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Kia Forte. Stimulating the compact sector.

By: Roger Rivero |

Since its entry into the North American market in 2010, the Kia Forte has greatly helped stimulate this type of car. With attractive designs, better finishes, more reliability and solid guarantees, Kia has continued to make its way. The start was excellent with 68,501 units sold the first year. In 2016 sales totaled 103,292, while the first five months of this year did not look bad at all.

Redesigned in 2014, this complete family of compact cars comes with three different variants and two engine types. The 2.0-liter 147-horsepower engine is standard this year, with manual or automatic transmission options. This engine is accompanied by excellent numbers of consumption, 29 miles in the city and 38 in highway. There is an option for a more powerful engine like the one we tested in the Kia EX, with 164 horses and direct injection, an advantage that is penalized by a higher consumption.

By 2017 Kia has provided the Forte with upgrades, some cosmetics that look closer to the older brother Optima, and others more substantial, like the new entry engine we mentioned earlier. They have also incorporated more driver assistance systems, such as collision warning and automatic emergency braking. There is better connectivity, as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available, and Kia adds a new level of finish, the S, which we have not yet tested.

The EX is the most complete of the alignment, which also includes the LX input model, followed by the S. It is not difficult to recognize that the Forte is what we might consider, an excellent “package”, despite being one of the Compact discs on the market. With sufficient substance to attract attention within the sector, the Kia Forte presents an attractive, clean and simple interior, with excellent materials in some sense away from the restraint to which this type of cars are associated. The front and rear seats are wide and well supported, and the trunk is one of the largest among its competitors.

The handling and performance of the Forte on the other hand, are nothing special. We tried the 2.0, which on the road is relaxed, but we could not catalog it as powerful. There is a turbocharged option for the Kia Forte5, the Hatchback model that generates 201 horses, but for now we are just curious. In models with a driving selector, which can be driven in “Sport”, some more agility is achieved and we must thank the engineers of Kia, who do not let the RPM – revolutions per minute – become as long as others Manufacturers do, causing a sense of anxiety that is difficult to cope with. The suspension is sufficient as long as the road roughness is not very large, and there is some body rolling in the corners, but nothing excessive.

Prices for the 2017 Kia Forte start at about $ 16,600 for the low-end model of Forte Sedan LX with a manual transmission. Those who prefer automatic transmission would have to add about $ 1,000 at that price. The new Forte S sedan starts at about $ 19,300, while the high-end EX sedan starts at $ 21,300. Prices for the hatchback, Forte5 start just above $ 18,200 and can reach about $ 27,000. That’s a solidly competitive pricing structure for the Kia compact, in line with offers from Honda, Nissan or Toyota, although prices can change with offers from manufacturers.

The Kia Forte is not just one of the least expensive compact cars, but it’s also a good car for those who enjoy a lot of cabin space and may not reach the price of regular sized sedans. The Forte comes with a long list of available features, however, some competitors, such as the Mazda3, offer a standard rear-view camera, which the Forte does not have. His cousin-brother the Hyundai Elantra outstrips him with adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control and pedestrian detection. While it may not be exciting behind the wheel, something that will disappoint enthusiasts, Forte is a solid buy for those who care more about reliability, features and price than about performance.

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