The 2017 model year marks a mid-generational refresh of the Kia Forte sedan and Forte5 hatchback, which means it’s getting a new look and a few extra upgrades you don’t normally see outside of a full redesign. Here’s what you can expect to see from the 2017 Forte that wasn’t there before:
A New Look
The front and rear fascias have gone through a visual update that emphasizes sophistication and the quality engineering that’s taken place beneath the hood. Kia’s Tiger Nose grille is still there, but it now smoothly transitions into the headlights instead of touching them at the corners. The lower grille has swapped out the hexagonal pattern for simple, straight lines, and two new air intakes have pushed the fog lights closer towards the center. Meanwhile, the taillights now have the option of using LEDs.
The S Trim
In previous years, the Kia Forte only came with two trims: the budget LX, and the relatively expensive EX. The S trim sits between these two, with additional standard features like cruise control and automatic headlights but without EX features like a push-button start or dual-zone automatic temperature control. In addition, the S also comes with several exclusive, sporty additions like a sport-tuned suspension, special black cloth seats, a rear spoiler, and optional alloy pedals.
A New Engine
Kia has swapped out the old 1.8-liter workhorse for a larger 2.0-liter engine which gets 2 more horsepower and 2 more pound-feet of torque, both at lower rpms. The EX retuned engine actually gets less of both than the old model, but that’s because the new engine has been designed specifically for city driving. As a result, the EPA-estimated city miles per gallon go from 26 to 29 on the LX and S trims and from 24 to 25 on the EX.
The new S trim has plenty of available packages that can bring it close to the comfort of the EX trim, but even beyond that there are many optional features that have become standard so that new optional features can take their place. For instance, both the LX and S trims come with a higher quality cloth seating surfaces, and leather seats are now standard on the EX. The S and EX trims will also come standard with a seven-inch touchscreen that’s compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
As for the new optional features, they include items like Dynamic Bending Light, which shifts the headlights left or right with the wheels so drivers can see what’s on the road ahead of them. Both the S and EX also come with optional safety equipment like a blind spot detection system, a rear cross-traffic alert, a lane departure warning, and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection.
The new 2017 Kia Forte and Forte5 may not come with the dramatic changes of a full generational upgrade, but there are plenty of reasons why this year is better than most to consider upgrading to the newest model. From the exterior to the engine, everything is looking a little better than it was before.
Image via Kia.com