Review: Kia Forte 5 1.6 T-GDi 201 hp SX AT

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Kia has made some outstanding affordable cars with great design and technology, some of those are already very popular choices for new customers like the Optima, the Soul and of course the Kia Forte, which is one of the most popular cars for car enthusiast.

Kia made sure you can get the Forte in the form you desire, manufacturing them in sedan, coupe and hatchback, and all depending on your daily needs. In this opportunity we are taking the Forte Hatchback (5 door) for a test drive, let’s see how it performs in a daily situation and compare to the older brother.

When it comes to design, the new Forte took a complete redesign compare to the previous generation, from a sporty look with straight lines on the body to a more bold with rounded edges around the body. This is something a lot of previous owners were not happy when it was first launched back in 2014, since it took away the design that many car enthusiast loved about it.

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Even though the car is not as sporty looking as the previous model, it still has a great design inside and out, and some great features that the previous didn’t had. At the front we have the Xenon HID Projector Headlights with LED positioning lights which it gives an aggressive look to the front, including the front fog lights.

Also a new design are coming to the alloy wheels, these are made in 18″ and I’m sure a lot of car enthusiast might stick with those and be creative to personalize them.

Next is Kia’s signature grill, the tiger nose, but in a very slim version(just like the Koup version) giving more room for the lower grill to cool the intercooler. Compare to previous generation, the front of the Forte 5 was the same as the sedan version but for some car enthusiast the front wasn’t aggresive enough and many decided to retrofit the Koup bumper onto the hatchback and with little work it fit. For this new generations, it seems Kia notice what car enthusiast did and they decided to bring the Koup front to the hatchback, which I think it was the best decision, giving a more sporty look for the hatchback.

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The inside of the Forte Hatchback is very comfortable and everything is at reach. The seats, steering wheel, arm rest and middle compartment are covered all in black leather and carbon fiber accents. The arm rest from the door and console are padded and they are soft so it won’t leave your elbow hurting in long trips.

For the steering we have s big one but with enough buttons to control radio, cruise, the cluster and steering mode. Also as its becoming more popular with all Kia models, the steering wheel is heated. At the steering we have the FlexSteer system with 3 different choices, Normal, Comfort and Sport.

I definitely like the feel of Sport specially for that slow traffic to go through or when hugging some tight roads but daily drive I would probably keep it as Normal since for Sport, it tends to somehow stay in the center and little return to the center after turning the steering wheel.

The seats, as said before, are very comfortable, power adjustable and a big plus for having heated and cooling seat, which is a must for hot weather like in Texas. Unfortunately this is only available for the driver but for the front and rear passengers they can only enjoy some heated seats for those cold weathers.

The center console for this model is very nicely done, between touch screen and for the entertainment system a d buttons for the a/c climate control, everything is very easy to control. A lot of carbon fiber vynil have been integrated but I really wish they didn’t because it doesn’t look real but I’m sure some will enjoy it. This model has 7″ screen navigation system with UVO eservices with all the features that are now standard, unfortunately no android auto or apple auto for this model. The cluster has a 4.2 color LCD between the gauges for more details and information. Additional equipment to this Forte 5 are the auto-dimming mirror with homelink, folding side mirrors, push start button and sunroof.

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A lot of car enthusiast were hoping for the Optima 2.0T be added for the new Forte but instead Kia decided for the 1.6L Gamma Turbo GDI engine. I feel this is the best engine for the Forte line up, is not too heavy plus it has good gas milage. At first I thought the engine might be small for the car but it actually fits perfect with good acceleration and braking, and the best part of all, it’s the same engine found at many other models, including Hyundai, so if you decide to modify your ecu, tuners won’t have a hard time tunning this car and will also bring more interest in tuners now that it has a turbo in it. This engine is pushing 201 horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 195 lb-ft torque @ 1750 rpm riding very smoothly on the 6 speed Auto transmission with sportmatic & Paddle Shifter. This Forte 5 is not very heavy with a weight of 3122 pounds and thanks to the sport-tuned suspension the car doesn’t feel too stiff but good enough for some tight roads. The MPG for the Forte SX is decent, giving 21 mpg in city, 29 MPG in highway and 24 mpg combined.

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Even though im a car enthusiast, im also a father and the Kia Forte 5 matches my all daily needs, including my baby. It has lots of space for passengers with my baby’s car seat plus the extra vent on the middle helps a lot for passengers and the baby. At the hackback room we could easily fit the stroller and even gave us extra room to fit grocery bags, shopping bags or even the baby’s bag.

The price for this Forte 5 sx as tested is 26,210.00 plus 825 for freight and handling, for that low price including all the features found on this Forte is certainly a good competitor for the likes of VW Golf GTI and Mazda 3.

The Forte 5 was a fun car to drive when taking my baby to the park, shopping and the baby store but it was even more fun when I was by myself on open roads feeling the real speed of this car.

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  • Kialover

    Im a fan of decent tiger nose grills but the grille beneath is too much big. A fifty-fifty solution in terms of size would have been definitely better. KIA please do not bring such grill design to europe. The car wouldnt sell good. The rest of the design is really good.