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Kia: What's new for 2010

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2010 Kia Soul front view

2010 Kia Soul

Photo © Aaron Gold

CONFIRMED FOR 2010:

AMANTI: Discontinued.

FORTE: (photo) The Forte replaces the Spectra as Kia's compact sedan. The front-wheel-drive Kia Forte is available in LX, EX and SX trim levels; LX and EX are powered by a 156 horsepower 2-liter engine, while the Forte SX gets a 173 horsepower 2.4 liter engine with an available 6-speed manual transmission and a sport-tuned suspension. Standard features include an iPod-compatible USB input port, Bluetooth phone connectivity, antilock brakes and electronic stability control.

FORTE KOUP: (photo) Kia will offer a two-door version of the Forte called the Forte Koup. The Forte Koup is slightly shorter and lower than the Forte sedan, and will be available in EX and SX trims. Engine choices are identical to the sedan: 156 hp 2.0 for the EX, 173 hp 2.4 for the SX, with SX models getting a sport-tuned suspension.

OPTIMA: SX models get push-button keyless ignition.

RIO: The smallest, cheapest Kia gets updated front-end styling for 2010; inside, there's a new steering wheel, metal-trimmed gauge cluster, and red-orange lighting. Base models no longer come with a stereo. SX models get jazzier trim, while LX and SX models get standard cruise control and Bluetooth speakerphone connectivity.

RONDO: A third-row seat now comes standard, as do side mirrors with integrated turn signals. All models get an EcoMinder light (which presumably lights up when you're driving economically). A backup camera is now part of the EX Premium Package, while the LX Plus Package adds a trip computer.

SEDONA: Kia's minivan gets a few minor trim changes, along with a standard backup warning system for LX and EX models and a rear-view camera, which is optional on the LX and standard on the EX.

SOUL: (photo) The all-new Soul is Kia's answer to the Scion xB, and the resemblance goes beyond the boxy body. Kia is offering the Soul with a wide range of customizable interior and exterior options. Engine choices include 1.6 and 2.0 liter four cylinder engines of 122 and 142 horsepower respectively, and prices start right around $14,000.

SPORTAGE: New standard equipment includes an 8-way adjustable driver's seat, illuminated visor mirror, and an EcoMinder light for automatic-equipped Sportages. The EX Luxury Package now includes a back-up assistance system.

BEYOND 2010:

SORENTO: (photo) A new Sorento will be introduced in 2010 as a 2011 model. The new Sorento abandons the old model's body-on-frame construction; it's now a unit-body CUV. Powertrain choices include a 172 hp 2.4 liter 4-cylinder and a 273 hp 3.5 liter V6, both coupled to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The new Sorento is the first vehicle to be built in the United States, at Kia's new plant in West Point, Georgia.

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