2017 Kia Forte
- Feels roomy inside for a small car
- Many desirable standard and optional features
- Easy-to-use controls and simple touchscreen interface
- Warranty coverage is better than most in the segment
- EX sedan returns lackluster fuel economy
- Ride quality can be overly firm at times
2017 Kia Forte pricingin Ashburn, VA
Edmunds' Expert Review
The perennial small-car sales leaders have never faced stiffer competition, and the 2017 Kia Forte is the latest shot over the bow. Although it falls short of a full redesign, the 2017 Forte offers freshened styling, a new standard engine for the sedan, a sport-themed S sedan trim level, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, and optional safety technologies such as automatic emergency braking that are still rare in this class. With fuel economy as high as 38 mpg highway and just about every available feature one could ask for in this price range, the 2017 Forte makes a strong case for itself against its more established foes.
The sedan's base 2.0-liter engine is perhaps the biggest news, as it's not often that a car swaps out its primary powerplant in the middle of its production cycle. Although it's slightly larger, the new 2.0-liter is more efficient than the smaller engine it replaces. Paired with the revised six-speed automatic transmission, the new engine increases combined fuel economy to 32 mpg (up one from 31 mpg), but the city rating gets a big boost from 26 mpg to 29 mpg. Notably, the top-of-the-line EX trim level gets a different, carryover 2.0-liter engine that makes a bit more power (though less than last year) but gives up an eye-opening 4 mpg in combined driving.
If you're shopping for a small car like the Forte, you probably already have two names in mind: Civic and Corolla. In terms of resale value, you can't beat 'em, and the current Civic also happens to be an unusually rewarding car to drive, especially with the optional turbocharged engine. The Corolla doesn't fare nearly as well on the merits, however, and the Forte undoubtedly offers more bang for the buck than both. We also recommend the sharp-handling Mazda 3 and Ford Focus, but their backseat space pales by comparison.
Every 2017 Kia Forte comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. A rearview camera is optional on the LX and standard on the other trims. The optional Uvo eServices telematics bundle includes roadside assistance, emergency crash notification and secondary driver (i.e., teenage) monitoring features that include notifications when curfew, vehicle speed and vehicle location limits are exceeded.
As noted above, the sedan offers automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and prevention, and blind-spot monitoring, although the Forte5 only offers the latter. Kia doesn't offer these features on the Koup.
In Edmunds brake testing, a Forte EX sedan came to a stop from 60 mph in 120 feet, while a Forte5 SX turned in a 114-foot effort. Both results are slightly shorter than average for this segment.
Government crash tests of the 2017 Forte sedan saw it earn a five-star rating (out of five), with four stars for overall front-impact protection and five stars for overall side-impact protection.
2017 Kia Forte configurations
The 2017 Kia Forte is available as a sedan in LX, S and EX trim levels, while the hatchback Forte5 model is offered in LX, EX and SX trims. The two-door Forte Koup has been discontinued for 2017.
Standard features on the LX sedan 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.
Optional for the LX (but only with the automatic transmission) is the Popular package, which includes automatic headlights, cruise control, upgraded interior upholstery and trim, a sliding front armrest, a rear-seat armrest, a rearview camera, a 4.3-inch touchscreen and six speakers.
The S sedan starts with most of those items and upgrades to a sport-tuned suspension, 16-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, a rear spoiler, a chrome exhaust outlet, adjustable drive modes (including steering effort), unique black cloth upholstery with white contrast stitching, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto (late availability) and Kia's Uvo eServices telematics.
The S sedan's Technology package adds foglights, LED taillights and keyless entry and ignition plus a few safety technologies (lane departure warning and prevention, blind-spot monitoring and automatic emergency braking). There's also a Premium package that builds on the Technology package with a sunroof, heated front seats, a power driver seat, driver memory settings, a sliding front armrest and a navigation system with voice controls.
The EX sedan drops the sport-themed extras but adds the more powerful 2.0-liter engine, 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 the EX, there's an optional Premium Plus package that adds a sunroof, power driver seat and the extra safety technologies plus adaptive xenon headlights, a navigation system, cooled front seats and driver memory settings.
From a features standpoint, the Forte5 LX and Forte5 EX largely mirror the LX and S sedan, with minor differences such as standard 16-inch steel wheels for the Forte5 LX and standard leather upholstery for the Forte5 EX, which gets 17-inch alloy wheels but lacks the S sedan's sport-tuned suspension (standard on the Forte5 SX) and other specific sport-themed flourishes. The Forte5 SX adds a turbocharged engine, 18-inch wheels, dual exhaust tips and unique front and rear styling, plus an Orange Color package (new for 2017) with orange leather seat inserts and contrast stitching. Forte5 options also largely mirror those of the sedan, although a couple of the sedan's advanced safety features (automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning and prevention) are not currently offered.
The SX trim ratchets up the sport quotient with a sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch wheels, larger front brakes and LED taillights. An auto-dimming rearview mirror and Uvo eServices are also standard.
Options for both trims include a sunroof, keyless ignition, dual-zone automatic air-conditioning, power-adjustable heated and ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, HD radio and a navigation system.
The Forte LX and S sedans are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. Power runs to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission (LX only) or a six-speed automatic. EPA fuel economy estimates are 32 mpg combined (29 city/38 highway) with the automatic and a rather disappointing 28 mpg combined (25 city/34 highway) with the manual.
The EX sedan gets a 2.0-liter four-cylinder generating 164 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque (or 160 and 149, respectively, in SULEV specification). This engine comes only with the six-speed automatic and returns an EPA-rated 28 mpg combined (25 city/33 highway), which is decidedly unimpressive given the relatively modest power output.The Forte5 LX and EX share this same powertrain, and the power and fuel economy are nearly identical. The hatchback in this configuration returns 1 mpg better (34) on the highway.
The SX version of the Forte5 has a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder rated at 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, paired with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Fuel economy on manual-equipped models is 26 mpg combined (23 city/30 highway) while the seven-speed dual-clutch models return 27 mpg combined (25 city/32 highway).
Based on our experience with the 2017 Hyundai Elantra that uses the same 2.0-liter engine as the base Forte, we're not expecting quick acceleration from the base Forte sedan. The new engine is fuel-efficient, however, at least with the automatic transmission, and should feel adequate in terms of power delivery to most drivers. The Forte5's available turbocharged 1.6-liter engine is the logical choice for those who want extra zest, as it transforms the Kia into a genuinely speedy little car. The EX sedan's 2.0-liter engine is caught in the middle, providing no more power than the standard engines in many rival sedans yet sucking down fuel at a relatively prodigious rate.
The six-speed automatic transmission provides smooth shifts, and it's surprisingly responsive during typical passing and merging situations. The slick-shifting six-speed manual in the Forte5 SX is pleasant to operate and makes the most of the turbocharged engine's power.
Most shoppers in this segment will likely be satisfied with the Forte's overall ride quality, but the Forte's suspension is occasionally a bit firm and unrefined. Rougher roads produce a somewhat busy ride; in comparison, rivals such as the Focus and Mazda 3 feel relatively cushy over broken pavement. The Forte is steady on winding roads, but it's not particularly engaging.
The 2017 Kia Forte is much more than just an economy car stuffed with gadgets. Boasting a handsome cabin furnished with quality materials, especially in the higher trim levels, the Forte gives other top compacts a run for their money. In addition, the Forte's high-tech features are well-designed and easy to use. The 7-inch touchscreen interface — with large, logically positioned virtual buttons — is one of the better examples of this technology.
Seat comfort front and rear in the sedan and Forte5 is very good, and even 6-foot adults should be comfortable sitting in back. The Forte sedan offers very generous cargo capacity, with a trunk capacity of 14.9 cubic feet, while the Forte5 hatchback boasts 23.2 cubic feet with the rear seat up and plenty more with the seatbacks folded down.
Most helpful consumer reviews
2017 Kia Forte video
MARK TAKAHASHI: I'm Edmunds editor Mark Takahashi. And here's an Expert Rundown of the 2017 Kia Forte. There are three different Kia Forte models that include a sedan, an upcoming coupe, and this, the Forte5 hatchback. For 2017, the Forte gets a slight facelift, some new features, and a sporty seven-speed transmission. For hatchback shoppers, getting the most for your money is key. The Forte5 definitely does that with a lot of standard and optional features, but it does come up short in terms of fuel efficiency. The Forte5 has a lot more cargo space and versatility even than the sedan. But compared to other hatchbacks, it's only about average for the class. Inside the Forte feels roomy. There's even enough space for taller adults in the back seats. And the interior has a nice modern design with plenty of quality materials. We do need to point out, however, that many advanced safety features are only available on the sedan. Whether it's the hatchback or sedan, when you factor in a very generous warranty, the Kia Forte's bottom line is that of an undeniable value. This gives it enough to battle our class favorites that include the Honda Civic, Mazda 3, and Ford Focus.
2017 Kia Forte Expert Rundown Review
Looking for a great compact offering the latest and greatest technology and features? The 2017 Kia Forte might be a good match. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
Features & Specs
2017 Kia Forte for Sale
2017 Kia Forte Overview
The 2017 Kia Forte is offered in the following submodels: Forte Hatchback, Forte Sedan. Available styles include LX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A), LX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M), S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A), LX 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6A), EX 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6A), EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A), SX 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M), and SX 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM).
What do people think of the 2017 Kia Forte?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Kia Forte and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 Forte 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 Forte.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Kia Forte and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 Forte featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
What's a good price for a New 2017 Kia Forte?
2017 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
The 2017 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $22,485. The average price paid for a new 2017 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A) is trending $2,936 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $2,936 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$19,549.
The average savings for the 2017 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A) is13.1% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 2 2017 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
2017 Kia Forte S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
The 2017 Kia Forte S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $22,180. The average price paid for a new 2017 Kia Forte S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A) is trending $2,527 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $2,527 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$19,653.
The average savings for the 2017 Kia Forte S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A) is11.4% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 1 2017 Kia Forte S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
Which 2017 Kia Fortes are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2017 Kia Forte for sale near. There are currently 16 new 2017 Fortes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $19,740 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2017 Kia Forte. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $4,160 on a used or CPO 2017 Forte available from a dealership near you.
Can't find a new 2017 Kia Fortes you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
Find a new Kia Forte for sale - 1 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $8,547.
Find a new Kia for sale - 5 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $11,761.
Why trust Edmunds?
Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.
Should I lease or buy a 2017 Kia Forte?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
Check out Kia lease specials