2017 Kia Forte Review


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2017 Kia Forte Overview

Refreshed for the upcoming model year, Kia’s 5-seat Forte compact sedan enhances its reputation as an economical commuter, mall-hopper, and vacation getaway car with new styling, a new S (Sport) trim, added safety technology, a few additional options, and a new powerplant.

The 2017 Forte lineup begins with the base LX, the mid-level S, and the flagship EX. All trims are offered only with front-wheel drive (FWD), and trunk space comes in at a class-average 14.9 cubic feet. The Forte5 hatchback and Koup models have also been refreshed, and are covered in separate previews.

Enhancements and debuting items for the 2017 Forte include a new front bumper design bolstered by a “tiger nose” grille and new headlights. These restyled headlights now include an optional cornering feature, while the taillights are also reworked and can be enhanced with an LED option. Newly restyled alloy wheels are available on the new S (16-inch) and the EX (17-inch). The S also gets a number of debuting standard comfort and convenience features, including heated power-adjustable front seats with memory for driver settings, dual-zone automatic climate control, and Smart Key push-button start. Kia’s UVO3 telematics and available GPS navigation have also been enhanced for 2017.

The 1.8-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) powerplant standard on the LX is expected to be replaced on the upcoming year’s LX and S trims by a 2.0-liter Atkinson I4 that should add more power and improved fuel economy, though exact figures are not yet available. The new engine will be managed by either a standard 6-speed manual transmission or an available and upgraded 6-speed shiftable automatic. The 2017 Forte EX, meanwhile, will keep its 173-hp 2.0-liter GDI I4 engine, mated to 6-speed shiftable automatic for 154 lb-ft of torque. Look for EPA-estimated mileage to return at 24 mpg city/35 highway/28 combined. The 2017 Forte will also include Kia’s Drive Mode Select, offering Normal, Eco, and Sport modes.

Standard features on the LX include 15-inch steel wheels, heated power-adjustable mirrors, upgraded cloth upholstery, full power accessories, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, air conditioning, Bluetooth hands-free technology, and a CD/MP3 player with 4 speakers and satellite radio. The brand-new S is expected to boast a standard sport-tuned suspension, 16-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, a rear spoiler, and a chrome exhaust tip.

The 2017 Forte EX adds new cornering headlights, chrome exterior accents, power-folding mirrors, Kia’s Flex-Steer selectable power-steering assistance feature, leather upholstery, and a rear-view camera. Options include a power sunroof, a ventilated driver’s seat, and HD Radio.

Safety-wise, look for the 2017 Forte stable to boast standard 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, and front and rear head curtain airbags. The S and EX trims add new LED running lights and UVO 3 emergency alerts and communications, including a Ford MyKey-like parental programming feature for reining in spirited teen drivers. Higher trims will also sport turn-signal-integrated mirrors and front fog/driving lights. Complementing the current Forte’s standard safety equipment are a number of new safety upgrades like automatic emergency braking, frontal collision warning, blind-spot alert, lane-keeping assist, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Look for the 2017 Forte to arrive in dealer showrooms late summer 2016, challenging the likes of the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Volkswagen Golf and Jetta, and Mazda MAZDA3.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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