Kia has officially launched the replacement for its popular Cerato/Forte in its homeland South Korea, where it will be simply called K3. The exterior photos were released back in July, covered by MMN HERE. So, today for the first time there are details on the dimension, engine choice and the equipment level, at least for the domestic South Korea market.
Styling-wise, the new K3 Forte builds on the same fundamental design characteristic based on the Optima K5. While the silhouette remains similar to its bigger brother, the details are less flamboyantly executed. It is more relaxing to be stared, having none of the feeling on being stared back by the car like the Optima. The front end is dominated by the large wraparound headlight, with prominent LED strips eyelid (This will not feature is the low line car, captured HERE). The side profile can be described as quite rakish, similar to its platform-sibling Hyundai Elantra (MMN Test Drive HERE). Consistent with design theme at the front, the rear end is characterized by large wraparound taillights too, where LED is featured on the more expensive version.
Dimensionally, the new Forte measures 4,560mm long, 1,780mm wide and 1,435mm tall, while riding on a 2,700mm wheelbase. The current Forte measures 4,530mm, 1,775mm, 1,465mm and 2,650mm in similar sequence of dimension, making the new Forte larger in terms of length, width but at a lowered height. The wheelbase stretches 50mm more too, which should translates into more spacious cabin volume.
In its domestic market, Kia K3 is offered only in a single powertrain option, namely 1.6L GDI. It produced 140PS@6,300rpm of power and 167Nm@4,850mm of torque. Bear in mind though that this mill is different from we are seeing the Hyundai Elantra here, which is port injected instead of direct injection and produced a good less output than the more modern Korean unit. Transmission option comprises of 6 speed automatic or 6 speed manual. Both comes with the ISG, essential a idle stop/go device to boost economy. To further boost fuel efficiency, Kia also work hard on aerodynamics front. K3 has a drag coefficient of 0.27, thanks to various measures of aero-optimized design including the covered underbody.
Kia has suitably updates the interior design too, albeit it is unmistakeably Forte. It is less driver-oriented that the layout of Optima K5, and the dashboard and console cocoon less too due to lack to high floor console and angled console like its bigger brother. It is also more restrained that its European twin, the Cee'd. The layout is characterized by symmetrical centre console with vertical air vents and the audio system does carry some design cues from the current Forte. Depending on the spesification, the audio can either be basic or comes equipped with the touch screen multimedia integrated with sat-nav. Both manual and automatic air-conditioning are available, again depending on trim level.
The cabin is available in several color, including the dark and bright choice. Leather and fabric are the trim of choice, upholstered according to the domestic specs. The door trim is visibly more luxurious in the design, with patterned-with-stitch leather insert as well as padded door arm rest. Kia's new C Segment also has another trump card of having the rear air cond duct, something that is always missing from the C Segment sedan. It is nice to note that while the Malaysian Elantra does not comes with the rear air cond outlet, the Indian version does comes with it.
From what that can be gathered from the official photos, the interior is well-garnished. The switch-gear is aesthetically pleasing, with chromed insert in between. The gas pedal, not unlike Optima, is floor-hinged organ type. So, unlike some Japanese marque, there is no obvious cost cutting measures that is detectable by mere photograph.
In South Korea, the new Kia K3 is available in several trim level with one powertrain option. The domestic price starts from W14.92m to W19.39 and this represents at least W310,000 increased from its predecessor. More photos of the features on the new Kia Forte K3 can be have after the jump.