Truthfully, the Fortes aren't a far throw from the Monte Carlo. Montes are built on the same chassis and drivetrain as the Grand AMs & Aleros of the same model years. I've owned all three, 01 Monte Carlo SS, 01 Grand AM GT, and a Forte SX. The GM drivetrains provide the same HP as the Forte. The Monte Carlos just weigh the most of the three, which, in my opinion, is more comfortable in winter road conditions. The Grand AM dimensions are damn near identical to the Forte. This is actually why the Forte was appealing to me, I like this body style of vehicle, and I'm getting the same performance on 2 less cylinders = better fuel efficiency. Considering the Forte was engineered in California, I would suspect a lot of the laid off GM engineers were picked up by Kia and worked on this model.