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What's New for 2017?
Although the manufacturer stopped short of a complete redesign, the 2017 Forte looks and drives a lot differently than last year's model. Its styling has been freshened up quite a bit, with the front end receiving available xenon headlights and new LED taillights now available on most trims. There's a new base engine, a 2.0-liter 4 cylinder, and it offers slightly improved fuel economy. The Forte5 SX hatchback now also has an available 7-speed, dual-clutch automated manual transmission. Finally, a new S sedan trim level has been added, and it includes sporty accenting and a firmer suspension.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2017 Kia Forte – The Pros
The latest Forte has a lot going for it. 10 reasons to buy the 2017 Kia Forte include:
1. Competitively Priced
Considering all of the bells and whistles that it includes, the 2017 Forte has a very affordable MSRP of just $16,490. Of course, this excludes additional bells and whistles, including the many great options packages that are available. Still, each trim level is competitively priced when stacked up against the competition.
2. Ample Space
From the outside, the Kia Forte doesn't look like it would be particularly roomy. However, the latest version of this Kia mainstay manages to be surprisingly spacious inside. The vehicle offers 97 cubic feet of passenger space, which is quite roomy, as well as an additional 14.9 cubic feet of trunk space on the sedan.
3. Lots of Standard Features
Those who wish to stick with the base model of the 2017 Kia Forte won't be disappointed, as it is loaded with plenty of much-appreciated standard features. The LX, or base trim, comes standard with full power accessories, Bluetooth, a 60/40-split rear folding seat, heated mirrors, a height-adjustable driver's seat and a four-speaker stereo system with satellite radio, a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB port.
4. Nice Options Packages
Drivers who'd like to upgrade the newest Forte can take their pick from many well-appointed options packages. The Technology package is a particular standout. It adds keyless entry and ignition, foglights, LED taillights, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning and prevention and automatic emergency braking. The Premium package adds driver memory, a sunroof, a navigation system with voice controls, a power driver's seat and heated front seats.
5. Decent Fuel Economy
Depending on the trim level and configuration, the 2017 Kia Forte offers fairly decent fuel economy. There are better options in this regard, to be sure, but at 32 mpg combined for the automatic - 29 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway - the Forte holds its own.
6. Stylish and Comfortable Interior
Materials quality on the 2017 Forte is exceptional, and that is true even regarding the base LX trim level. Seats in both the front and back are very comfortable, so people can easily settle in for long drives without any trouble. Depending on the trim level and options, the cabin can be almost luxurious regarding comfort and style.
7. Excellent Safety
In government crash tests, the Kia Forte for 2017 earned a top rating of five out of five stars overall. The vehicle earned four out of five stars for overall front impact protection and five out of five for overall side impact protection. Standard safety features are ample and include traction and stability control, side curtain airbags, front side airbags and antilock disc brakes.
8. Tech-Savvy Features
Given its affordable price tag, the 2017 Kia Forte is positively jam-packed with great tech features. A rearview camera is standard on everything except the base trim level, and the 7" touchscreen interface is well-designed and intuitive to use. The optional UVO eServices telematics bundle includes emergency crash notification, roadside assistance and more.
9. Choose from Hatchback or Sedan
This 2017 Kia is offered in sedan and hatchback versions. Those who like the sportier style and roomier cargo space of a hatchback will be pleased with the Forte5 while those who prefer a more compact ride will appreciate the sedan.
10. First-Rate Warranty
A huge advantage to buying this vehicle is that it is backed up by one of the best warranties in the industry. Indeed, the 2017 Kia Forte comes with a five-year, 60,000-mile base warranty and a 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2017 Kia Forte – The Cons
A few drawbacks of the latest Forte include:
1. Overly Firm Suspension
The new S trim level comes with a firmer suspension. Unfortunately, it may be a case of too much of a good thing, as the suspension seems a bit too stiff and negatively affects the driving experience--especially on rough roads.
2. Slow Acceleration
Drivers with a need for speed will likely be disappointed by the Forte's lackluster acceleration. It takes the vehicle 8.7 seconds to hit 60 mph, which is around two seconds longer than its closest Honda competitor. The Forte5 with the available turbo-charged 1.6-liter engine may be a better choice for speedy types.
3. Backrests Don't Fold Flat
This is a minor grip, but the folding rear seat backs don't fold completely flat. When folded, they are angled a bit, and this can be problematic when trying to transport certain types of cargo.
With its affordable price tag, hatchback and sedan versions, decent fuel economy, comfortable cabin and generous standard features, the 2017 Kia Forte is a solid choice. With any luck, the manufacturer will address its few drawbacks with the next complete redesign.
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