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Hatchback Competition Heats Up with All-New 2014 Kia Forte 5-Door

Kia debuted the all-new 2014 Forte 5-door at the Chicago Auto Show Thursday. The Forte 5-door joins the redesigned 2014 Forte sedan that debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. Autoblog reports that the Forte sedan is set to go on sale later this month, and the Forte 5-door will be in Kia showrooms in the third quarter of this year. Pricing for the Forte 5-door will be announced closer to the launch. The 2013 Kia Forte 5-door starts at $18,300.

The Forte 5-door will be available in two trims, EX and SX, with two different engines. The EX will come standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 173 horsepower. The SX will come with a new, performance-oriented, 201-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that can also be found in the 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo. “The extra power appears aimed at trying to tap into the youth market by giving it a sporty feel, the natural market for hatchbacks,” writes USA Today. The Forte SX will offer a choice between a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

The Forte hatchback has some exterior design elements to differentiate itself from the sedan. Autoblog says, “The face of the new hatchback will get a much smaller tiger-nose grille than the sedan. … Kia also gave the Forte dual exhaust outlets and LED taillights.”

Kia says in a press release that the new Forte 5-door will offer more standard features than many affordable small cars. Interior features such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, rearview camera, Bluetooth and satellite radio come standard in both trims. A heated steering wheel, 10-way power-adjustable cooled driver’s seat, leather seats, heated front and rear seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation, HD Radio and push-button start are just some of the options that car buyers can choose from. The 2014 Forte 5-door will also have 3.8 cubic feet more cargo space than the 2013 model, with 23.2 cubic feet of space.

The 2013 Forte 5-door is currently ranked 24 out of 39 in our hatchback rankings and 22 out of 43 in our affordable small car rankings. The Forte SX with its turbocharged engine will likely compete against the higher-ranked 2013 Mini Cooper S and Mazda3 hatchback in terms of performance.

Shopping for a Kia or another affordable small car? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new car by checking out this month’s best car deals. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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