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2017 Kia Forte

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The 2017 Kia Forte Review: Despite all the excitement over crossovers these days, many people still want a reasonably sized, economical sedan, that’s big enough to have road presence and safety, but doesn’t break the bank either. The Kia Forte offers a rich mix of features for day-to-day living, plus has five-star government safety ratings and affordability.

Situated between the compact Rio and larger Optima, the Forte offers three trim levels, LX, S, and EX. The LX already brags of many worthwhile features, and is the only trim level that offers a manual six-speed transmission, should you want one. The S provides more a sport-tuned suspension, 16-inch alloy wheels, LED positioning lights, a rear spoiler, and a chrome exhaust tip. The top-level EX, like my Silky Silver test car, boasts leather seats, heated up front. Also, you get LED taillamps, a smart key, and larger 17-inch alloy wheels.

The EX also motivates itself with a more powerful engine, Kia’s Gas Direct Injection four, which puts out 164 horsepower and 151 lb.-ft. of torque. That moves the 2,908-pound car down the line with more vigor. One can speculate on how that six-speed manual might handle the extra power, but you can’t get that configuration now, but how about a Forte GT, Kia?

The EX’s engine earns EPA numbers of 25 City, 33 Highway, and 28 Combined. I averaged 25.4 mpg during my test week, although much of my driving was on the freeway. The green scores come in at an above-average 8 for Smog and 6 for Greenhouse Gas. The less powerful engine in the S and LX earns EPA SmartWay status with its 7 and 7 scores respectively, but the EX is right behind.

Some cars build their reputations with flashy styling or luxury appointments, but the Forte is in there for the daily ride and drive. The body proportions are pleasing, and not as extreme and polarizing as the Honda Civic. Comparing the Forte and Civic, the Forte stretches 2.8 inches shorter nose to tail, .7 inch narrower, half an inch taller, and rides on an identical wheelbase. They both weigh within 10 pounds of each other. But their personalities are very different.

The Forte’s interior features a pleasant scallop motif and feels smooth and solid. The accommodations feel adequately roomy for extended seat time. There’s a roll-top bin in the console, and the plastics covering the dash, doors, and trim don’t feel low-budget. You get dual-zone climate control, and leather on the seats, steering wheel, and shift knob.

There’s plenty to do inside the car. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allow smartphone users to manage their apps and functions, as well as phone directly from their dash screen, or using voice commands. Bluetooth connects your phone as well, and you get Kia’s UVO eServices Infotainment system too. SiriusXM Radio comes with it, as well—but that’s normal for a car these days.

My tester packed in the EX Premium Plus Package, with a long list of safety and convenience features. For $4,490, you get everything from an upgraded instrument panel display to a power sunroof, power seats, ventilation on the heated seats, and an auto-dimming mirror.

For safety, drive with confidence with autonomous emergency braking, forward collision alert, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and more. This package elevates a regular car into a really fine one. The Forte receives a five-star safety rating (the top level) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The Forte rolls out of a plant in Mexico, and you’ll find 88 percent Mexican content, including the engine and transmission. Take that, Mr. President! The rest has its origins in Korea, not unexpectedly.

My tester came to $26,540, including shipping. The Forte LX starts at just $17,450.
It may not be new anymore, but Kia’s 10-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty was a blockbuster when it debuted. You get five years or 60,000 miles of free roadside assistance, too. By Steve Schaefer © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco

 

The 2017 Kia Forte Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net

The Bottom Line: The 2017 Kia Forte offers a rich mix of features. Competing directly with the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, the Forte gets many improvements on an already compelling package. The nose and tail receive upgrades for a more smoothly integrated appearance. More noteworthy, the base engine bulks up to a more powerful 2.0-liter multi-point fuel injected four, with 147 horsepower and 132 lb.-ft. of torque. Additional high-tech safety features arrive as part of an optional package. The Forte serves as the “little big man” of the Kia brand. Today’s compact sedans have grown enough to gain midsize designation by the EPA these days. This is your chance to score a deal on a car that’ll carry a small family with ease. And maybe, just for those reasons alone, you should Drive one, Buy one, Today ©. This Bottom Line Review is provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net

“Tony the Car Guy” is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at www.autowire.net  - And remember: “You Are What You Drive ©

 

Column Name: The Kia Forte offers a rich mix of features
Topic: The 2017 Kia Forte
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Photo Caption: The 2017 Kia Forte
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Series #: 2017 - 16

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