car and was very interested if they offered the 6spd manual with the 2.0. I would love if if they offered it, but I wont be surprised if they don't.

    I did see one the other day though, it was a decent looking car, not as I expected, but nice. Didn't have any plates on it, still had the sale sticker on the rear driver side window, just washed. Silver...4-doo4.
  4. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    The problem with most 6MT vehicles is that the top gear is the same as that found in a 5MT. In other words, they are usually included so that drivers can shift more often to keep the engine within a narrow RPM band.

    Exceptions are the Corvette and that TLS I drove -- both of which have really tall 6th gears intended for highway cruising at very low RPM. I'm sure there are probably others but I don't think there are many.
  5. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    From the press release-

    Offering impressive fuel economy, the 2.0-liter engine offers a competitive 25/34 mpg (city/highway) when mated to either the five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions, while the 2.4-liter engine turns out a notable 22/32 mpg when paired with the six-speed manual and 23/31 with the five-speed automatic.

    The optional Fuel Economy Package, available on the EX model with the 2.0-liter powerplant, includes the five-speed automatic transmission, Motor Drive Power Steering (MPDS), “smart” alternator, silica tires and aero enhancements. These improvements result in 27/36 mpg and a class-leading combined fuel economy of 30 mpg.

    So there's no 2.0 and 6MT combination, and the FE package does have the automatic but no manual. They don't say why they decided not to bundle the MT with the other features to get an extra MPG or two, but considering the general public's love affair with automatics relative to manuals, it is encouraging to see them apply the improvements to the AT version, where it will sell in much larger quantities. Judging from the EPA numbers on the 2.4 SX model, I would guess that the 6MT they have is a Fast-N-Furious transaxle that is not geared for efficiency.
  6. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Good point about the mass-market appeal of the FE auto combination. Good for them.

    I'm just not mass-market. ;) 5mt would be good, too, especially if it's a "sport" 6mt.
  7. Nevyn

    Nevyn Well-Known Member

    It looks like a Pontiac G6. :) Not sure if that's a good thing or bad.
  8. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    I spotted the press release last night at around 1:30am. Then I popped over to the Kia website to check price/availability of the Forte. And seeing the EPA numbers, I thought it was pretty impressive. Comparing the fuel economy to others in the segment, and even alongside the smaller hatchbacks, I thought it was a good overall compact car for many people to use as their daily driver.

    The manual transmission is definitely what most of the CleanMPG membership wants. If for no other reason, it's preferable because the Korean automatics are not flat-towable. And due to gearing of the MT versions of most cars, the automatics today usually win the EPA trophy. But the automatics don't have as much room for improvement over EPA because you end up fighting against the computer during P&G or other techniques that it doesn't understand. In that context, the Forte with the FE package is a great option for the average driver who wants generous interior space and FE that's pretty darn good for the size/weight of the car.

    As I was prepping the press release for the news article, I kept wondering if these FE enhancers are a preview of the Hyundai "Blue" series, with this FE package being a way to gage public response to the idea and to test real world results and durability.
  9. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    Actually, it looks more lika honda civic than anythings else if you look at the front fascia, other than that, the one I saw looks nothing like the g6.
  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Chris:

    ___Excellent find and a good looking car to boot! There were a lot of folks that skipped the Lexus HS 250h short lead to get up to Seattle for this presentation IIRC. The FE package looks worthy but with an AT... That one hurt all of us :ccry:

    ___Good Luck

  11. SentraSE-R

    SentraSE-R Pishtaco

    Nissan's RS6F51H 6-speed used in the Sentra is another. It has a "normal" .809 fifth gear ratio, and a .630 sixth gear ratio. Compare that to the .694 - .697 top gear ratio in the comparable ATs and .733 - .756 ratios in the Sentra's 5 speed MTs. My final gear ratio in 6th gear is only 4% different from the AT final gear ratio - a far cry from most compacts, where a 22% difference is normal.

    My wife's Hyundai Elantra has a 14% final gear ratio (top gear) difference between the MT and AT. My Scion xB has a whopping 36% final gear ratio difference! What I could do with an overdrive 6th gear in my Scion...

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