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First Look Tour: 2017 Kia Forte5 in Borrego Springs, California on Everyman Driver

2017 Kia Forte5 in Borrego Springs, California on Everyman Driver, Dave Erickson

Kia Motors America unveiled the 2017 Forte5 alongside its similarly refreshed sedan sibling at the 2016 North American International Auto Show. Along with visual enhancements to the front and rear, the new Forte5 also adds a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and newly available convenience and driver-assistance features previously introduced on the all-new Optima.

Pricing for the 2017 Forte5 will be announced closer to the vehicle’s on-sale date in the first half of 2016.

While the new Forte5 maintains its European-inspired hatchback design, it appears bolder than ever for 2017. Like the sedan, the Forte5’s front clip is highlighted by a wider version of the signature “tiger nose” grille, similar to the one found on the all-new 2016 Optima. The grille connects redesigned headlights that sweep back around the front fenders, giving the new Forte5 more road presence than the outgoing model. Around back, revised taillights complete the exterior redesign, and higher trim levels go one step further with standard LED daytime running lights and taillights.

Three trim levels remain – LX, EX, and SX – and each one brings something new to the table for 2017. The entry-level LX is handsomely equipped with features such as projector beam headlights and remote keyless entry with trunk opener and is now available with Blind Spot Detection3 with Lane Change Assist and Rear-Cross Traffic Alert, as these advanced driver-assistance systems are optional across the entire range. The EX sees the most changes as previous options – including LED taillights, leather seats, heated front seats, push-button start with Smart Key, and perimeter approach lighting with front-door pocket lighting – are now standard along with UVO eServices4. Kia’s UVO infotainment system offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlayTM (late availability) compatibility, and is displayed on a 7-inch color touchscreen4. Both platforms allow drivers to stay connected by replicating key smartphone apps and functionality on the touchscreen, enabling them to send text messages, access music, or look up driving directions while behind the wheel. The sporty SX trim comes with all that and more, including 18-inch alloy wheels, unique front and rear fascias with red accents, and dual exhaust tip finishers. Also new for the SX is an Orange Color Pack, which further signifies the SX’s sporty nature with orange leather seat inserts and contrasting stitching on the seats and shifter.

2017 Kia Forte5 in Borrego Springs, California on Everyman Driver, Dave EricksonUnderneath the hood, the 2017 Forte5 comes standard with a 2.0-liter GDI four-cylinder engine, which is paired with a six-speed manual transmission or an available second-generation six-speed automatic transmission. Maintaining the sport theme in the SX is a zippy 1.6-liter turbocharged GDI four-cylinder engine, which is now available with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Power ratings and fuel economy figures will be released closer to launch, while 2017 Koup details will be released at a later date.

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