2017 Kia Forte5 SX Review

Sunday October 22nd, 2017 at 2:1010 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

2017 Kia Forte5 SX

Hypes: The Korean Version of the VW GTI
Gripes: Suspension Could Stand Slight Stiffening

The Kia Forte we drove had 4 cylinders, 5 doors and 6 speeds. All those elements combined to make it number 1 – the best compact sport sedan we have driven so far in 2017. From the outside, the Forte5 is a stunning looker, thanks to the rake produced by a low nose and high tail. Finely chiseled upper and lower belt lines accentuate the illusion of forward motion. A bold red stripe across the face of the piano black grill confers a sportiness reinforced by red bolstered deep bucket seats. This Kia impresses you up front with its alluring design, and the promise of high performance. In practice, the Forte5 does not disappoint.

2017 Kia Forte5 SX

Under the hood lies a turbocharged , direct gas injection, 4 cylinder engine displacing just 1.6 liters. This sideways mounted motor returns exceptionally good mileage, with an overall EPA rating of 25MPG. More important for enthusiast drivers, the little stormer really puts out the power, with 201hp enough to chirp the driven front wheels all the way through first gear. The acceleration doesn’t let up as you snick the 6-speed manual through its precisely designated slots. Kia has wisely chosen closely spaced gear ratios, with rpm drops of 500 or less as you upshift through the range. As a result, the Forte5 competently completes any passing maneuver you care to attempt, and proves especially strong at merging with freeway traffic.

2017 Kia Forte5 SX

The Forte5 is a Korean designed car. However, it is built in Pesqueria, NL, Mexico. Of the major components used in its construction, only the gearbox actually comes from Korea. Build quality is excellent, with interior seams that match perfectly, doors that shut cleanly with a resounding thunk, and high class materials used throughout. In fact, it should come as no surprise that the Forte model line, along with other Kia vehicles, has won the J.D. Power award for “Best Initial Quality” 2 years in a row. In addition to such celebrated delivery chops, this Kia also carries a 5 year/60,000 mile Limited Basic Warranty, a similar Roadside Assistance package, and 10 Year/100,00 mile Limited Powertra1n Warranty.

2017 Kia Forte5 SX

In addition to this long term practicality, the Forte5 also offers plenty of useful travel configurations thanks to that fifth door tailgate/hatchback. You can drop the rear seats flat for 15 cubic feet of interior storage, or with the seats elevated, carry 4 adults with their belongings hidden inside the fully covered trunk space. The Forte5 is really a best- of-both-worlds design solution, with a tailgate which does not suffer from the fishbowl display shortcomings of a true hatchback.

2017 Kia Forte5 SX

This turbocharged, manual transmission Kia is an absolute blast to drive. Start at the contact patch, provided by 225/40R18 Nexen CP671 rubber mounted on cleanly styled 18 inch alloy rims. Kia has selected a “Sport-Tuned Suspension” for the Forte5 that maintains a careful balance between comfort and adhesion. The bias here is on the soft side, which results in some slight pitch and wallow over major bumps taken at speed. But overall, the net effect is positive, and you can be thankful that this Kia will not beat you up every day with an unduly harsh ride.

2017 Kia Forte5 SX

If you do select the manual transmission we enjoyed, you will also appreciate the fact that it offers hill-start control. This feature prevents the Forte from sliding backwards as you endeavor to find the clutch engagement point. Even though our test car had logged nearly 5,000 miles, clutch engagement was always crisp and predictable. The gear synchronizers likewise operated with seamless engagement, and it was never a challenge to find the right slot for the right gear. A lift-up ring below the shift knob needs to be raised to engage reverse gear, an easy operation that prevents mistaken selection of reverse.

2017 Kia Forte5 SX

Steering is pleasurable thanks to the deftly contoured, flat bottomed, racing type steering wheel. While its spokes are festooned with the usual array of Bluetooth/Audio/Cruise controls, the wheel itself feels just right when you are carving apexes with those sticky Nexen tires. Steering feedback is exceptional, and the Forte responds to every twitch with an equivalent change in direction. This is way more response than you would expect from a 5 door family sedan costing just $27,020 all in.

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  • Engine: 1.6 liter inline 4 turbocharged with gas direct injection
  • Horsepower: 201hp
  • Torque: 195lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 23MPG City/29 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $27,020
  • Star Rating: 10 out of 10 Stars

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First Impressions: 2010 Kia Forte Koup

Thursday April 22nd, 2010 at 11:44 AM
Posted by: AKramer

2010 Kia Forte Koup

By Alex Kramer


  • Gutsy 173 hp engine
  • Appropriately agile in the turns
  • Nicely finished interior for the money
  • Excellent value overall


  • Manual tranny needs refinement
  • Suspension could be a bit firmer
  • Styling is somewhat bland

Ahhh, to be young again. Footloose and fancy free, and looking for that perfect set of wheels with which to cruise into summer. But what to buy? A nice little pocket rocket should fit the bill, and luckily there are quite a few sporty compact cars available. Unfortunately, a quick look at favorites like the GTI or Civic SI and you’re in for some sticker shock, with prices starting well over the $20k mark.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Kia |Tags:, , || 1 Comment »

2010 Kia Forte Review – The Forte shows off its strengths

Thursday December 10th, 2009 at 6:1212 PM
Posted by: berrichondanny

2010 Kia Forte

By Danny Chang


  • Stylish design inside and out for a compact
  • Rich features
  • Great steering feel
  • Good MPG


  • Underwhelming acceleration
  • Rear headroom a little tight

Kia has made great strides over the past few years on the design of their cars. While they have always looked better than their Hyundai cousins, the styling still left something to be desired, just look at the Amanti. Then came the Kia Sorento, a design inspired by (or copied from) the first Lexus RX. The Rio subcompact was a good effort as well, and then they launched the distinctive Soul. While the Forte sedan is not as dramatic as the Soul, it is very easy on the eye and is arguably one of the best looking compact cars on the market today.

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Four New Cars From The Foreign 4 Knocking at the Door

Monday February 23rd, 2009 at 2:22 PM
Posted by: m35man


Who would have dreamed a year ago that the big names at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show would be Acura, Hyundai, Kia, and Mazda? Who would have ever imagined that a U.S. auto show would be dominated by companies from Japan and Korea?

Everyone thought the Chicago Auto Show would be a great opportunity for the Big 3 to pull out the stops and put a positive spin on a bad situation. But, instead of a much-needed infusion of confidence, all the Big 3 got was an old-school whuppin’ at the hands of the Foreign 4.

While the Big 3 was busy taking private jets to Washington D.C., closing production facilities and laying off workers at an alarming rate, it seems that the Foreign 4 has been hard at work.

Sure, the Big 3 did unveil some great new cars. But, questions still remain. How quickly can they get these vehicles to market? Are they earmarking bailout money for these projects? (They must be.) But, while the Big 3 wonders, the Foreign 4 plunders, and that’s the name of that tune.

4 new cars from the Foreign 4: The 2010 Acura TSX V-6, the 2010 Hyundai Genesis coupe R-Spec, the 2010 Kia Forte, and the 2009 Mazda MX-5 were displayed at the Chicago Auto Show.

Read the article from Kirk Bell, contributing author to CarReview and Search Chicago, after the jump:

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Posted in Acura, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Press and News |Tags:, , , , , , , , || No Comments »

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