The Kia Forte has always been well received thanks to the fact it was cheap, well trimmed and it features quite frugal engines. However, a few years back the hatchback was being introduced which was meant to be the sportier version of the sedan. Unfortunately it was not as successful as it deserved because its gearbox let it down and on top of that, the interior was simply not good enough for the price.
Well, good news because the all new 2017 Kia Forte Hatchback has been released a few weeks ago at the Detroit Auto Show and we are happy to report that Kia worked a lot on in so most of its flaws are now gone.
Refreshed Design – Interior & Exterior
Unfortunately though, unlike with the sedan which was pretty much redesigned from scratch, the 2017 Kia Forte Hatchback remained very similar to the ongoing model which is a bit of a shame. The front end has been updated with a wider “tiger nose” grille while its headlights have been redesigned so the car actually looks wider. On top of that, the back received new tail lights, a different bumper while the top of the range SX model received a small diffuser and a dual exhaust system which pairs quite nicely with the overall design.
The profile is identical to the one before it but the wheels are all new on all trim levels. We do hope that the car will receive some time in the near future an even hotter version that could make use of a more aggressive body-kit and livelier paint jobs.
Inside the cabin, the new Forte 5 is very similar to its sedan counterpart. However, this time around there are a lot more safety options offered as standard or as extras on the base model. These include blind spot detection with lane change assist and rear-cross traffic alert as well as tweaked air-bags. While the base model does come with the usual features in its class, the SX offers a lot more such as Kia’s Android and Apple-compatible infotainment system, push-button start, leather seats, heated front seats and even a perimeter alarm which is quite impressive for less than $24,000.
The Engine range & Performance
Engine wise, the 2017 Kia Forte Hatchback will only be available with two engines which happen to be identical to those found in the ongoing model. The base version of the car will make use of a 2 liter direct injected inline 4 petrol engine good for 173 horsepower and 154 lb-ft of torque. This particular model will get either a 6 speed manual, which is new for it, or a new generation 6 speed automatic.
The top end SX model on the other hand is going to receive a 1.6 liter turbocharged inline 4 petrol engine with direct injection which develops 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque which is quite impressive for its size.
This will ditch the previously available manual and 6 speed automatic in the favor of an all new 7 speed dual-clutch gearbox. Mostly thanks to its, fuel economy is expected to improve by around 5% while its 0 to 60 MPH time should drop by a small margin as well which is really good considering Kia did not change much about the car.
2017 Kia Forte Hatchback Price
This not only makes it a better car than before but it should also mean that when it will hit the market some time in the mid of 2016, the new Forte 5 will easily become one of the best cars in its class by a rather big margin. The price is still unknown at this point but it is safe to assume that the base model will start at roughly $18,000 while its top end version will only start at $23,000 which is quite fair for what it has to offer.
The biggest competitors are Nissan Versa Note and Ford Focus.