Reviews

2017 Kia Forte Walk Around


Styling was mildly updated for 2017, featuring Kia’s latest, more shapely, neatly raked front-end design. The sedan’s gracefully arched profile and elongated roofline above sculpted bodyside sheetmetal, help retain appropriate proportioning.

Almost-vertical trim elements behind side glass serve as brackets for the passenger compartment. Windows dip ahead of outside mirrors, while the back end narrows. When redesigned for 2014, the Forte grew a bit wider and longer, but not taller, resulting in the handsome profile.

Interior

Clean and simple, the Kia Forte cabin conveys a sporty note. Better-quality plastics and a tasteful layout help establish a mildly upscale feel, enhanced by soft-touch materials. On the dashboard are big climate-control knobs, augmented by hooded analog instruments. Below is a split-style console that avoids looking bulky. Upper trim levels add a covered console.

Seats offer average comfort. Though supportive, front seats could use more side bolstering. Tall drivers might consider the seat bottoms a bit short. Kia’s intuitive and readily effective infotainment system ranks with the best, though noise can be an issue.

Headroom falls short in back, thanks to the low, relatively long roofline. Space is tighter yet if a sunroof is installed. The roof profile also tends to impede easy entry/exit, despite wide-opening doors. Riders might find themselves in knees-up mode on rather low seat cushions, though legroom is satisfactory. Outward visibility is somewhat restricted.

Kia’s compact sedan offers plenty of storage, including a screened bin ahead of the gearshift lever. Not only does the trunk’s capacity (14.9 cubic feet) top nearly all rivals, its wide lid eases loading.

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