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KOUP Q&A July 10th, 2009

By Colin(WooYung) Jang
Kia BUZZ editor

Hello to all bloggers on Kia Buzz.

Kia Motors officially launched the Forte (Cerato) KOUP in the Korean market on June 11. Since then, this model has drawn much interest among bloggers. The Kia BUZZ editorial team would like to answer some of the many questions about Forte (Cerato) KOUP that have been floating around online.

Let’s get started.

Question 1
Why does Kia use the reflector headlamp instead of projection headlamp?


Forte (Cerato) KOUP was developed as a sporty yet affordable coupe. The projection type headlamp provides better brightness compared to reflector type. However, the reflector type was used in Forte (Cerato) KOUP since there is minimal difference in brightness versus the projection type and to provide a car at a reasonable price.

Question 2
Does Forte (Cerato) KOUP have a push start button? Also, is it equipped with Bluetooth?

Yes, the push start button will be available upon launch in Asia, Middle East and East Europe. (It will be available from September 2009 in Australia and Singapore.)
Bluetooth will be available only in North America.


Question 3
Some say Forte (Cerato) KOUP has a similar front appearance as Honda Civic Type R. Is that true?

Any resemblance to the Civic Type R is simply coincidental. The Forte Koup’s fascia was built upon the Forte sedan’s theme and began before the Civic Type R was ever debuted. We do believe that if you saw the two cars side by side, the Koup would be distinctively different in terms of proportions and graphic treatment.

Question 4
What is the engine in Forte (Cerato) KOUP? What about the transmission?

Forte (Cerato) KOUP is powered by one of three gasoline engines (Gamma 1.6L, ThetaⅡ 2.0L or ThetaⅡ 2.4L). Most market will get the 1.6 and 2.0 engines while the 2.0 and 2.4 will be available in North America. All engines boast high performance and fuel efficiency. The two engines are currently used in the Forte (Cerato) Sedan.
Drivers can choose from either a 6-speed manual (for 2.4L) & 5-speed manual or 5-spped automatic (for 2.4L) & 4-speed automatic transmission. With its superior acceleration and overtaking power compared to competing models, Forte (Cerato) KOUP delivers sporty driving performance.


Question 5
Does the rear diffuser on Forte (Cerato) KOUP have a functional purpose? Or is it there for style only?

The rear diffuser enhances cross wind stability. That is, it boosts driving stability when cornering at high speeds. It will be useful if you are speeding along winding roads. (But always remember to drive safe!) The rear diffuser also gives the car a sportier look.


Question 6
Does Forte (Cerato) KOUP share the same platform with cee’d?

Yes, the two models share the same platform. And platform-sharing is a global trend. However, the cars are not alike since they get additional tuning depending on their respective traits.

We hope the answers to the six questions satisfied some of your curiosities. If you have other questions, please post them below and we will try our best to answer them.

  • http://theCarfanatic.com Guy

    So it’s not coming to Western Europe?

  • Joe

    So will the HVAC system in the North American Koup be as worthless as the one in the sedan. The center console does not look like it has been designed for a manual system, and the two extra knobs look laughably out of place. I won’t own one of these with the manual system, it looks comparable to two big deflectors sticking off of a Formula 1 racecar. Give me a Koup with the HVAC system the center fascia was designed around, or forget it. Also, what about that red interior? Are we going to get that, or is Kia going to leave that out too? What does Kia make out the United States too be? Where is the navigation system? Almost every review of the sedan asked where the navigation was. What about the smart key, why aren’t we getting that? Are you afraid it will make the Forte too expensive? THOSE ARE THE FEATURES THAT AMERICANS DOWNSIZING FROM BIG SUVS WANT! You say you do market research, I don’t see it. When you are sitting at a dealership waiting for your oil change to finish, and you watch the dealer fumble two Forte sales because the car lacks available features, within 15 minutes, something is wrong! One was looking for alloy wheels, leather and sunroof with the fuel efficiency package, and the other was looking for Navigation and brand-name sound. They walked out the door never to return! That says a lot about your so-called “Market research”. If I don’t get Infinity audio, navigation, and auto temperature control in a Forte Koup, to trade my Accord, a car that’s too big for me, for, I will buy a d@mn Civic. I am sick of the bull. Either offer us features, or get the he!! out of the market.

  • james witt

    I have two KIA’S . When will the diesel engine be available in the Soul or other models in North America.

  • HyundaiSmoke

    Please make the 1.6L Gamma into a Direct Injection Unit with 5 speed Auto Trans? I hope thats what you and Hyundai havbe planned.

  • Chris

    Huh, now that I see it, those two extra knobs really do look out of place on the manual temperature control Forte, LOL! I want to buy a Forte, too, but I want Navigation, premium sound, alloy wheels, sunroof,heated leather, and fuel efficiency package. I don’t know what to do. I guess I’m going to have to buy a car that isn’t as attractive. And I know that auto temperature control is available in other countries, how hard is it to make it in Fahrenheit and sell it in the USA? It can’t be THAT expensive?

  • HyundaiSmoke

    Why was it that you guys can make round headlamp shells for $8600 Sephias in the 90s, first gen Spectra GSXs in the early part of this decade, and cant employ those same shells and just glue a glass piece to them?

  • HyundaiSmoke

    Why does the Euro Tata Nano, a car that costs $3500 have Projection Headlamps? Why does Suzuki have Projection Headlamps, in LAST GENERATION FORENZAS!!!?

  • HyundaiSmoke

    The time is now for KIA to do something crazy and unepxected. Maybe have a commercial with a guy in a race helmet driving a Forte on a dirt road with a Short Ram Air Intake on it to get a lightly racy Exhaust Note: squeeling tires, doing spins, going nuts, splashing mud around, and then have the racer hand the keys to one of the parents in a young family. Then the members of the young family get into the car and drive off, thus ending the commercial.

    Then Say: “KIA Forte, the first of its kind.”

  • Alex

    Will the new koup be available to Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece?
    Why we do not see any forte in these countries. Local dealers can not answer if that model will ever show up.
    Thanks in advance

  • jtz

    To question no. 3. Um, I never thought the Forte looked anything like a Civic. But since you guys are getting a lot of that. I can name a number of cars that look more alike than the Civic looks like the Forte. The Chrysler 300 looks like a 1990 something caddy and Rollsroyce. The side profile of the Outlander is simiular to the Mazda 3 hatch because of that simular thick pillar (put the Vibe in there too). The Forester looks like the Kia Mesa grille while the headlights came from the Outlander.

  • Colin

    Thank you for your concern, HyundaiSmoke.
    We appreciate your interest in Forte (Cerato) KOUP.
    May be, we might do those things you said in some time.

  • Colin

    The picture on the post features the auto temperature control.
    And those two extra knobs are for audio system.
    I hope this answer helps you up.
    Thank you.

  • Colin

    james witt,

    Thanks for choosing Kia.
    About your question, we are still considering introducing diesel engine in North America.
    So it is too early to answer your question.
    Sorry for no help.
    Thank you.

  • Colin


    We don’t have any plan to introduce Cerato KOUP in Western Europe.
    Sorry to disappoint you.

    Have a nice day.

  • Chris

    Colin, I was talking about the fan and temperature control knobs in the manual HVAC Forte. The one in the picture actually looks perfect.

  • Bernard from Canada

    After reading all the complaints about equipment level on this page, I wish to state that the Canadian Forte lineup has, for my taste, an almost ideal blend of features at each price level (LX, EX, SX). In fact, apart from the fact the Forte looks good, this is one main reason for which there is a good chance I will soon be buying a Forte SX. I have already test-driven the car.

    I am particularly grateful towards Kia Canada for not putting a rear spoiler on the Forte SX’s trunk, like so many others do in this class. I would not consider the Forte if it had a rear spoiler.

    It’s all about balancing price against useful features. For me, Kia Canada has made good choices.

    The only thing that seems to be slowing Forte sales in Canada is that the Forte is too expensive compared to the Hyundai Elantra. The Forte is competitively priced compared to Civic, Corolla and Mazda 3. But the Elantra is probably stealing a lot of sales from the Forte.

  • Hyundai Smoke

    Thanks Colin. I always have plenty of suggestions, accolades, and constructive criticisms (I do it out of love) for Hyundai/KIA products. We have raised the bar in terms of what a basic car warranty should be and quality for value.

    The time is now for us to demonstrate that quality. I suggest a quality demonstration blitz. Repeat the usual: “JD Power and Consumer Reports Says this and says that” about our cars. However take the cars out on expeditions. I have been driving Accents for years now, they are tough little cars. Let the world know how tough these cars are. Take these cars on an expedition out on Alaska’s Dalton Highway in the summer with Mud, Gravel, Rain, and even an occasiona summer Snow storm thrown at you. Shoot a Commercial doing it. I did my research and Honda and Toyota did the same in the 1980s with 1980s techonology cars. So therefore, we definately shouldnt have a problem getting it done. Take a Forte up there, pretend its a family going up to the North Slope of Alaska for a trip.

    Take advantage of Americans economic worries, and take these cars to places most people feel they have have an SUV and are scared to take their cars to. Think about it, why do we need SUVs to get the same job done as a 1980s Toyota Corolla could have done own its own?

    BTW, the Forte has the design and interior quality edge over its competitors. Just look at the KIA Forte and the Toyota Corolla. Just a couple of years ago the Corolla was ahead of the outgoing Spectra. Today, the incoming Forte is leaps and bounds ahead of the Toyota Corolla. If you guys play your cards right with marketing options and body styles (ie: hurry up with hatchbacks), the Forte can replace the Toyota Corolla.

  • Chris

    The Canadian Forte SX has automatic temperature control. Where is it in the USA? So, there is a market for it in Canada, but not in the USA. WHAT IS THAT?!

  • jtz

    I have a Forte SX and love it. Not only do I think the Forte is one of the better looking cars in its class but I think it looks better than cars above its class as well. The Ford Fusion, Honda Accord just to name a few.

  • Colin


    Sorry for late reply.
    We don’t have plan to introduce Cerato KOUP in Greece. But you might meet Cerato KOUP in Romania, Serbia, and Bulgaria.
    The exact date hasn’t been determined yet though.

  • Colin


    Thanks for your concern and interest in 2010 Forte KOUP. Kia BUZZ editorial team have passed your concern on KOUP to the appropriate person in Kia Motors America.

  • Chris

    I honestly appreciate that, thank you. I can wait till 2011.

  • Hyundai Smoke

    The Elantra will get replaced a year earlier than normal Bernard. I Think they are just trying to get rid of much inventory as possible, and then produce limited quantities next year so they can be free to roll out those brand new Elantras coming for 2011 in late winter 2011. Expect the Next Gen Elantra to cost way more, like $2000-$3000 (US) more.

  • Hyundai Smoke

    An upper mid trim Elantra will be the price of an Elantra Touring. The cheap Elantra will be the price of a mid level Forte. The Premium Trim Elantra (and I mean Premium) will be at low to mid level Current gen Sonata range prcing. However, the Elantra will have high end options seen on cars like the Azera and Genesis, as all Hyundai cars will get premium features. Just like all KIA cars are getting Sporty features.

    The Next Gen Elantra will get close to 5 MPG more than the Next Sonata. 41-43 MPG ball park So therfore buying the Elantra will still be a worthwhile value proposition in terms of fuel economy.

    A top of the line Accent will be the price of an Elantra Touring also.

  • Bernard from Canada

    Thanks for the scoops about the upcoming Elantra, Hyundai Smoke. It seems Hyundai is making a definite move upmarket.

  • Samuel

    Do you plan to launch the Koup in Hungary? I know it might cannibalize the pro_cee’d wherever it is offered, but this one looks so much better.

    My other question is if you plan to produce it in Slovakia.

    Anyway, could you give a bit more insight what was the reason to design the Cerato/Koup when having the cee’d/pro_cee’d already? It seems wasting money on designing a new body. I understand the the cee’d is to primarly meet the european taste. Question is who is the main target group of the Cerato/Koup? Is the the USA market? Then why do you think the cee’d would not meet those requirements as well? What are the things it lacks? I cannot see major differences (apart from the cee’d having the sw body, but not having a 4 door ‘limo’ – but I’m sure it could have been built for the same basis).

    If I were KIA I would have substituted the cee’d with the Cerato/Koup in all markets instead of now facelifting the cee’d. I think the cee’d has less individual character.

    Thanks for your answers!

  • haro

    how come the gamma engine for kia forte, koup and ceed has different size to kia spectra5/cerato?
    i have difficulty finding aftermarket for drop in kia spectra5 (G4FC) but not wit other gamma engine…

  • Samuel

    One more thing: it might be just by mistake that the Koup’s facia looks similar to that of the Civic. Even that the main proportions of its body are very similar to that of the late ’90’s Civic Coupé. But as these both look great, who cares. It’s a shame for Honda that it was not them building this car. This should have been the successor of that Civic Coupé. (Same story that the Twingo should have been created not by Renault but by Citroen, to make it a late successor of the evergreen 2CV.)

  • HyundaiSmoke

    Nah, this looks more TSX-sy than Civic. Looks more like the Superior Korean Craftsmanship we as Korean Car owners in the US Expect. The Civic is a Built to a price half hearted car, unlike this beautiful work of Korean art see we from KIA.

  • HyundaiSmoke

    Bernard, in the US the Elantra costs $1000 more than the Forte as of this moment, but I can see that price creep up there a little. “We charge a little more, and a little less, or the same as Honda, but you get Acura Quality and craftsmanship with Hyundai.” I think thts where they are going with that one.

    Look at the skecthes of the final Hyundai North American Market Tucson Rendering, The price of a CRV but it looks like its trying to undercut the Acura RDX. Thus making it hard for both the CRV and RDX to Compete. YAY!!!! GO, HYUNDAI-KIA!!!!


  • HyundaiSmoke

    I think Peter Schreyer has his sights set on VW and Mazda hard. I think he can KIA Beating VW. VW is going up market a little as well. Maybe KIA is following them that way. Why not have 2 Premium yet Affordable Makes from Korea. It would be quite the poetic justice that Hyundai-Kia Motors Inc deserves, after being beat up so much.

    By the way, do you know the biggest trade ins for Hyundai KIA Products are from Chryslers, Mazdas, VWs, and Buicks? Hyundai is going after Mini Owners with the Next Gen Accent/Veloster next, and it seems as if KIA is going after Those Potential Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit owners with the New Rio.

  • HyundaiSmoke

    The First Hondas had Chinese car quality, the Koreans had not too good quality, but they came in with better quality products than the Japanese before them. The First Ponys were more reliable than the First Hondas.

  • Etienne

    Does it have a push start button on the North America/Canada model?

  • Colin

    Hi Etienne,

    Sorry for late reply to your question.
    The all-new Forte Koup doesn’t have a push start button yet for the North America/Canada.


  • Jason from Canada

    I understand that the Forte (ex or sx) does not come with a push button start but is it possible that if one is introduced in 2011 that it be an easy upgrade for the 2010?? Would also look sweet with the red on the inside like the above pic!! Good Job Kia…past civic owner converted! TY

  • A.Jaber

    Thanks kia buzz , great work kia .

    i loved the Koup & i wanted to know if it’s coming to the middle east market where i live in Dubai, U.A.E or not ?
    and if the answer is yes , is there a specific date ?

  • Drend

    Just reposted here, think I left my first comment on the wrong page, LOL, anyways…..

    I’m Canadian and bought a Forte Koup EX with a Moon roof and I still love it after just a few months. My only thing I’m not impressed with is the 4 gear auto, it should come with a 5 speed. I only zip around the city so I guess it really doesnt matter too much. The 2.0 Liter engine has just the perfect pep for day to day driving so “Good job Kia!!”
    One question, Is kia going to offer an AFTERMARKET turbo? That would be great!! Maybe something with 6 to 8 pounds of boost to kick it up to 180 or 190 horsepower with out straining the engine too much? If the turbo would be considered, would be be sold by independant vendors or sold directly by Kia?

    Thank you!

  • Colin

    Hello Drend,

    We are pleased that you like the Forte Koup. Regarding the Forte Koup’s turbo charger engine, we don’t have a plan for that. We might provide the next generation of Forte/Forte Koup with turbo charger engine though.

    If you want to install turbo charger parts for your Forte Koup, you need to visit independent vendors to talk about it.
    Lots of Korean customers who want to install turbo charger, they do that too. :-)


  • John

    Will the Front Headlamps and alloy wheels (or possibly body kit) of the concept Forte Koup be available for those interested Niche buyers ?

  • Matt

    I quite impressed by the Cerato Koup (in Australian specification) and would almost certainly buy one for my ppartner if not for the 4 speed auto (my partner can’t drive a manual, so auto is the only option for us). Does KIA plan to introduce a 5 or 6 speed auto for the Cerato Koup in the near future, and if so what is the likely release timeframe?

    Thanks, Matt

  • Sunju


    Doest the 1.6L Gamma engine has cruse control as option?


  • http://www.tattoo-inks.info Stanley Gouchie

    Great article. There’s a lot of good information here, though I did want to let you know something – I am running Mac OS X with the latest beta of Firefox, and the look and feel of your blog is kind of bizarre for me. I can read the articles, but the navigation doesn’t function so good.

  • Glenn from Singapore

    I happily driving my Koup in Singapore and getting lots of attention from other road users. They are indeed impressed with the Kia Koup in terms of the appearance.

    I even went to test-drove my 1.6L Manual Koup into Sepang F1 Circuit (Malaysia) to push close to it’s limits based on the stock setup without any modifications and I am impressed with it’s driveability.

    I have got a video of the drive and intend to share it, any idea where to post it?

    Glenn from SG

  • http://www.kia-buzz.com Pamela @ Kia HQ

    We hear Koup has quite the following in Singapore and Malaysia. In fact, in Singapore there are Koupians… http://www.sgkoupian.com/

    Is there anything similar in Malaysia?

  • miguel

    Turbo is a need in the Koup lineup……especially in the USA market….It will attract a lot of customers into Kia showrooms…..the engine is ready from the genesis 2.0L…

  • http://www.piemuncher.com Trinidad Lameda

    The film movie is worth it to see. the movie is so phenomenal.

  • Rick C

    When will the 2011 modesl be out? I”m waiting!!

  • Cosmic

    I bought my Forte Koup EX 5-speed in June ’10 and already put 13,000 km on it…mostly highway. I had three Mazda Protege’s before it. I have to say Kia is making head-turning cars with great features and at a great price. Although the fuel economy claimed is not where near what I actually getting it is doing better than Mazda. The interior is even up there. I owned a Prelude in the early 90s and I see Kia doing what Honda did to make other manufacturers look at styling cars to get out of cardboard looking cars of the 80s.

    With the bluetooth and my iPhone I actually talk on the phone again. With all the options on the Koup I feel like I got a vehicle I actually want to drive again. It handles well, its got some zip and it has some toys.

    The only driving flaw might be the thick front window pillars making for some challenging blind spots but again, completely workable by some head bobbing. Nothings perfect but so far I feel I am a converted Mazda owner. Good bye to the happy face grill.

    Kudos to Sherwood Kia, my dealer. It’s an important aspect to any car I buy that the dealer has the after sale’s service to back up a purchase of a vehicle. It’s one of the major reasons I bought my Mazda’s over and over again and why, at this point, I’d buy another Kia.

  • Darren

    Kia should start to make cars for Worldwide and with the same name and model not like it is in the present times where different countrys make different models and names . Ex like Ford focus mrk 3 & fiesta are selling World wide bearing the same name & Model . Darren Cassar.

  • http://hydrogenelectrolyzers.com/Hydrogen_electrolysis_Hydrogen_electrolysis.html hydrogen

    You are not the average blogger, dude. U surely have something important to contribute to the net.

  • owen (ZA)

    Hi,i currently own a Cerato Koup,In south africa it does n’t come with either a push start button or bluetooth,When are these going to be available in the south african market,secondly i was browsing on the net and managed to find a 290 HP kia Cerato Koup now my question is i this planned to be on the production line and when we can expect it this side,thanks

  • Naz

    can i check out your video?

  • http://twitter.com/nadzriab Nadzri Hussain

    Hey kia buzz,

    I’m planning to get the Kia KOUP as my very first car. But it seems all the time Kia KOUP never fail to surprise with the improvements made. Heard about the KOUP coming with the turbo charger. Is that true and when will it come?

  • Yasma

    hi, Glen,
    I am interested to see your vid.
    thanks for reply

  • http://bit.ly/jY0s7h Kia Cerato Review

    The Cerato Koupe is  a safe place to be in with features like ABS, ESP and safety airbags and also  reverse warning sensors.

  • Stephen Charles

    What are the safety features of the push start button in the coup? Is it that anyone can break into your car and start it easily or are there additional safety features to the push start? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1238096701 Tyler Chess

    You can post it on YouTube 

  • vincent phong

    i booking coup at jb(april 2011),y untill now my car nvr come malaysia n can give me a good answer?

  • http://kia-buzz.com KIA BUZZ

    Hello Vincent Phong, we are sorry for the delay and we will share your feedback internally to provide you the support you need. Meanwhile, have you tried contacting the nearest Kia dealership in your area? Please refer to the following link for more assistance. http://www.nazakia.com.my/

  • angela

    which dealer ?

  • Teyusyshy

    how can I contact the representative Kia in Malaysia? I very disappointed with the Naza Group and one of the dealer in JB so I think I have to give him feedback on the very unpleasant experience.thank you

  • http://kia-buzz.com KIA BUZZ

    Hello angela, please refer to the following link to find the nearest Kia dealership to you. http://www.kiamotors.com/goto-local.aspx

  • http://kia-buzz.com KIA BUZZ

    Hello Teyusyshy, please accept our sincere apologies for any unpleasant experience you may had with one of our dealers. We will share your feedback internally to provide you with assistance as soon as possible.



  • Nm1footballplayer

    When is the Theta 2 2.4L getting a turbo?

  • Omar_silver_spider

    If 2.0 and 2.4 are diferent liters.but they look the same whatsthe diference… The block??

  • Leonard

    can yuo change a 1.6 liter to a 1.5