Kia Cerato Forte 1.6 SX with Sportstronic Review
Exceeding Expectations

Story and Photos by Raymond Lai
31 Jan 2011

A subtle update and improvements in the right areas have made the popular Cerato Forte an even better car.

Introduction, styling

Kia has proved that it is a force to be reckoned with in the local car market ever since it replaced the Cerato with the Forte just over two years ago. Sales of the Forte shot through the roof in 2009 as the model was well liked by buyers for its smart styling and well-equipped package.

The Forte's stronghold was further boosted at the end of 2009 when the stylish two-door Koup was introduced. But things looked less rosy for the Forte models as 2010 progressed - the high COE prices meant buyers for more affordable model like the Forte stayed away from the showrooms or put off their purchases and the Forte relinquished its top selling car status here to consolidate at number two.

Despite the overall success of the Forte though, Kia is not sitting on its laurels and it has introduced an improved version of the Forte saloon and Koup with minor tweaks and updates.

The Cerato Forte defined a new styling direction for Kia thanks to the brilliant ex-Audi design chief Peter Schreyer. The German has invented a whole new design language for the brand from the ground up - an admirable accomplishment especially considering that Kia doesn't have a design theme before Schreyer came to Seoul. Thanks to Schreyer, Kia's models now have the same cohesive family look that appeared initially on the Forte. From the new Picanto to the impending Optima K5, Kia now has a family of cars that look nothing short of stylish and handsome thanks to Schreyer and his design team.

There's a feeling of cohesiveness in the way the Forte looks when it was launched two years back - the front short and rear overhangs, and 17-inch alloy wheels on the SX give it a sporty stance while the chiseled sides give it some elegance.

Two years on and the Forte's styling hasn't aged a single bit, proving that the Schreyer look is timeless in addition to being stylish. The new 2011 MY Forte differs from older models on the outside by the new LED side repeater strips on the wing mirror housings and for the SX model, the handsome-looking aero kit seen on the car in the pictures here. The new aero kit consists of a deeper front bumper, side skirts, subtle boot spoiler and a rear bumper with matte black inserts at the bottom. Compared to previous dealer fitted aero kits, this new one looks well integrated with the Forte's overall look and gives the car an even more purposeful and sporty stance.

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Engine Capacity 1591cc
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 10.5:1
Bore x Stroke (77.0 x 85.4)mm
Power 124bhp @ 6300rpm
Torque 156Nm @ 4200rpm
Power to Weight 93.5 bhp per ton


Acceleration 11.5s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 190 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 15.2 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Auto
Drive Type FF


Body Type Sedan
(L x W x H)
(4530 x 1775 x 1460) mm
Wheelbase 2650 mm
Kerb Weight 1326 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 52 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs