Kia Plays With Your Ex-Spectra-tions

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
kia plays with your ex spectra tions

It may be a groaner, but it’s oh so true. Kia’s replacement for its aging Spectra is a cleanly-styled, classy little sedan that looks more Civic than, say, Optima. Already available in Korea and coming to the US this summer, the Forte is about an inch longer and an inch and a half wider than the the Spectra it replaces. According to Automotive News [sub], base engine is a two liter four-pot, making 156 hp and 144 twisties of torque and mated to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. Upgrade to the SX trim level, and you get a 2.4 liter engine with 173 hp and 168 lb·ft, and a standard six-speed manual standard or five-speed slushbox. Which probably has visions of Forte Coupe hoonage dancing through your head. Well you can just forget it.

Kia will not be selling the tasty Koupe in the US. Because they clearly hate our way of life. And because at 25/34 mpg from the four-speed slushbox and 26/36 from the five-cog auto, efficiency (not fun) is going to be a primary selling point. Manual tranny efficiency has not yet been estimated. Neither has price point but the standard equipment list looks distinctly un-Kia like. As in blue teeth and serial buses abound. Let’s just hope that the pricing stays reasonable. Oh, and that Kia recovers their corporate sanity soon enough to bring the damn Coupe already.

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4 of 26 comments
  • DweezilSFV DweezilSFV on Feb 13, 2009

    What "shitty subcompact" did Kia build for GM ? Daewoo built the Pontiac LeMans for them.From an old Opel design. Was there another "ss"? Ford's were Festiva and Aspire. I still see some of these running around L.A. Tony JZX: every time I see a picture of the new Mazda3 the better the Protege looks......Total chaos in sheet metal. Makes my eyes bleed.

  • Drifter Drifter on Feb 13, 2009

    More Honda than current Buicky Accord

  • TonyJZX TonyJZX on Feb 13, 2009

    to me it doesn't look like any current small Honda... maybe the larger Accords... especially the old Accord Euro... you know why? guess who designed the old Honda Accord Euro? The same guy who designed this thing.

  • Strippo Strippo on Jul 02, 2009

    There is a white Forte parked on my street now. It's a quite nice-looking little sedan. It's the first time in many years I've seen a car in the flesh before reading about it first. I must be slipping.