TEST DRIVES

The 2019 Kia Forte EX – Is It the New King of Compact Sedans?

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The much-awaited 2019 Kia Forte EX bears a new designed making it more competitive than it ever was before. It is arguably the vehicle to beat in the small yet spacious, fuel-efficient and comfortable vehicle category. During our short time with the 2019 Forte, we can safely say that it has the chops to square off with the best in its class. 

Below is an account of what we discovered when driving the review unit. 

Bold New Design 

The Kia Stinger was well received partly because of its sleek design, and so the Korean automaker attempted that same feat with this year’s Forte. A lot of the styling cues come from its elder sibling, which makes it good looking too. We may go so far as to say that it is arguably the best looking Forte yet. Perhaps only beaten in our opinion by the 2019 Mazda3. 

The expressive headlights are well complimented by the hexagonal patterned grille, highlighted by the aggressive air intakes enclosed within the front bumper. Swing on over on the back, the design here appears to be better than the front.

The Forte also includes LED taillights each with a reflective lens. What’s more, its the faux air vents’ and the some what triangular shape on the corners of the bumper makes the whole rear stand out. 

Interior Design 

On the inside, the material used is of high quality, and amongst the best, we’ve seen in this segment of vehicles. The dash has been thoughtfully sculpted which makes it look way better than the Optima, with special attention paid by Kia to ensure that the quality of the dash remains the same. 

In the center,we have an 8-inch touchscreen. The UVO infotainment system is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. So, there is nothing new to write home about here. 

Sitting in the back is more comfortable than many other competing vehicles with 37.5 head and 35.7 inches of legroom, which is slightly more than the Civic Sedan, but over an inch less when it comes to the Civic’s legroom. Not to mention the generous 15.3 cubic feet of space in the back putting it on top of the compact class and even ahead of the Toyota Camry. 

Drive Quality

The 2019 Kia Forte Ex draws its power from the 2.0-liter 147 HP engine capable of delivering 132 lb/ft of torque which is average for this class of vehicles. During our test drive, the car performed well, and the CVT transmission shifted quickly up and down as we darted up and down hills. Honestly, it was hard to tell if this was Kia’s first attempt at a CVT transmission. 

Making the drive even more comfortable is numerous driver assistance technologies, collision mitigation braking system, rear cross traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, lane keeping assistance, and cruise control. 

Final Word 

The 2019 Kia Forte is a strong contender in the compact segment. It looks great, offers excellent fuel economy and is spacious, not to mention comfortable for long-distance driving. The only drawback is that driving isn’t on par with the Corolla, Mazda3 or the Honda Civic. But it still worth considering if you’re looking for more than just driving pleasure. 

Founder, Owner & CEO

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