As the midlevel trim in Kia’s 2012 Forte lineup, the Forte EX sports a slew of standard features, not to mention a hefty 14.7 cubic feet of trunk space. Additionally, look for standard 15-inch steel wheels, cloth upholstery, a 6-way adjustable driver’s seat, split-folding rear seats, full power accessories, including heated power-adjustable outside mirrors, cruise control, front and rear floor mats and, new for 2012, telescoping tilt-wheel steering.
Entertainment is presented via a single-CD player with 6 speakers, auxiliary iPod integration, satellite radio and a USB port, with Bluetooth hands-free calling also delivered as standard equipment.
Options for the 2012 Forte EX include an auto-dimming rear-view mirror with compass and a universal remote garage door opener, as well as carpeted floor mats, a rear spoiler and various trunk organizers.
The available Technology Package, meantime, includes push-button start, a navigation system, a rear-view camera, automatic climate control in front, and, also new for 2012, the Supervision data-screen gauge cluster. A Premium Package that’s also available to the EX includes a power sunroof and 16-inch alloy wheels, while this midlevel trim additionally remains eligible for the Fuel Economy Package boasting electric power steering, low rolling resistance tires and aerodynamic styling enhancements. Remote engine start, finally, is offered as a standalone option, as is a rear deck spoiler.
Standard power for the 2012 Forte EX is a variable-valve-timed (VVT) 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) engine. Mated with the standard 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission, this compact 4-door boasts 156 hp and 144 lb-ft or torque. Mileage, meanwhile, is estimated at 26 mpg city/36 highway with the standard configuration and 27/37 when equipped with the available Fuel Economy Package.
Notable standard safety features aboard the 2012 Forte EX remain 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags, front side-mounted airbags and front head restraint whiplash protection. Further standard safety items include turn-signal-integrated mirrors and front fog/driving lights, with LED daytime running lights again an available safety option.