Published: Mon, January 15, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Kia Forte Gets More Stylish, More Efficient

Kia Forte Gets More Stylish, More Efficient

When Kia previewed the all-new Forte with some very Stinger-ish renderings, I thought to myself, "There's no way Kia will actually make it look like this in production".

It gets new looks, too, bringing it visually closer - somewhat - to the Stinger GT, the brand's halo performance sedan; you'll see it most in the headlights and the semi-fastback roofline.

The Forte will continue to be offered in three trim levels - LX, S and EX - "with the model line continuing to expand throughout its life cycle", Kia says, hinting at additional body styles or powertrains.

It is slightly less muscular and sporty that the Stinger and has a more traditional saloon vehicle shape.

The last-generation Kia Forte sedan won a Big Test comparison test in 2013. Inside you'll find 15.1 cubic feet of cargo space.

The automaker recently launched a series of renderings that previewed the 2019 Forte, although while the new vehicle does slightly resemble the Stinger, it doesn't quite look as dynamic as it did in those images.

In the back, designers added an LED bar across the rear to give the taillights a wide, connected appearance.

Inside the auto a large touchscreen sits at the centre of the dashboard and soft-touch material has been used across the interior. The redesigned Forte gets an average of 35 miles per gallon in combined city-highway driving, up about 3 m.p.g. from the previous model.

The new Forte's Atkinson cycle 2.0-liter inline-four still kicks out 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque, unchanged from the outgoing model. Handling improvements include a 16 percent-more-rigid body structure, and a tweaked suspension and steering.

"Another welcome and surprising feature in this segment is an available 320-watt premium sound system developed with Harman Kardon that pumps out music through a unique speaker hole pattern on the door panels and throughout the cabin", reports Kia.

The car's 8-in. (20-cm) touchscreen is standard, as are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Kia says raising the Forte's fuel efficiency was a top priority, so it is introducing its "Smart Stream" powertrains in the auto, with a second generation of Hyundai/Kia's 2.0L Nu 4-cyl., mated to either a 6-speed manual or what Kia is calling an Intelligent Variable Transmission or IVT.

A backup camera is standard for the 2019 Forte; a package of driver assistance and safety is available at extra cost.

Advanced-driver-assist systems offered in the Forte include blindspot collision warning, lane-keep assist, forward-collision avoidance and adaptive cruise control.

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