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2020 Kia Forte GT: SEMA Show

What Is It?

The appropriate question when talking about the 2020 Kia Forte GT is, what are they? That’s because there are two GT grades. The GT Line is primarily lipstick, while the other GT option not only includes the GT Line’s cosmetic tweaks, but performance enhancements, as well.

First, the Forte GT Line. Exterior-appearance enhancements include a gloss-black grille with red accents, gloss-black heated outboard mirrors with turn-signal indicators, sport side sills and a decklid spoiler. Inside, you’ll find alloy sport pedals, a flat-bottom steering wheel with white stitching and black sport cloth seats with white stitching and beefed-up side bolsters.

The enthusiast-targeting Forte GT sports all of the GT Line’s appearance upgrades only red contrast stitching replaces the GT Line’s white stitching. It also gets a sport-tuned dual exhaust system, 18-in two-tone alloy wheels, LED headlights and push-button start. LED ambient cabin lighting with illuminated dash inlay is also included.

Although the GT Line keeps the regular Forte’s 147-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), the Forte GT steps up performance with a 201-hp 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Forte GT buyers may choose between the standard 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Other GT upgrades include a full independent front and rear suspension with larger sway bars and bigger disc brakes.

Both GT versions also provide Kia Drive Wise technologies as standard: forward-collision warning, forward-collision avoidance, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist and driver attention warning.

How Much?

Kia will announce pricing closer to the on-sale date, whenever that might be.

When Can You Get It?

As with pricing, Kia remains tight lipped about an on-sale date.

Add It to Your Shopping List Because….

Did you miss the "6-speed manual transmission" mention for the GT? That alone is a reason enough to give this Forte grade some consideration. Although we can appreciate the appearance enhancements of the GT Line, we really like all the performance upgrades to the GT. If your idea of fun is a sporty small car, the 2020 Kia Forte GT checksall the boxes. Kia only showed a sedan at SEMA, but we expect a hatchback to follow.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Honda Civic Si – Talk of sporty small cars always turns to the Civic Si. A 205-hp turbocharged inline four, 6-speed manual transmission and loads of technology place the Civic Si in the top tier of sporty compact cars.

2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo – Totally redesigned for 2019, the Veloster Turbo sends the 201 hp generated by its turbocharged mill through a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Torque vectoring is standard, as are a collection of safety technologies.

2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI – Defining "big performance in a small package," the Golf GTI belts out 228 hp from its turbocharged 4-cylinder. Shifting is through a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. It also includes Volkswagen’s new 6-year/72,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.

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