If you’re looking to add some excitement to your daily commute, the Kia Forte compact sedan or hatchback should definitely be on your short list. This fun, sporty car offers plenty of space for cargo and passengers, while delivering exceptional fuel efficiency with fun driving dynamics and a big value base price.
One of the great things about the Forte is the level of equipment you get for the base price of $16,800. Kia has always been a value, but driving conveniences and safety are impressive in the 2018 Forte and its various trim levels.
The 2018 Forte comes standard with Bluetooth connectivity for simple and convenient access to your personal music library and phone contacts to ensure hands-free calls are safe. With the standard USB port, your phone never needs to run low on charge and your full choice of music and entertainment is immense with standard satellite radio.
Plenty of additional options are available, including the UVO infotainment system which comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. I have found this interface system to be one of the easiest to use on the market.
In the sedan, there’s 39.1 inches of front headroom and 42.2 inches of front legroom. The back seat has 37.3 inches of headroom and 35.9 inches of legroom. The trunk of the sedan measures 14.9 ft.
The hatchback offers even more space, with 39.4 inches of front headroom and 42.2 inches of legroom in the front seats. The rear seats offer 38.7 inches of headroom and 35.9 inches of legroom.
Whether it is the sedan or hatchback, the Forte seats five on standard cloth upholstery. A 6-way manually adjustable driver’s seat is a standard feature and I found it to easily provide a comfortable driving position. For extra luxury, add features such as leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat, and a ventilated driver’s seat. I like the soft-touch materials and minimal use of faux surfaces as accents in the cabin.
3 POWER OPTIONS
The Forte sedan comes with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with 147 horsepower. If you want more power (and who doesn’t), jump up to the 2.0-L 4-cylinder with 164 hp. If you opt for the Forte5 hatchback, you’ll get the option of a turbo 1.6-L 4-cylinder providing an impressive 201 hp.
A 6-speed manual transmission is standard with all engines, or you can choose a 6-speed automatic, which I tested and enjoyed its crisp shifts throughout the range of gears. The base engine with the automatic transmission achieves an EPA-estimated fuel efficiency rating of 29 city/38 highway.
The 2018 Forte received a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars). The Forte5 hatchback received five stars for the side crash test and four stars for the rollover evaluation. Thanks to the available Autonomous Emergency Braking system found in the Technology or Premium packages, the Forte is a very safe vehicle to drive.
Priced to move product and create value for the lineup, the Forte is attractive at a range of $16,800-$21,700.