Pros: The 2016 Kia Forte is a stylish compact car with good reliability, a selection of three engines, and more interior room than most competitors. You can even have it with two, four or five doors.
Cons: Some will complain about a lack of front-seat support. What’s more, the Forte is not as advanced on the safety front as newer rivals.
Price and Fuel Economy: Once again this year, three body styles are available. The Forte sedan (LX, EX, SX) starts at $15,995, while the 2-door Forte Koup (EX, SX) retails from $21,295. Somewhere in the middle is the Forte5 hatchback (LX+, EX, SX), which costs a minimum of $19,495. Beware of the optional automatic transmission as it can add a premium of up to $2,800.
As for fuel consumption, expect to achieve 6.1-6.9L/100km on the highway and 8.9-9.7L/100km in the city with the sedan, depending on the trim level and transmission you pick. The Forte Koup and Forte5 are slightly less efficient.
Improvements and Changes: No significant changes for 2016. The next generation is due for the 2017 model year.
Powertrain: Three 4-cylinder engines appear on the Forte menu. The base 1.8L mill generates 145 horsepower, while the mid-level 2.0L unit with direct injection produces 173 horsepower. The undisputed king remains the 1.6L turbo (unavailable with the sedan), which cranks out 201 horsepower and nearly as many pounds-feet of torque.
Forte buyers also have the choice between a 6-speed manual transmission and a 6-speed automatic with ECO assist.
Cargo Capacity: Obviously, the amount of luggage or groceries you can load into the Forte depends on the model you choose. The sedan is good for 421 litres; the coupe, 378 litres; and the hatchback, 657 litres. The rear seatbacks fold down to increase cargo room.
Safety: The Kia Forte comes standard with six airbags, hill start assist, electronic stability and traction control, and 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS and brake assist. A rearview camera is available on select models.
Direct Competitors: Ford Focus, Mazda3, Dodge Dart, Volkswagen Golf, Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze, Hyundai Elantra, Mitsubishi Lancer, Nissan Sentra, Toyota Camry, Subaru Impreza.