For an economy car that is neither a hybrid nor an electric, Kia's Forte excels at fuel economy.
than the company's subcompact Rio but smaller than the mid-sized
Optima, the Forte sedan delivered 38.6 miles per gallon of fuel usage
during a recent test
week. Yes, most of the driving was on interstates or major state
highways with one person aboard, but 30 percent of the mileage was on
city and suburban roadways with two adults and a child aboard.
Environmental Protection Agency rates the front-wheel-drive, four-door
sedan's fuel usage at 40 mpg highway, 30 city and 34 combined. The
powerplant is a 2-liter,
147-horsepower, four-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable
fuel usage has lots to do with driver behavior, traffic, weather, road
conditions and vehicle maintenance. The air conditioning was not in use
heat was and these two factors figure into fuel economy.
2019 the Forte has multiple improvements over the 2018 model. The
redesign is new and sportier. The Forte is longer, wider and taller. The
transmission has been revised for more oomph. Besides an eight-inch
touchscreen this year, other equipment standard this year on all trim
levels of the Forte are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These two items
are critical for smart phone users. Tucked into
an option package is a wireless phone charger.
roughly start at $18,000 for a 2019 Forte, but the test sedan was an
upgrade $21,990 EX model with $3,210 worth of optional equipment. That
the wireless charger, included a Harman Kardon sound system (320 watt,
eight speakers with subwoofer), navigation system with eight-inch
touchscreen, power sunroof, 17-inch graphite-finish alloy wheels, rear
spoiler, auto-dimming rear view mirror, LED overhead
cabin lighting, LED headlights with automatic on/off high beam. The
wireless charger pad is in front of a center console's storage bin close
to the dashboard.
additions in the package are smart cruise control, parking distance
warning and forward-collision warning assist. This warning is effective
if a pedestrian
crosses, with a few feet to spare, in front of a vehicle traveling at
less than 20 miles per hour.
it is an EX model, the CVT is standard (base model is a six-speed
manual) cabin trim is leather and the driver's seat is power. Standard
power features are
windows (express up/down for driver), door locks and heated exterior
mirrors with turn signal indicators. Those mirrors do not fold by power.
There is no memory function for the driver's seat and exterior mirror
but front seats are heated and ventilated for
air conditioning purposes. The dual-zone automatic climate control
system includes rear seats.
keyless entry with trunk opener, smart dashboard, pushbutton start,
courtesy lights, illuminated glove box, dual map lights, Bluetooth, two
USB port and auxiliary input jack are standard, intermittent wipers,
folding rear center armrest with cup holders, front center console with
Forte models, least to most expensive. are FE, LXS, S, EX.
lights in front are standard on the EX. Taillights are LEDs and so are
the daytime running lamps in front. For a small economy car, the ride
smooth. It hid most bumps in the road and cornered well. As expected,
leg room is ample in front but getting into the car, if a six-foot,
200-pounder, can be cumbersome.
safety fare is extensive and includes forward collision and lane
departure warnings, rear cross-traffic collision warning, traction and
antilock brakes, seatbelts and headrests for five occupants, tire
pressure monitoring system and hill-start assist.
Kia publicists like to call its 10-year or 100,000-mile warranty powertrain coverage the best in the auto industry.
Vehicle: EX model of Kia Forte
Type: four-door, five-passenger, front-wheel-drive compact sedan
Engine: 2-liter, 147-horsepower four-cylinder
Transmission: continuously variable
Fuel tank: 14 gallons
Weight: 2,903 pounds
Wheelbase, length, width, height, ground clearance in inches: 106.3, 182.7, 70.9, 56.5, 5.3
Leg room: 42.2 inches front, 35.7 inches rear
Trunk: 15.3 cubic feet
Wheels, tires: 17-inch
Brakes: discs, 11-inch front, 10.3-inch rear
Suspension: struts front, torsion beam, coil springs, twin-tube shock absorbers rear
Turning, curb-to-curb: 34.8 feet
Warranty: five years or 60,000 miles with roadside assistance, 10 years or 100,000 miles powertrain