In this review, we're a look at the recently refreshed Kia Forte for 2017. Kia decided to give this vehicle a new nose, a slight tweak out back and a new engine under the hood. Because it has recently received this refresh, we expect the 2018 Kia Forte model to be mostly the same vehicle. That's why this review is going to cover the 2017 and 2018 model years. We're also going to be covering the sedan and the hatchback.
2018 Kia Forte Changes
I'm happy I was able to get my hands on the 2018 Kia Forte this week. Because this vehicle I think is the perfect example of two things, how far Kia has come in such a short time the last ten years or so in seriously improving their products. And it's also a perfect example of why it seems like every review out there gives a brand new car an excellent review. Apparently, when a manufacturer designs a brand new vehicle, they don't want to create a car that's merely class average. They want to beat the competition in most areas, and that was what was going on back in 2014 with the Forte.
When this model was brand new back, then the Kia Forte compared very well with the Honda Civic. But this primary vehicle is now older, especially than the Honda Civic. And that is obviously going to affect the way that this car stacks up to the competition the main changes for 2017. Include a new front end look now looks a little bit more like the Kia Optima sedan.
2018 Kia Forte has the new headlamp modules with an LED accent strip inside our model has fog lamps below. And then, Because of our in the turbocharged model, we have a red stripe down on the lower grille the front end is mostly the same.
The new 2018 Kia Forte also get a new engine under the hood in the sedan. And we get some new active safety technologies available. The 2018 Kia Forte is available as a compact sedan or a small hatchback. So this is the direct competitor like the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic and the Mazda3.
In hatchback what we're looking at right here this is 171.3 inches long making this about the same size overall Corolla. We see with most compact sedan and hatchback pairs the sedan is a little bit longer. It's about 8-inches longer at 179.5 inches long making it about the same length as a Mazda 3 sedan. Other than that, at the sedan or the hatchback version of the Forte, this is a little bit shorter than some of the newer entries in this segment. It seems like cars keep growing with every generation.
So when Kia gets around to completely replacing the Forte expect this to get bigger as well regarding overall profile. You'll notice that the Forte5 which is what they call the hatchback has a slightly more classic hatchback profile, than the new Honda Civic hatchback. The new Honda Civic hatchback is more of a lift back it has a very horizontal rear window. So that makes that vehicle overall a little bit longer and a little bit less practical when it comes to overall space efficiency. But we do find a little bit more cargo room in the back of the Civic hatchback then we find in the Forte5.
If you are torn between getting the sedan or the hatchback, you should know that we get not only 70% more cargo area in the back of the 2018 Kia Forte5. But we also understand 2 inches more of your headroom than we find in the Forte sedan, even though is 8 inches shorter. And that is logically why hatchbacks tend to be very popular outside the United States. But inside the US people seem to prefer the sedan.
Outback, we find LED tail lamps with an accent strip that circles around from the body and then back to the body. In the turbocharged model, we have a T-GDI badge and twin exhaust at the bottom of the bumper.
2018 Kia Forte Engine
Between the sedan and the hatchback, you find three different engines in the LX and S trim of the sedan. We see the all-new base engine I mentioned earlier it's a 2-liter four-cylinder engine producing 147 horsepower, which mated to either a 6-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual.
Most 2018 Kia Forte5 you'll find on dealer lots. Whether that's an EX or an LX sedan or an EX hatchback will have a 2-liter direct injection four-cylinder engine. That produces a little bit more power than the base engine at 164.
We're a look at the SX hatchback which has the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine producing 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. This is mostly the same engine that we find under the hood of the turbocharged Kia Soul.instead of a 6-speed automatic transmission this engine gets a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, again also shared with the Kia Soul or a 6-speed manual.
2018 Kia Forte MPG
For the manual transmission version, the fuel economy will range between 25 miles per gallon and 32 miles per gallon for the most efficient model. You'll notice that 32 miles per gallon are an improvement over the 2016 Forte, but it is still a little bit lower than some of the competition especially those with continuously variable transmissions.
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