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KBB Expert Rating 8.6 / 10
10/8.6
This Car - 2017 Kia Forte
How It Compares to Similar Cars
10/
Highest -
10/
Lowest -
10/
Average rating for similar cars
More Details
Consumer Rating 8.8 / 10
10/8.8

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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By Keith Buglewicz


The 2017 Kia Forte lineup gets a solid update this year to the 4-door sedan and 5-door Kia Forte5 hatchback. New styling makes the two look like miniaturized versions of the larger Optima sedan; this is a good thing. Under the hood, the base 1.8-liter engine has been replaced with a larger, but more fuel-efficient 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. And both the Forte sedan and Forte5 get upgrades to technology, including enhanced driver-assist systems, and a new infotainment system that incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Put it all together and you have a comprehensive compact-car lineup that goes head-to-head with the Honda Civic, Chevy Cruze, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda3 and many others with multiple body styles, good looks and surprising levels of refinement.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2017 Forte lineup offers you a choice of practical 4-door or Euro-styled 5-door hatchback, each replete with a generous warranty, lots of standard features and a decent price.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While we love the sedan and hatchback's new looks and tech, the reality is that the Forte still comes up short when it comes to the kind of agility and power that gets enthusiasts' blood pumping. Also, those base prices are low, but they rise quickly as you add options.

What's New for 2017

The 2017 Kia Forte sedan and Forte5 hatchback receive Optima-inspired styling this year. New driver-assist technology includes automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warning, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available. There's a new 2.0-liter base engine, a new S trim for the sedan, and a new 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission for the SX mode. The Kia Forte Koup is no more.

Driving It Driving Impressions

Let's just get this out of the way first: Despite the available 201-horsepower engine available in the Forte5, this subcompact doesn't have the sporty chops to back up its looks. Enthusiasts should check out the Mazda3, Honda Civic SI, or Volkswagen Jetta or GTI for their fix. However, for the other 99 percent of drivers who just want a comfortable, feature-filled and sporty-looking sedan, coupe or hatchback, the Forte lineup is a solid choice. Around town and on the highway, the Forte sedan and hatchback are all excellent choices. Multiple creature comforts coddle driver and passenger alike, and even the base engine feels plenty powerful; the turbo is just gravy. The sedan’s added driver-assist technologies like automatic braking and lane departure warning sweeten the deal on a solidly economical daily-driver choice.

Favorite Features

APPLE CARPLAY AND ANDROID AUTO
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay bring the functionality and interface of your smartphone to your car's infotainment system. Just plug your phone's USB cable into the car's port, and you're set, bringing your phone's navigation, music, texting and other compatible apps to your car's dash.

FORTE5 HATCHBACK
While the Kia Forte5 may not have the sporting chops of the Volkswagen GTI, we're just glad Kia has remained committed to this small but fanatical market niche.


For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More
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