This is it, boys and girls, the all-new second-generation Kia Forte Koup. And what a beaut it is! We’ve seen some pretty impressive designs from the upstart Korean brand recently – both production models and concepts – but we believe this one is something else again. It’s Kia all grown up.

Lower, longer and wider than the original Koup, the new model eschews the current car’s angular looks for a more organic and shapely appearance to bring it in line with the latest Forte. The swept-back headlamps with LED positioning lights give it a striking front end, while the angled shoulder line allows for a shallower glasshouse and sportier profile.

Again we see a split standard EX and high-end SX model variants, each with its own set of appearance and equipment list. What you see in these pictures is the top-of-the-line SX model with its 18-inch alloy wheels, sporty front bumper and grille openings, dual exhaust tips and LED rear lights.

What’s less obvious are the larger front brakes and faux-carbonfibre bumper inserts and rear diffuser. Inside, alloy sport pedals and seats with carbonfibre-style accents set the SX apart. The EX makes do with 16-inch wheels and non-LED rear lamps.


The new two-door Forte Koup gets an all-new engine line-up, mirroring that offered on the five-door Hatchback. The EX gets a 2.0 litre direct-injection engine with 173 hp at 6,500 rpm and 209 Nm of torque at 4,700 rpm. That’s already a healthy bump of 17 hp and 15 Nm over the current Koup 2.0 litre.

Opt for the costlier SX and there’s a turbocharged 1.6 litre engine offering 201 hp at 6,000 rpm and 264 Nm between 1,750 and 4,500 rpm, making it the most powerful Koup yet. A six-speed auto is offered for both models, but SX buyers can opt for a manual gearbox too. Driven wheels are the fronts of course.

What is disappointing is the use of torsion-beams at the back instead of the Forte Hatchback’s multi-link items. Don’t get us wrong; finely tuned, a twist-beam set-up can do wonders, i.e. the Renaultsport Megane. But why use a lesser assembly when a better, more advanced option is readily available?

With this debut, Kia has now refreshed its entire Forte line-up, as the Koup joins the sedan first shown last year and the five-door Hatchback unveiled in February. What do you think of the new Koup’s fashionable looks; does it improve upon the original’s much-loved styling?