Making its debut in Chicago, the all-new 2014 Kia Forte 5-door is set to expand the automaker's front-drive compact family with an even more practical -- and more potent -- variation based on the 2014 Forte sedan theme. While new Forte 4-door arrives in showrooms this spring, the 5-door won't go on sale until sometime in the third quarter. However, this flashy hatchback hauler will be the first Forte to offer a turbocharged engine option, a fact that should make it worth the wait.

Melding many of the Forte sedan's basic styling elements with its own unique visual cues, the 2014 Forte 5-door displays a decidedly sporting character. Lower, wider and longer than the 4-door, this latest iteration complements its aggressive lines and distinctive front/rear fascia treatments with meaty 205/55 tires on 16-inch aluminum wheels in EX trim with the sport-spec SX netting 225/40 rubber on 18-inch alloys and adding other performance-look flourishes like gloss-black and carbon-fiber-look accent bits, LED taillamps and dual chrome exhaust tips.

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In addition to the Forte 5-door's large one-piece rear hatch that opens to reveal a 23.2 cu ft cargo bay, both EX and SX offer an impressive list of standards that include a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel on a tilt/telescoping column, Kia's FlexSteer driver-selectable power assist system, power windows, UVO eServices with rear camera display, Bluetooth, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and more. The SX adds touches like carbon fiber-style inserts in the front/rear seats and alloy sport pedals. In addition to their standard sport-tuned suspensions, both Forte 5-door models offer upline options that include leather upholstery, a navigation system with HD Radio, power sunroof, heated steering wheel, 10-way power driver's seat, heated front and outboard rear seats, SmartKey with push-button start and dual-zone auto climate control. 

As for motivation, the Forte 5-door EX will come with Kia's 2.0-liter naturally aspirated direct-injected 4-cylinder that makes 173 horsepower and 154 lb-ft of torque. The SX gets a direct-injected turbocharged 1.6-liter that cranks out 201 horses and 195 lb-ft of peak twist between 1,750-4,500 rpm. Either engine can be matched with a standard 6-speed manual transmission or optional 6-speed automatic that features steering-wheel mounted shifter paddles.

Pricing for the 2014 Kia Forte 5-door lineup along with additional packaging details will be released closer to the actual on-sale date.


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