Kia has chosen the North American International Auto Show in Detroit as the perfect worldwide event to introduce the third generation of the Forte sedan, one that has certainly taken its bigger brother the Stinger as a role model.
There are no reasons to ask the same level of performance from the Forte as seen inside the new Stinger, but we’re certainly fans of the sporty exterior design of the compact sedan. More importantly, Kia delivers aggressiveness without endangering the all-important fuel economy – instead the new generation ups the ante in that department. The Forte can be had on the US market with a six-speed manual transmission or Kia’s in-house-developed CVT gearbox, the Intelligent Variable Transmission. The Forte is motivated by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder using the Atkinson Cycle and delivering 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque – estimates point to 35 miles per gallon combined fuel economy with the CVT, up 3 mpg over the current Forte with a regular six-speed automatic.
Technology also plays a major role in establishing the new generation Forte on the market. Kia bundles it with a standard eight-inch infotainment system with support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, while the optional driver assistance range of technologies arrives with blind-spot warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision avoidance assist, as well as full LED headlights. In addition, the Forte is also more welcoming for passengers – growing in dimensions 3.2 inches (81 millimeters) to 182.7 inches (4,641 mm) overall, thanks to the updated architecture that’s also 54 percent Advanced High-Strength Steel, making it 16 percent stiffer when compared to the predecessor.