All-New 2019 Forte Makes Canadian Debut at Montreal International Auto Show

New compact sedan will be safer, more comfortable and more fun to drive, with better fuel efficiency and packed with innovative and useful technology

  • Average strength increase of 26 per cent achieved through dramatic structural improvements

  • Longer, wider and higher than before, Forte will be among the segment leaders for interior passenger and trunk volumes 

  • Improvements to suspension and seats will make Forte more comfortable on long drives

  • Kia’s first in-house designed and built Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) designed to increase fuel efficiency and features adaptive style shift logic with a chain-type belt – a first in the compact class

  • Forte now comes packed with technology, including a standard 8-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as available Advanced Driver Assistance Features and Kia Canada’s UVO Intelligence embedded telematics system

  • Forte will be available in Canadian dealerships this fall with a five-door model coming in the first half of 2019 – more details to come

MONTREAL, Jan. 18, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today at the Montreal International Auto Show, Kia Canada Inc. gave the all-new 2019 Kia Forte its Canadian debut. Entering its third generation, the new Forte has been stylishly re-engineered and smartly inspired to provide Canadians with more safety, more comfort, more fun, better fuel efficiency and more innovative and useful technology. It will be available in Canadian dealerships this fall with more information to follow.

“The new Forte has been re-engineered to provide compact sedan buyers with more of exactly what they want – safety, comfort, fuel efficiency and useful technology,” said Ted Lancaster, Vice President and COO, Kia Canada Inc. “With these improvements, paired with the stylish new design and a more fun driving experience, we’re confident that Canadians will see the tremendous value equation that Forte will provide when it joins our lineup this fall.”

A More Sophisticated and Sporty Design

While the third-generation Forte retains its sporty and youthful image, it has graduated to a more sophisticated appearance thanks to a number of sleek and dynamic styling cues. Forte’s long hood and short deck lend it an overall fastback-like shape. The cowl point was moved back five inches, creating a more athletic stance that makes the Forte appear well-planted to the ground.

Creases in the hood contribute to the Forte’s muscular appearance and distinctive design traits on the front fascia, including a fresh approach to Kia’s signature tiger nose grille and an aggressive black lower valance, enhance its presence and individual character.  Separate turn signal indicators are mounted below on the front bumper, where air curtains improve aerodynamic performance and enhance the Forte’s technical appeal. Around back, the rear bumper gets the same treatment with separate reverse and turn signal indicators located beneath available LED taillights. Similar to the Sportage compact crossover, a sleek horizontal trim piece connects the taillights.

A More Comfortable Cabin

Creating the fastback shape strengthened the Forte’s exterior appearance, but it also gave engineers an opportunity to expand the occupant compartment in several key areas so passengers are treated to a comfortable space no matter how long the journey. Overall length has increased by 80 mm to 4,640 mm, allowing for more legroom and additional cargo in the trunk. Forte is also 20 mm wider and 5 mm higher than the previous version, taking it to 1,800 mm and 1,440 mm respectively. With these improvements, Forte’s interior passenger and cargo room will now be among the largest in the segment and generous enough to accommodate gear for a group of friends on a road trip or a growing family managing a busy schedule.

While the extra 20 mm of width may not be noticeable to the naked eye, the layout of the dashboard paints a picture of a wide interior space. A horizontal theme creates a sense of openness and avoids clutter with clean lines and minimal buttons that are intuitively placed below an 8-inch colour touchscreen. Aeronautically inspired spoked circular vents adorn the dash and increased soft-touch points create a comfortable and visually appealing cabin. Drivers and passengers alike will appreciate easier ingress and egress, plus improved outward visibility.

A Stronger and Safer Foundation

Building upon an already solid structure that helped the current 2018 Forte sedan achieve an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick Plus rating1, the all-new 2019 Forte achieves an average strength increase of 26 per cent through improvements like additional hot stamped components (475 per cent more), increased structural adhesive (443 per cent more) and increased use of Advanced High-strength steel. Stronger seat frames are lightweight and provide a more comfortable seating position with increased lumbar support and denser seat foam for more pleasurable long-distance drives. The all-new Forte offers projection or full LED headlights and is targeted to receive the highest ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and IIHS.

Because body stiffness plays a major role in NVH performance, engineers worked to increase rigidity for a quieter cabin and better handling tuned to match the Forte’s sporty and dynamic exterior appearance. New subframe designs improve lateral responsiveness, while steering feel is upgraded compared to its predecessor’s thanks to enhancements within the Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS) system which reduces steering friction with less MDPS rotational torque needed  Reworked suspension geometry provides a quick and nimble behind-the-wheel feel and evolutionary improvements were made to throttle and brake feel performance, yielding a smoother initial response at tip-in and a shorter stopping distance than the previous model.

A More Efficient Powertrain

Housed underneath the Forte’s longer hood is a second-generation 2.0-litre Nu four-cylinder engine that benefits from Atkinson Cycle technology and a cooled EGR system. Typically applied to hybrid and electric vehicles, the Atkinson Cycle and cooled EGR technologies helps boost fuel efficiency. The powerplant can be paired with either a six-speed manual or Kia’s all-new CVT.

Waiting before developing Kia’s own version allowed engineers to research issues often associated with CVTs and apply their findings in the application used in the Forte.  One of the main criticisms is that they can create a rubber-band-like feel, and in an effort to address this issue, engineers built the CVT with adaptive style shift logic with a chain-type belt instead of push belt, a first in the compact class. This results in smooth and linear acceleration, and for a more enjoyable and sporty driving experience, a step-shift-like feel mimics a conventional automatic at wide-open throttle or when more acceleration is needed.

To reduce Forte’s NVH, engineers began by wrapping the transmission case in a sound-insulating cover to help quiet the typical “drone” associated with CVT tech from other OEMs. In doing so, NVH levels are also reduced.

With efficiency as the top priority for the new CVT, horsepower and torque are expected to remain unchanged from the 2018 Forte, delivering an estimated 147 HP and 132 lb.-ft. of torque.

Packed with Innovative and Useful Technology

Staying connected with advanced technology and infotainment features allows the driver to dedicate their important attention to the road ahead. In that regard, the Forte comes standard with an 8-inch colour touchscreen with Android Auto™2 and Apple CarPlay®3 that’s integrated neatly on the dash and within the driver’s line of sight. With select smartphone devices, the system also has the capability to read SMS texts aloud through Bluetooth®4.  Eliminating the need for a charging cord is an available wireless charging5 tray perched up on the centre stack for compatible Android6 devices, as well as Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone X.7  

Also available on the new Forte will be Kia Canada’s UVO Intelligence – an embedded telematics system that connects the driver to their vehicle through their phone and provides a variety of safety and convenience features.

Another welcome and surprising feature in this segment is an available 320-watt premium sound system developed with Harman Kardon that pumps out music through a unique speaker hole pattern on the door panels and throughout the cabin.

For Canadians looking for additional safety technology features, available technologies on the new Kia Forte will include Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW)5 and Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)5, Driver-Attention Warning, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)5 and Smart Cruise Control (SCC)5.

About Kia Canada Inc.
Kia Canada Inc. (, a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart is a subsidiary of Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) which was founded in 1999 and sells and services high quality, class leading vehicles like the Soul, Forte, Optima and Sorento through a network of 190 dealers nationwide. Kia Canada Inc. employs 154 people in its Mississauga, Ontario headquarters and three regional offices across Canada, including a state-of-the-art facility in Montreal. Kia’s brand slogan "The Power to Surprise" represents the company's global commitment to surprise the world by providing exciting & inspiring experiences that go beyond expectations.

For more information about Kia Canada and our products, please visit our Media Centre at or contact:

Mark James                                              
Corporate Communications Manager                 
Kia Canada Inc.                                 
T: 905-755-6251; C: 416-660-3568; E:
Maxime Surette                                                        
Product  Communications Manager                         
Kia Canada Inc.                                                           
T: 905-755-6272; C: 416-316-3313; E :

John Adzija                                             
National Manager, Corporate Communications & Corporate Partnerships, Kia Canada Inc.      
T: 905-755-6266; C: 905-301-6207; E:

  1. When equipped with optional Advanced Driver Assistance Features
  2. Android Auto™ is a trademark of Google Inc.
  3. CarPlay® is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.
  4. The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG Inc., and any use of such marks by Kia is pursuant to license. A Bluetooth® enabled device is required to use Bluetooth® wireless technology.
  5. Charging system only works with select devices. Refer to the vehicle's Owner's Manual for warnings and instructions.
  6. Android™ is a trademark of Google, Inc.
  7. iPhone 8 and iPhone X are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc.


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at