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Overview (Final Score: A)
Theis an often overlooked compact car that revels in its own value-oriented pricing and unexpectedly good delivery. It’s a car with a short price tag and a lot of almost-upscale fittings.
The 2017 Kia Forte received some updated front-end styling, a few added options and a new S trim level for the sedan model with a sportier aim. A new base engine replaces the underpowered and outdated four-cylinder with a slightly larger one that also brings surprising fuel economy. Infotainment is upgraded and new advanced safety features are added as options for upper trims.
We’re fans of the Forte, one of the few compact cars available today that offers both comfort and a low price tag. It’s never been a best-seller in the segment, but it stacks up very well against those that are. And with Kia’s standard warranty being far beyond what others offer, that’s nothing to be snide about. Sadly, the fun little two-door Forte Koup model has been dropped. But with all of the other improvements this car sees for 2017, that’s a small price to pay.
What We Love About the 2017 Kia Forte:
- Strong value offering that isn’t chintzy
- Excellent new base engine in the 2.0L
- Nice upscale-ish interior and compact ergonomics
What We Don’t Love About the 2017 Kia Forte:
- Fuel economy is barely par for the segment
- Dual-clutch transmission only offered in one trim
- Needs more cowbell
Pricing and Value (10/10)
The 2017 Kia Forte offers one of the best value options in the compact segment. Sales for the Forte are on the uptick, but still lag behind segment leaders. Kia dealers are often offering these cars, especially sedan models, at discount from their expected sticker price despite the 2017 Forte having one of the lowest price tags in its segment.
Although the base price for the 2017 Forte is low, most buyers will be in the mid-level instead at around $19,000 with options. At that level, the Forte still offers a bargain compared to most rivals. Add in the car’s excellent warranty and high level of reliability and it’s difficult to ignore the Forte.
Total Score and Competitive Comparison (75/80, 94%)
We recommend cross-shopping the 2017 Kia Forte with some rivals not only as a means of finding the best vehicle for your needs, but also as a way to bolster the value proposition that Kia is offering with this little compact.
Chief competition comes from the, which is sportier and has more options for hatchback models, but whose price tag may be significantly higher than the Forte’s. Similarly, the best-selling offers a smart comparison, but will be more expensive to buy. The also top-selling is another excellent choice and it saw significant upgrades last year.
While rivals may offer a sportier experience or a more refined appeal, the 2017 Kia Forte is a highly compelling option for the entry-level compact market. It’s a versatile, well-designed all-around sedan with a unique look and intelligent interior that rivals most of its competition. There is a sporty option for those looking for that and a well-done base option for the rest, and the price of delivery is excellent for the value offered. We think the Kia Forte deserves more attention than it receives in today’s market.
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