The new and refreshed version of the bestselling Kia Forte sedan will finally be rolling out to dealerships this fall. Before that, however, journalists and enthusiasts were given a peek at the new sedan during the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Not only was the 2017 model-year edition of the Forte upgraded with a new powertrain, there have also been subtle updates to the car’s aesthetics and visuals that, while minimal, will be stuff the Forte’s fans will surely love. First, let’s take a look at the new Forte’s upgraded powertrain.
The new 2.0-liter Atkinson inline 4-cylinder engine replaces the old 1.8-liter inline 4-cylinder engine found in the 2016 Forte. When buying the Forte, one can choose between a six-speed manual transmission, or a six-speed automatic. The EX trim version of the Forte, however, is equipped with a 2.0-liter GDI powertrain.
This one is mated, as standard, to a six-speed automatic gearbox. These new engines have been engineered with fuel economy and optimal power in mind, so you have a lot to look forward to performance-wise.
Visually, the 2017 Forte now bears a facial resemblance to its cousin, the 2016 Optima. The redesigned headlights that became standard with the Optima now finds its way to the forte. Kia engineers and designers also came up with a new appearance to the sedan’s front bumper.
The headlights also link up with a redesigned “tiger nose” grille as well. The taillights also received a redesign, and can be attached with LEDs if customers so choose.
As for the exterior designs, customers can either make their Forte aggressive-looking, or sophisticated like a gentleman. Now available in three trims, a new sporty S trim sits in between the entry-level LX trim and the top-trim EX model. The new S trim amps up the Forte's dynamic demeanor by adding a sport-tuned suspension, 16-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, rear spoiler, and a chrome exhaust tip.
For 2017, the EX trim remains at the top of the range, and with that, comes standard with premium exterior features such as LED taillights, Smart Key with perimeter approach lighting and front door pocket lighting, and new 17-inch alloy wheels. Like its bigger Optima sibling, the Forte is available with Dynamic Bending Light technology, which uses steering wheel inputs to angle the light around corners and bends.
The Forte that was unveiled in the North America International Auto Show was set to come in three trims. One of this is the S trim, whose interiors are defined by its black upholstery. To further accentuate the black cloth, the stitching used in the upholstery uses a contrasting white color. The S-trim steering wheel and shift knob are wrapped in high quality leather.
EX Trim, aside from its exclusive engine, is defined by seat heating technology and leather upholstery, as well as a host of comfort-oriented technology like seat memory setting for the driver’s seat, automatic temperature adjustments, rear vents and push button startup. UVO3 telematics coupled with a 7-inch full color touchscreen are the centerpiece of the infotainment systems of both EX and S trims.
The system is also capable of smartphone integration and can support technologies like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for connectivity and data access for music and interactive navigation. Standard features on all trims include the capability of customizing their driving experience through the Drive Mode Select functionality.
There are three modes available, namely, Normal, Eco and Sport. The convenience and safety features that are well loved by Kia fans make their comeback in the 2017 Forte.
These include Autonomous Emergency Braking, Front Collision Warning, Lane Change Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist, and Rear-Cross Traffic Alert. The 2017 Kia Forte will also be the debut production model of the new Monterrey facility in Mexico. The Forte will start manufacturing processes at the facility within the first six months of 2016.