Her + His Car Reviews

2018 Kia Forte 5 Door SX

There are two sides to everything, right? To keep our car reviews innovative and interesting, we provide an animated, insightful, detailed and sometimes uncouth two points of view on the same car from - Her + His perspectives.

Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate, women-drivers.com
His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com 

$28,420 as tested Prices for the 2018 version begin at about $18,090
The 2017 Kia Forte is a good sub-compact 5 door. The 2018 does not have any major improvements or upgrades. Nonetheless, drivers will be satisfied with the performance and acceleration. The 1.6-liter engine and 7 speed dual clutch transmission provides some get up and go. All 4 corners of the vehicle are supported with 18" alloy wheels. Handling and responsiveness adequate, though hearty sporty like some of the other competitors. For most, this is not a necessity. Pretty dazzling, to be honest. It corners pretty aggressively, takes off immediately when you prod the accelerator, and brakes and steering are both quite good. And would you believe a 201 horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine? Believe it. It works!
Fuel Economy
30 highway miles, 25 city miles and 27 overall. Overall fuel economy rating is 28 miles per gallon, 25 city and 34 highway. The Forte uses about 3.6 gallons of gas for every 100 miles it travels. Annual fuel cost is $1,450, it costs $2.46 to drive 25 miles, and you will save $500 in fuel costs over five years compared to the average new vehicle.
The Car
In an overly competitive field, Kia scores well with the Forte. With front wheel drive, the Kia Forte SX is a style-centric machine - more so on the interior, and has a lot of roominess as well as comfort. The easy 60/40 split rear folding rear seats provide another option for packing.

Inside, it's a nice, steady and quiet ride. The cabin and the dashboard are clean; we tip our hat to the design team for the use of high-quality materials. Little things like the sport leather cushiony seating & leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob. Here is the great thing about this vehicle, is the latitude in MSRP, from a mid-teens up to the price of our feature-laden model. It's a highly affordable, great value car offering lots of safety and the latest in technology. Pretty much, a Kia template. Heated and ventilated seats for year-round comfort - what a bonus on this model!

Kia also has an attractive and competitive warranty.
Man, Kia is just becoming the go-to car company for terrific, modestly priced, good looking cars that are as good as products competing one or two market segments above them. The same could certainly be said for the Kia Forte 5 door SX. It's cool looking and contemporary on the outside, but it is definitely the interior that sells it. I have seen cars costing way more that simply do not offer what the Forte offers at the price point it has.

The SX model is Kia Forte's performance model, and though it isn't blazingly fast, it certainly is sprightly enough to warrant the title.
Front wheel drive, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Xenon HID Headlights, Full montage of Airbags, Lower Anchors & Tethers for Children, Anti-Lock Braking System, Vehicle Stability Management, Hill-Start Assist Control, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, Brake Assist. Lane Change Assist. Standard safety features include dual front advanced airbags, dual front seat mounted side airbags, anti-lock braking system with 4/wheel disc brakes, vehicle stability management system, Electronic stability control, and brake assist system. Optional safety features include blind spot detection, lane change assist, autonomous emergency braking; rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning system, and lane keep assist system.
USB, Auxiliary Input Jacks, Power windows, etc., Bluetooth technology for hands-on driving, AM/FM/MP3, Sirius XM Radio with 3-month subscription, 7" Touchscreen, Navigation, Apple Car Play + Android Auto. Really superbly well done on this Forte, so easy to sync your smartphone to this.

Rear Camera, UVO eServices Infotainment System, 6-speaker stereo for amped up listening enjoyment, Push button start and keyless entry - so very sweet. Cruise Control, Dual-Zone Auto Climate Control for personalized comfort, Power Sunroof, Power Adjusted Drivers Seat. Supervision Meter Cluster with Color LCD.

From a lighting perspective, Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror and Dual Illuminating Visor Vanity Mirror inside. Outside LED Positioning Lights, Fog Lights and Auto on-Off Projection Headlights. Front Door Handle pocket lights, LED Tail Lights.
You can get your Kia Forte in hatchback form in LX, EX and SX versions.

Standard features on the LX include 15-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, air conditioning, full power accessories, a trip computer, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, USB connectivity and an auxiliary audio jack.

While you won't get the sporty stuff with the EX, but there are upgrades. it is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder generating 164 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque, a six-speed automatic, foglights, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED turn signal indicators on the mirror housings (and puddle lamps underneath), LED taillights, keyless entry and ignition, ambient interior lighting, leather upholstery, heated front seats and dual-zone automatic temperature control with rear vents. For 2018 the EX also receives some active safety features as standard equipment, including blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

For the SX, there's an optional Premium Plus package that adds a sunroof, a power-adjustable driver seat, adaptive xenon headlights, a navigation system, ventilated front seats and driver-seat memory settings. Forward collision alert and automatic emergency braking are also part of this package.
Aesthetics & Styling
The Forte has a classic, universal look on the outside. Clean lines, vast, and unencumbered. Not too much detail or chrome - which we like. The interior offers buyers much of the same, but with tremendous value and detail that the buyer doesn't miss a thing.

Roominess for passengers and cargo room to the tune of 23.2 cubic feet, a top winner in its class.
The Forte version we road tested, the hot-as-a-firecracker SX hatchback, comes with what sounds like a pretty small engine, the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that puts out 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Not bad at all! And it comes with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It comes standard with 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, dual exhaust tips, and sporty front and rear styling.
5 Year/60,000 Mile Roadside Assistance Warranty. 5 Year/60,000 Limited Basic Warranty. 10 Year/100,000 Mile Limited Powertrain Warranty. The basic warranty is five years/60,000 miles, with a 100,000 mile limited power terrain warranty.