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What’s New for 2018
Kia hasn’t changed too much for 2018 in the Forte and has decided to go mostly for quality of life upgrades. The LX trim now gets cruise control as a standard option, and all trims now get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. The S trim loses the Premium package but includes the Premium’s sunroof in the Technology package. The EX now gets standard active driver assistance measures.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Kia Forte – The Pros
1. Great Engine Choices
Compact cars are not expected to house engines that have a little kick, but the 2018 Kia Forte does. The base model has a surprisingly nice 2.0-liter inline-4 engine that can produce an impressive 147 horsepower. There is also an option for an upgraded 2.0-liter engine that can produce 164 horsepower, and the higher-level trims house a 201 horsepower 1.6-liter turbocharged engine. In the Forte EX model, the inline-4 engine actually produces more horsepower and torque than would normally be expected due to its ingenious direct injection design.
2. Top-Notch Safety Ratings
The 2018 Kia Forte has received high marks across the board for its safety features, gaining a five-star rating from the NHTSA and the highest score possible from the IIHS. Kia’s engineers carefully designed the body of this compact car to absorb and redirect impacts in order to avoid driver and passenger harm.
3. Unique Exterior Styling
Most compact sedans look quite similar, but the 2018 Kia Forte has some unique features on the exterior that set it apart. The dual exhaust tips are quite noticeable due to their chrome finish. The front grille is quite bold, and the curvature of the headlight covers is unlike any other non-Kia vehicle.
4. Roomy Back Seats
Compact cars struggle to have enough legroom in the back seats for those taller than average. The Forte doesn’t have that problem, giving quite a bit of room for even people over six feet tall to stretch their legs out in the back. The middle seat in cars of this size will always be more cramped, but the Kia’s is still comfortable enough for short drives.
5. Above Average Active Driver Safety Features
While much of the compact car pack falls behind in updating active safety driver measures, the 2018 Kia Forte pulls ahead. Though not all features come as standard, the included features are well worth the upgrade price. Available active safety features include a blind spot monitor, lane departure warning and lane keeping assistance, and cross-traffic alert. The blind spot monitor is particularly useful as the car does have some tough spots to see around.
6. Large Yet Efficient Wheels
An unusual feature on the 2018 Kia Forte is its 18-inch wheels. While these may look a little strange due to their large size at first, having wheels this size actually makes sense. Due to the Forte’s large engine, the wheels need to be able to keep up rapid turnover to maintain efficiency. These wheels are able to do so with ease and are able to look stylish while doing so.
7. Upscale Interior
The interior of the Forte feels rewarding to sit in due to the attention to detail the car’s designers worked in. The cloth upholstery is supple and forms comfortably to your body, and the driver’s seat is adjustable in six different ways. The seats are roomy, and the car’s cupholders are large enough to fit any size drink. Interior features such as a sunroof and automatic climate control make this a brilliant car to be in on long trips.
8. Large Trunk
Another feature that many compact cars lack is a trunk large enough to fit a reasonable amount of cargo or luggage. The Forte has a deep and large trunk, enough to fit almost 15 cubic feet of cargo. With the back seats folded down, the Forte is quite generous in space. In the hatchback, that space expands to just over 23 cubic feet of space.
9. Sporty but Stable Handling
One of the best features of the 2018 Kia Forte is its smooth and nimble handling. Whether you’re driving above 60 miles per hour on the highway or maneuvering through busy city traffic, you’ll never feel as if the handling is losing touch with the road. You’ll also feel secure navigating your ways between cars in the city and changing lanes on the highway suddenly if you need to, as the handling feels somewhat sporty.
10. UVO Infotainment System
Kia’s UVO infotainment system is widely regarded as one of the pioneers in ease of use for these types of systems. The menus are amazingly easy to navigate, and the response time of every inputted command is instantaneous. The infotainment system also offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, so if you like your smartphone’s navigation system better than Kia’s it is just a few clicks away.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Kia Forte – The Cons
1. Suspension Lackluster on Rough Roads
Most compact cars suffer from a bumpy ride, particularly on rougher road types. The Forte struggles with this as well, and you’ll notice some shaking and bumpiness especially over old, patched roads or potholes.
2. Ride Can Be Noisy
At high speeds, the Forte’s interior can become quite noisy. To keep weight down, Kia’s engineers elected to not include quite as much noise dampening material in the body of the car as per normal standards. While this does increase fuel economy and driving efficiency, it raises the noise level in the car a fair amount.
3. Average Fuel Economy
All compact cars stand out for their great fuel economy, and the Kia Forte falls right into the middle of the pack. The average economy of the Forte in the city is 25 miles per gallon, and on the highway, it earns up to 34 miles per gallon. These are still great numbers, but some other compact sedans offer slightly higher fuel economy.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition
The Kia Forte has quite a few competitors that come close, but don’t quite match the intrinsic value of this vehicle. The 2018 Mazda3 and the Toyota Corolla are both solid choices, but the Forte’s outstanding interior design and features are definitely better.
If you’re looking for a reliable compact sedan that will look sleek on the road and provide you with plenty of safety and technology features, look no further than the 2018 Kia Forte. This beauty of a car is fun to drive and handles somewhat like a sports car while still delivering enough trunk space and comfort to be a true all-around star.
• Why buy a 2017 Kia Forte? w/ pros vs cons