Last month Kia launched the 2017 Kia Forte Sedan and its sister Kia Forte5 Hatchback at the Detroit Auto Show. Now, a month later, the automaker is set to yet again showcase the new vehicles at the upcoming Chicago Auto show which runs from February 13th to 21st.
The Sedan has been upgraded with a tangible appeal that will make it more competitive against other competitors in the segment. The 2017 Kia Forte sedan will be the first model to be built on Kia’s new state-of-the-art plant in Monterrey, Mexico. The new model will be offered in three trim levels. A sporty S trim has been added to the lineup. It will sit between the entry level LX and the top EX trim.
2017 Kia Forte Exterior
The new sedan has a sleek looking exterior which is inspired by its sister the 2016 Kia Optima. Just like its hatch sister, the Forte sedan will feature a tiger nose grille which has been stretched to touch it headlight edges. The LED headlights flanking it in turn stretch to touch the front fenders.
The result of these modifications is a more fluid front appearance. The new appearance unites the Forte and Optima in terms of design language. At the back, the vehicle features redesigned taillights which feature LED lighting as optional for LX and S trims but LED is standard on the EX trim.
The new S trim features a sport-tuned suspension, LED DRLs, a rear spoiler and a chrome exhaust tip. The LX and S trims ride on 16-inch alloy wheels while the EX rides on 17-inch alloy wheels. The EX also adds perimeter approach lighting and front door pocket lighting.
2017 Kia Forte Interior
The LX and S trim levels will feature upgraded cloth upholstery on the seats. The S trim will feature exclusive black cloth with a white contrast stitching on the seats. The S trim’s shift knob and steering wheel will be wrapped in leather.
The top EX trim cabin is the most luxurious with leather seats, heated front seats with a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat which also features 2-position memory setting, push-button ignition with Smart key, a dual-zone climate control system and rear vents.
Both the S and EX trims will feature as standard a 7.0-inch color touch-screen UVO3 telematics infotainment system. The system integrates Smartphone functionality via Apple CarPlay TM and Android Auto. These platforms give the driver a more convenient access to music streaming, sending text messages and using the navigation system.
The vehicle also comes standard with a Driver Mode Select which allows the driver to change driving experience. The three driving modes are Normal Eco and Sport.
For safety, the Forte features a bolstered package of airbags, traction and stability control as well as a host of driving aids such as front collision warning, ABS, lane keep assist, lane change warning, blind spot detection and rear-cross traffic alert.
Under the hood, Kia has introduced a new engine to the sedan. The engine is a 2.0 L Atkinson’s cycle inline-4 that replaces the 1.8 L engine on the outgoing models. This will be the base engine on the LX and S trims. This engine will be paired with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic transmission system.
There are no details about its output as of this writing; however, we expect the new engine to have a better output. The EX trim will still feature the 2.0 L GDI, 4-cylinder engine which will be mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission system. We believe this engine will still produce 173 hp and 154 lb-ft of torque as in the outgoing model.
Acceleration, top speed and fuel economy specs are not yet out. Probably, the automaker will give updates on these specs during the Chicago Auto Show. Therefore make sure to check back for more updates on the new Kia Forte.
Price and release date
During the debut at Detroit, the automaker remained mum about the Forte’s official prices and release date. We understand that production starts in the first half of this year so expect sales to commence in the second half.
As for the price, we don’t expect it to change significantly from the current model prices. The current LX manual starts MSRP at $ 15,990 while the top EX trim has a $ 19,990 price tag.