2019 Kia Forte Review

2019 Kia Forte - Kia Forte transformed into sport sedan


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
but the
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
continuously variable
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
package, besides
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
12-volt outlets,
USB port and auxiliary input jack are standard, intermittent wipers,
folding rear center armrest with cup holders, front center console with
sliding armrest,

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
was relatively
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
stability controls,
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

Price: $21,990

Engine: 2-liter, 147-horsepower four-cylinder

Transmission: continuously variable

Fuel: regular

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

Assembly: Mexico





Jerry Kuyper

Born on a southwestern Minnesota farm, Jerrold E. Kuyper quickly became familiar with tractors, pickup trucks and related agricultural equipment. He left that behind to graduate from Augsburg College in Minneapolis and attend graduate schools in Evanston and Chicago. He was hired as a reporter for the Kenosha News, a daily newspaper in Kenosha, WI. After a stint of a dozen years at the Kenosha News, he became a columnist, layout, page and sections editor at the Northwest Herald, a daily newspaper based in Crystal Lake, IL serving northwest Chicago suburban communities.

While with the Northwest Herald he helped create, write reviews and opinion columns as well as edit the newspaper's Wheels section, a 16- to 40-page broadsheet that appeared weekly in the newspaper's Friday edition. Wheels was devoted to reviews of new vehicles, looks at automotive history, current trends in the automobile world and columns by automotive enthusiasts. Midwest Automotive Media Association members who contributed to reviews and columns included Mitch Frumkin, Phil Arendt, Matt Joseph and James Flammang as well as photo journalist Doug Begley and dragster specialist Fred Blumenthal.

Kuyper, who lives in Salem Lakes, WI, is a founding member of MAMA, is married, has three children and six grandchildren.