2022 Kia Forte Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.
This sporty sedan looks stylish and modern, and inside its cabin, there are many features to appreciate. The technology and safety packages, in particular, are impressive. What also makes this car stand out in the market is the fact that it's quite affordable. With two trims priced under $20,000, the 2022 Kia Forte should be able to catch the attention of budget-conscious consumers.
Kia makes five trims of the Forte. Keep reading to see what makes each one unique.
Compare the FE vs LXS Trims. What is the difference?
The FE is only offered in three colors: Clear White, Gravity Gray, and Aurora Black. This is unlike the LXS, which has seven colors to choose from. If anyone prefers driving a car that's Currant Red, Deep Sea Blue, or Fire Orange, for example, then the FE would be out of contention.
This base-level trim has everything it needs, though it's certainly not especially fancy or elegant. It has projector beam headlights and traditional Daytime Running Lights, and the headlights can turn on and off depending on how much light there is. Another nice touch is the perimeter approach lighting. This consists of LED lighting on the door handles that kind of act as a welcoming.
On the FE, there are 15-inch steel wheels. These are basic, but of course, they get the job done. The LXS is upgraded with 16-inch alloy wheels. Plus, its side mirrors can be upgraded to have LED turn signals built into them.
Cruise control is standard on the FE and LXS. There's also a system called Drive Mode Select. It lets drivers choose from Normal, Sport, or Comfort modes depending on how they feel or what the conditions may be. A 4.2-inch LCD digital display can keep people informed about various bits of information related to their vehicles.
These trims use the same type of 2.0-liter, 147-horsepower engine that comes with 132 pound-feet of torque. They have intelligent variable transmissions with a Sportmatic feature. Because of little changes in design, the FE is more efficient than the LXS is. It can earn 41 miles per gallon on the highway and has a combined fuel economy of 35 miles per gallon. Those respective numbers drop slightly to 39 and 33 miles per gallon on the LXS.
Inside the cabins of these two trims, there are some attractive elements. They're both equipped with eight-inch touchscreens. They have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well as Bluetooth and four-speaker audio systems. They each have one USB/auxiliary input jack, so if there are multiple devices in the vehicle, they'll have to compete for that spot.
Both trims have manually adjustable front seats that can move in six ways. The rear seat on the FE is one bench, so if the rear seats are folded down, they would all have to come down together. In contrast, the rear seat on the LXS has a 60/40 split configuration. One side can be lowered to create more room for cargo, and in this situation, there could still be one or two passengers riding in the back. Another distinction is that the LXS is enhanced with a soft-touch door trim.
The standard safety package on the LXS is the same as that of the FE. It includes tractional control, hill start assist control, and a rear view monitor with dynamic parking guidance. In addition, it includes driver attention warning, lane following assist, lane keeping assist, and forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection. This means that the Forte is ready to take action on behalf of the driver in case an issue ever comes up related to losing focus on the road, veering out of position, or approaching a vehicle or pedestrian too quickly.
A difference between the trims is that the LXS comes with the opportunity to upgrade its safety systems. For an additional fee, a customer can get the LXS upgraded with blind-spot collision-avoidance assist, rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist, and safe exit warning. There will definitely be people out there who want to take advantage of these advanced programs.
Compare the LXS vs GT-Line. What is the difference?
Even though the GT-Line has a name that indicates that it might be more powerful than the LXS, it has the exact same performance components as the LXS does. It's not until the next trim in the lineup that the engine is upgraded.
A lot of the differences between the GT-Line and LXS have to do with style. The GT-Line is a sportier version of the Forte. It has a grille with a high gloss black finish and red inserts, and it has black gloss bumper accents, sport side sills, a spoiler on the trunk, 17-inch wheels, and black side mirrors. This mirrors are heated and have integrated turn signals. Those turn signals are only optional on the LXS.
There is the opportunity to enhance the GT-Line with a power sunroof. This type of sunroof can be slid open or tilted up, and it's something that many customers are looking for as part of their next vehicles.
LED lights make the GT-Line look more modern and edgy. There are LEDs in the taillights, front fog lights, and Daytime Running Lights.
Then, there's a Smart Trunk on the GT-Line. When someone is standing behind the trunk with the key fob in close proximity, the trunk will open on its own. It's convenient to use this feature when loading items into the back. While the doors can't open up on their own, they can be unlocked or locked by simply touching the door handle. The Smart Key system comes with a push-button start as well.
The touchscreen on the GT-Line is a more premium version than what's found on the LXS. It measures 10.25 inches instead of eight inches, and it has integrated voice-command navigation, Kia Connect SiriusXM Traffic, and HD Radio. So many potential buyers are looking for this type of connectivity and want to have touchscreens that can do so much. In addition, the GT-Line's sound system uses six speakers rather than four, and a Harman Kardon eight-speaker audio system is available.
To keep more devices charged, the GT-Line offers a front USB port. It's available with a rear charging port and wireless charging, too.
Stylistically, the cabin of the GT-Line is in line with its exterior. It has alloy pedals and a leather-wrapped flat-bottom sport steering wheel. Its gear shifter is wrapped in leather as well.
The GT-Line is available with heated and ventilated front seats and a ten-way power-adjustable driver's seat. Its seats are covered in a combination of SynTex and cloth. It has a dual-zone climate control system instead of a regular, manually controlled one like the LXS has. Many passengers will find the rear center armrest, which has cup holders, to be convenient.
A few more safety devices are in place on the GT-Line. Remember that the LXS could be upgraded with blind spot and rear cross traffic collision-avoidance assist. Those are standard on the GT-Line, and so is safe exit warning. The GT-Line has available navigation-based smart cruise control and highway driving assist. These advanced systems can work together to make adjustments to steering and speed based on the inputs they receive.
Compare the GT-Line vs GT Trim Levels. What is the difference?
At the GT level, there's a big change to what's under the hood of the Forte. The GT uses a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine. It makes 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This is a huge improvement over the 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque that the lower trims have.
Kia has given the GT a sport-tuned dual exhaust and multi-link rear suspension. It utilizes a responsive, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and it provides drivers with paddle shifters so they can have a little more fun. All of this is associated with a small sacrifice in fuel economy. The GT has a combined fuel efficiency of 30 miles per gallon. In comparison, the GT-Line has a combined fuel efficiency of 33 miles per gallon.
The GT has many of the same exterior features as the GT-Line has. It does, though, have LED headlights and automatic high beams, along with dual chrome exhaust tips and 18-inch GT two-tone alloy wheels. Those wheels really stand out. Plus, Fire Orange is taken off the list of possible color choices for the exterior paint.
Inside its cabin, the GT has a few extras. It comes standard with wireless charging and a rear USB charging port. Given how dependent people are on their devices, these features will surely be noticed by many. The GT has special ambient lighting, illuminated visor vanity mirrors, and an illuminated glove box, and it provides rear-seat passengers with air vents.
The only difference in the safety package between the two trims is that the GT has an available parking distance warning (reverse) program. It can alert drivers when they're getting too close to other objects behind them.
Compare the GT vs GT Manual. What is the difference?
The GT Manual uses the same engine as the GT does, but as its name indicates, it has a manual transmission. While many drivers don't even know how to use manual transmissions, some have a strong preference for them. Not every model these days offers the option for a manual transmission, so Kia is hoping that the Forte GT Manual can attract attention from a subset of its customer base.
Unfortunately, having a manual transmission reduces fuel efficiency. The GT Manual can earn up to 22 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon on the highway, giving it a combined fuel economy of 26 miles per gallon. This isn't that low, but it's not that high, either.
The GT Manual looks the same as the GT does from the exterior. However, it gets to ride on Michelin Pilot sport 4 summer tires.
This top-of-the-line trim gives people a premium listening experience. It has a Harman Kardon 320-watt sound system with an integrated subwoofer and eight total speakers. Its interior LED lighting adds to the atmosphere in the cabin, and it has sport SynTex seats with accent stitching. These types of seats are available on the GT and GT-Line.
The GT Manual is the only trim to come standard with heated front seats. For some reason, it's not available with ventilated front seats like the GT is.
While the GT Manual has blind spot and rear cross-traffic collision warning, these systems do not have any ability to correct the vehicle in case of an issue. On the GT, these programs can help the driver take action. Further, the GT Manual is the only trim to have standard parking distance warning (reverse).
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Which Trim to Choose?
Of course, the GT Manual is the one to pick if someone loves the idea of driving a stick shift. If a potential buyer wants an automatic instead and still wants a thrilling driving experience, then the GT would be the one to choose. Both of these models have the more powerful turbo engine, which will prove to be very satisfying.
The GT Manual and GT trims also have more advanced technology and more convenient amenities than their counterparts do. They're not really that expensive either, considering that the GT Manual is only about $5,500 more expensive than the entry-level trim of the Forte lineup.
• 2021 Kia Forte Trime Levels