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The 2017 Kia Forte: The Striving Evolution of Small Cars

The new 2017 Kia Forte S is perfect example of the striving evolution of small car design and construction, even in the face of two years of low fuel prices has depressed demand for this category.  

The new Forte S is styled like its mid-sized sedan sibling the Optima. Even with a down swept rear profile the Kia Forte is an ample and able four door, with good access, head and leg room and comfortable three person rear seating. 

A Forte5 hatchback version adds convenience and flexibility for daily cargo. The hatch edition also comes with a direct-injection 2.0 liter 4 cylinder engine for a boost of efficiency and performance.

The new Forte S is loaded for tech with the UVO infotainment system, USB connections, Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility, and an ample console for gadget storage.

The feature rich environment and stylish interior upgrades in the sporty S model give this economy model more bang for the buck.

The Forte S slides between the base LX and the top of the line EX, with a sport-tuned suspension, sharp 16-inch wheels, rear spoiler, chrome exhaust pipe accents, and matched leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The S comes with black sports material upholstery accented with white stitching that adds to  look and also provides great support and ride comfort.

From a performance standpoint the front wheel drive Forte is really impressive. A jaunty suspension, responsive steering and handling make the most of the high efficiency 2 liter 4 cylinder 147 horsepower engine, which can be upgraded in the EX model to 164 horsepower.

The Forte Koup 2-door, which made some noise in recent years on the Pirelli World Challenge racing championship, is also available with pumped up 173 and 201 horsepower versions of the standard engine. 

A 6 speed manual alternative to the standard electronically controlled 6-Speed automatic transmission, addresses the fun-to-drive factor and bolsters the standard 29 City 38 Highway MPG ratings of the under $17,000 base priced Kia Forte.

2017 KIA Forte S Specs 

MSRP: From $19,200

Horsepower: 147 hp

Engine: 2.0 L 4-cylinder

MPG: 29 city / 38 highway

Curb weight: 2,804 lbs

Dimensions: 180″ L x 70″ W x 56″ H