Kia's going for a fresh start in the compact sedan
category when the 2009 Kia Spectra
makes way for the 2010 Kia Forte
. In addition to sharper-edged styling and improved powertrains, Kia claims class-leading passenger volume along with a modern standard equipment lineup that includes a CD/MP3/USB/satellite/aux-in audio system, Bluetooth phone connectivity and six airbags. Forte LX and EX models feature a 2.0-liter engine producing 156 horsepower, while the sport-tuned SX model offers a 2.4-liter unit good for 173 horsepower. An optional Fuel Economy Package, available with the 2.0-liter powerplant, mixes a five-speed automatic transmission, electric power steering and low-rolling resistance tires with aero enhancements to achieve highway fuel economy of 36 mpg. The 2010 Kia Forte will go on sale in North America in late spring or early summer of 2009 at an expected starting price in the neighborhood of $15,000.