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.
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.
Now 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. 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.
Replacing 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.
* The Sorento and Optima GDI (EX, SX & Limited and certain LX Trims only) are assembled in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts
1 Android™ is a trademark of Google, Inc.
2 Late Availability. Apple® is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.
3 These features are not substitutes for safe driving, and may not detect all objects surrounding vehicle. Always drive safely and use caution.
4 Actual mileage will vary with options, driving conditions, driving habits and your vehicle’s condition. EPA-est. MPG by trim: LX M/T 25 city/34 h.way/28 comb., LX and S A/T 29/city/38 h.way/32 comb., SX A/T 25 city/33 h.way/28 comb.
5 Distracted driving can result in a loss of vehicle control. Never use a handheld device or vehicle system that takes your focus away from safe vehicle operation. Navigation is for information purposes only, and Kia does not make any warranties about the accuracy of the information.
** K900 available in select trims and in select markets with limited availability.
*** Soul EV in select markets with limited availability.
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