By on April 29, 2017

[Image: Kia Motors]

We’re not talking about the K900 flagship sedan, as Kia’s luxo barge actually gets people talking — mainly due to its slow sales and LeBron James connection. No, the model lying in the casket this morning bowed out of people’s minds long before it vanished from Kia’s product cycle.

The Forte Koup.

Kia has confirmed there’ll be no future for the two-door variant of its popular Forte, though the writing was on the wall for some time. On the company’s website, too.

According to car-shopping website CarsDirect.com, the Koup’s unsurprising execution comes as Kia revamps its lineup in the face of changing consumer demand. While the Forte posted its strongest sales numbers by far in 2016, demand for entry-level coupes has fallen precipitously from the glory days of the 1980s and ’90s.

“To better align with our customers’ purchasing trends, [Kia Motors America] will discontinue the two-door Koup following the sell-down of remaining 2016 model year inventory,” Kia spokesman James Hope confirmed to CarsDirect.

The attractive little coupe Koup, which bowed in North America for the 2010 model year, never saw a 2017 model — a fact as plain as day for anyone visiting the company’s website. It’s still there, listed as a 2016 model with a pre-delivery MSRP of $19,890. Meanwhile, the model’s sedan sibling underwent design and content changes for 2017 to better position it against the likes of Honda’s Civic and Chevrolet’s Cruze.

The largest nail in the Koup’s coffin — besides a general lack of interest — was the appearance of the vastly updated 2016 Civic coupe. Like its sister division, Hyundai, Kia clearly felt there wasn’t much of a point in going toe-to-toe in the compact two-door category.

As a result of the cancellation, buyers looking for affordable fun might find deals on remaining Koups. The base EX carries a direct-injection 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 173 horsepower and 166 lb-ft of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Moving up to the SX brings a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-banger (also found in the Hyundai Elantra Sport) and six-speed manual transmission. That engine delivers 201 hp and 195 lb-ft.

[Image: Kia Motors]

 

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26 Comments on “Kia Quietly Kills Off a Model You’ve Already Forgotten About...”


  • avatar
    darex

    What about the Forte5?

  • avatar
    RHD

    At least they didn’t try naming it the Forte Skoup.

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    I’ve never seen one. How come a cheap little coupé doesn’t find customers? At times, it seems like the entire internet is asking for one.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      The Internet Car Enthusiasts have loud voices and small wallets.

    • 0 avatar
      seanx37

      Coupes of all brands are selling poorly. They aren’t the most practical of things. Hell, if Ford can’t move Mustangs, and Chevy literally has to throw money at people to sell Camaros(which you can get for about the same money as the Forte after all the money thrown at you these days), what hope does this car I never knew existed have?

      • 0 avatar
        Farhad

        People are tasteless. Why a person who drives alone 99% of the time need a 4-door? Coupes are nicer looking and the practicality is some cases does not matter at all.

        • 0 avatar
          newenthusiast

          Shorter doors mean a lower likelihood of hitting the car next to you in parking lots that are increasingly narrowing spots.

          Also, egress for rear passengers is easier when you don’t have worry about awkward angles over forward inclined front seats.

          I personally like the symmetrical look of every seat having a corresponding door. Taste is subjective.

        • 0 avatar
          JMII

          Why a person who drives alone 99% of the time need a 4-door?

          I can’t explain it either. My wife drives a coupe and the handful of times she has used the back seat it was just for a quick trip to lunch with her cubical mates. They fit just fine and didn’t voice any complains.

        • 0 avatar
          9Exponent

          What crap do you like, Farhad?

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    I’ve seen them in traffic. Not a bad looking little car at all. If I had a daughter driving age, it’d be only this or a Soul from Kia (or Hyundai) that I would consider. She’d probably take the Soul. Lol

    I would love to have a coupe again. I don’t like my car because its a four door family sedan, I DO like it in spite of that!

  • avatar
    bd2

    Not surprising.

    The 1G Koup was handsome in a plain sort of way; the 2G was a step back in sheetmetal (but still, was better than the sorry-looking Elantra 2-door).

    Kinda a shame tho, as the next gen Forte (supposedly based on the Novo concet) should be a looker and should also have the handling chops (if the Elantra Sport and the upcoming i30N are any indication) – so could’ve been Kia’s first real sporty (FWD) 2-door.

    In all likelihood, the hatch body-style will stick around, but doubt we’ll see a 3-door for the US.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Is the Yaris the only 3 door we got now?

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      I spotted a last-generation two-door Elantra in a parking lot last night and thought how attractive the car seemed next to Civics and the current Elantra. To my eyes, the new Elantra proportions seem all wrong with its Sonata styling shrunk-wrapped around the smaller platform. It reminds me of the Buick Verano, with its similarly shrunken Regal styling.

      But there’s no accounting for taste and Americans currently seem to hate two-doors the way they hated hatches for 10-15 years. A pity. It seems there’s no room for variety any longer. And a two-door Forte or Elantra with the latest suspension tuning would have been something to look forward to.

      • 0 avatar
        quaquaqua

        I loved the previous Elantra, but I don’t think it translated well to a coupe at all. The new Elantra has great proportions and is selling like hotcakes. Also the Verano looks nothing like the Regal, save for that grille that they put on every Buick.

  • avatar
    scott25

    The 1st gen Koup was the best looking Kia of all time, and probably the best looking FWD coupe of the 21st century. The 2nd gen is bland and is bulbous at the rear like a convertible. I’ve seen probably 5 2nd gen Koups on the road ever, and I see more than 5 1st gen ones daily. I see a lot more 1st gen Koups than sedans or hatches.

  • avatar

    If you can deal with the road noise and wind noise, the Forte Koup was a sweet little hidden treasure for a cheap used car. I just picked up a 13My w/25k in EX trim w/alloys, roof, keyless go, Nav, and power folding mirrors(?!?!) for…very, very little. Still under warranty, too!

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      I loved how the first gen looked, but if you don’t like the road noise or wind noise, you could buy the second gen. Definitely one of the quietest compacts out there. I test drove it (ended up with a Mazda6) and just wasn’t sold on it. I wanted to be. But I couldn’t afford the turbo so I didn’t even bother driving it. Months later they were offering more than $6k off sticker. Sigh.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Like I said on J*lopnik, I’ve always felt that there was never a reason for non-sporty compact coupes to exist, but it’s still sad anyway when they bite the dust.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Well, single people or childless couples may enjoy a coupe more than (just another) sedan. Obviously not enough of them, but that is a reason for them to exist.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Maybe they could send a bunch of unsold ones up north and stage a real koup.

  • avatar
    zoomzoomfan

    201 HP in a small car like that seems like it’d be a fun little commuter bargain. Kia has stepped their game up, that’s for sure. I have rented two Souls (it always sounds like you’re talking about someone’s soul rather than the car) and they were very well built and nice driving cars.

  • avatar
    jfbar167

    Well, I guess if you really want that “A5” wanna be now, you should just go ahead and get a used one (A5).

    Actually bought one 2 years ago for my college age son (who really is NOT into cars, just needed something more reliable than his 2002 Civic w/135K). Not a bad ride, does just what you need for a daily driver and I DO like the styling.


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