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Everyman Driver: 2017 Kia Forte Review

2017 Kia Forte Sedan on Everyman Driver with Dave Erickson

Following best-ever sales in 2015, the Forte family of compact cars is poised for even more success, as the refreshed 2017 Forte enters the new model year with several refinements. Along with fresh exterior styling, the 2017 Forte gains a new base engine that’s been engineered for improved fuel economy4 and performance, plus a host of advanced convenience and driver-assistance features.

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Visual enhancements to the 2017 Forte add even more sophistication to its European sport-sedan styling. Up front, the Forte dons a new front bumper and “tiger nose” grille that has been extended to connect with newly designed headlights, which are available with Xenon HID lights. This new take on the front fascia gives the Forte a more fluid appearance, and customers will have the choice of two designs, one highlighting the Forte’s sophisticated personality and one that’s more aggressive and sporty. Completing the exterior redesign are newly designed taillights, with optional LEDs.

2017 Kia Forte Sedan on Everyman Driver with Dave EricksonNow available in three trims, a new sporty S trim sits in between the entry-level LX trim and the top-trim EX model.  The new S trim amps up the Forte’s dynamic demeanor by adding a sport-tuned suspension, 16-inch alloy wheels, LED positioning lights, rear spoiler, and a chrome exhaust tip.  For 2017, the EX trim remains the top of the range, and with that, comes standard with premium exterior features such as LED taillights, Smart Key with perimeter approach lighting and front door pocket lighting, and new 17-inch alloy wheels.  Like its bigger Optima sibling, the Forte is available with Dynamic Bending Light technology, which uses steering wheel inputs to angle the light around corners and bends.

Inside, LX and S trims get upgraded cloth materials for the seats, with the S trim featuring exclusive black cloth seats with white contrasting stitching, as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.  The EX now comes standard with leather seats with heated front seats, dual-zone full automatic temperature control, rear vents, and a push-button start with Smart Key.

2017 Kia Forte Sedan on Everyman Driver with Dave Erickson

As for infotainment, both the S and EX trims come standard with UVO35 telematics, which is displayed on a 7-inch touch screen display and includes a suite of core smartphone functions via Android Auto and Apple CarPlayTM (late availability).  Both platforms elevate the Forte’s in-vehicle connectivity by allowing drivers to conveniently use the touchscreen for smartphone functions like sending text messages, streaming music, and looking up driving directions.

Depending on trim, the Forte also comes with Kia’s latest navigation system and Drive Mode System, which allows the driver to change the driving experience based on their preference: Normal, Eco, or Sport. Further solidifying the Forte’s value proposition is its long list of available advanced driver assistance systems, which includes Autonomous Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Detection, and Rear-Cross Traffic Alert3.

2017 Kia Forte Sedan on Everyman Driver with Dave EricksonReplacing last year’s 1.8-liter inline-4 cylinder engine is a standard 2.0-liter Atkinson I-4 that makes 147 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 132 lb-ft. of torque at 4,500 rpm. The new base engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission, though a second-generation six-speed automatic transmission is available. Delivering improved fuel economy and smoother shifting, the newly engineered six-speed automatic is also matched to the tried-and-true 2.0-liter GDI I-4, which produces 164 hp at 6,200 rpm and 151 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm.

The Forte sedan will be produced at Kia’s new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Monterrey, Mexico, making it the first vehicle to be built at the automaker’s second North American plant.

2017 Kia Forte Pricing
Destination Charge: $850.00
MODEL DESCRIPTION MSRP
Forte LX 2.0L I4 – 6 M/T $16,490.00
Forte LX 2.0L I4 – 6 A/T $17,500.00
Forte S 2.0L I4 – 6 A/T $19,200.00
Forte EX 2.0L I4 – 6 A/T $21,200.00
ENGINE
Type/layout 2.0L I-4, Multi-Point Injection (MPI) 2.0L I-4, Multi-Point Injection (MPI) 2.0L I-4, Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI)
Horsepower 147 hp @ 6,200 rpm 147 hp @ 6,200 rpm 164 hp @ 6,200 rpm (ULEV-II) / 160 hp @ 6,200 rpm (SULEV)
Torque 132 lb.-ft @ 4,500 rpm 132 lb.-ft @ 4,500 rpm 151 lb.-ft @ 4,000 rpm (ULEV-II) / 149 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm (SULEV)
Block Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum
Head Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum
Valve System DOHC D-CVVT 16V/V DOHC D-CVVT 16V/V DOHC D-CVVT 16V/V
Displacement (cc) 1,999 cc 1,999 cc 1,999 cc
Bore x stroke (mm) 81 x 97 81 x 97 81 x 97
Compression Ratio 12.5:1 12.5:1 11.5:1
Fuel System MPI (Multi Point Injection) MPI (Multi Point Injection) GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection)
Required Fuel Unleaded Unleaded Unleaded
Cooling System Water cooled circulation, centrifugal Water cooled circulation, centrifugal Water cooled circulation, centrifugal
Emission Control System Gasoline Unleaded Fuel LEV 3 SULEV30/ULEV70 :WCC+UCC (MPI) Gasoline Unleaded Fuel LEV 3 SULEV30/ULEV70 :WCC+UCC (MPI) Gasoline Unleaded Fuel LEV 3 SULEV30 : WCC+UCC (GDI) LEV2 ULEV-II : CCC (GDI)
Lubrication System Mechanical gear type oil pump full flow oil filter Mechanical gear type oil pump full flow oil filter Mechanical gear type oil pump full flow oil filter
Fuel tank capacity (gal.) 13.2 gallons 13.2 gallons 13.2 gallons
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
Battery (AH) 60AH 60AH 68AH
Alternator 90A (1st Gen MICOM) 150A (1.5 Gen MICOM) 90A (1st Gen MICOM) 150A (1.5 Gen MICOM) 90A
Starter 1.2 KW 1.2 KW 1.2 KW
DRIVETRAIN
Transmission Gear Ratios: 6-speed manual transmission
First 3.308:1
Second 1.962:1
Third 1.257:1
Fourth 0.976:1
Fifth 0.778:1
Sixth 0.633:1
Reverse 3.583:1
Final gear ratio 4.333:1
Transmission Gear Ratios: 6-speed automatic transmission
First 4.400:1 4.400:1 4.400:1
Second 2.726:1 2.726:1 2.726:1
Third 1.834:1 1.834:1 1.834:1
Fourth 1.392:1 1.392:1 1.392:1
Fifth 1.000:1 1.000:1 1.000:1
Sixth 0.774:1 0.774:1 0.774:1
Reverse 3.440:1 3.440:1 3.440:1
Final gear ratio 3.065:1 3.065:1 3.065:1
Layout/drive Front engine/FWD Front engine/FWD Front engine/FWD
EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS
Length (in.) 179.5 in. 179.5 in. 179.5 in.
Width (in.) 70.1 in. 70.1 in. 70.1 in.
Height (in.) 56.3 in. 56.3 in. 56.3 in.
Wheelbase (in.) 106.3 in. 106.3 in. 106.3 in.
Track, front/rear (in.) 61.5 in. / 62.0 in. 61.2 in. / 61.7 in. 61.3 in. / 61.8 in.
Overhang, front/rear (in.) 34.6 in. / 38.6 in. 34.6 in. / 38.6 in. 34.6 in. / 38.6 in.
Min. ground clearance (in.) 5.3 in. 5.3 in. 5.3 in.
Approach Angle (degree) 15.0 15.0 15.0
Departure Angle (degree) 19.9 19.9 19.9
INTERIOR DIMENSIONS
Seating capacity 5 passenger 5 passenger 5 passenger
Length (in.) 76.0 in. 76.0 in. 76.0 in.
Width (in.) 59.4 in. 59.4 in. 59.4 in.
Height (in.) 47.2 in. 47.2 in. 47.2 in.
Head room
Front (in.) 39.1 in. 39.1 in. 39.1 in.
Rear (in.) 37.3 in. 37.3 in. 37.3 in.
Leg room
Front (in.) 42.2 in. 42.2 in. 42.2 in.
Rear (in.) 35.9 in. 35.9 in. 35.9 in.
Shoulder room
Front (in.) 56.1 in. 56.1 in. 56.1 in.
Rear (in.) 54.9 in. 54.9 in. 54.9 in.
Hip room
Front (in.) 53.8 in. 53.8 in. 53.8 in.
Rear (in.) 53.1 in. 53.1 in. 53.1 in.
Luggage capacity (SAE, cu.ft) 96.2 cu. ft. 96.2 cu. ft. (without sunroof) / 95.0 cu. ft. (with sunroof) 96.2 cu. ft.(without sunroof) / 95.0 cu. ft.(with sunroof)
Cargo capacity (cu. ft.) 14.9 cu. ft. 14.9 cu. ft. 14.9 cu. ft.
CHASSIS/SUSPENSION
Front McPherson Strut McPherson Strut McPherson Strut
Rear Coupled Torsion Beam Axle (CTBA) Coupled Torsion Beam Axle (CTBA) Coupled Torsion Beam Axle (CTBA)
Shock Absorber Type Monotube (Mando) Monotube (Mando) Monotube (Mando)
Construction Unibody Unibody Unibody
STEERING
Type / Power source Rack and Pinion / Electric motor Rack and Pinion / Electric motor Rack and Pinion / Electric motor
Steering ratio 15.7:1 15.7:1 15.7:1
Turns, lock-to-lock 2.96 2.96 2.96
Turning circle, curb-to-curb (ft.) 34.8 ft. 34.8 ft. 34.8 ft.
BRAKES
Type front/rear Vented disc / solid disc Vented disc / solid disc Vented disc / solid disc
Size (in.) front/rear 11.0 in. / 10.3 in. 11.0 in. / 10.3 in. 11.0 in. / 10.3 in.
WHEELS/TIRES
Wheel size (in.) 6.0J×15 6.5J×16 7.0J×17
Tire size P195/65R15 P205/55R16 P215/45R17
Spare Tire Tire Mending Kit (TMK) Tire Mending Kit (TMK) Tire Mending Kit (TMK)
CURB WEIGHT
Manual transmission (min/max) 2,811 lb./ 2,928 lb.
Automatic transmission (min/max) 2,855 lb./ 2,976 lb. 2,855 lb./ 2,976 lb. 2,908 lb/ 3,029 lb.
GVWR
Manual transmission (lbs.) 3,836
Automatic transmission (lbs.) 3,880 3,880 3,902
ESTIMATED FUEL ECONOMY
Manual transmission, city/highway/combined (mpg) 25/ 34/ 28
Automatic transmission, city/highway/combined (mpg) 29/ 38/ 32 29/ 38/ 32 25/ 33/ 28

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