Following a record sales year for the Forte in 2015, Kia is updating the sedan and offering a new base engine for those who waited. The 2017 Kia Forte sedan – and the Forte5 hatchback, presumably – will get a mild visual refresh, some new tech, and a new 2.0-liter engine.
From the front of the car, on-lookers will see a new bumper with the company’s “tiger nose” grille and optional Xenon HID headlights, giving the car more of a mini-Optima-esque appearance than it previously had. The back end receives new taillights and, err… did I mention the new taillights?
The base engine will go from a 1.8-liter to a 2.0-liter Atkinson inline-4 that produces 147 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 132 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. A 2.0-liter GDI inline-4 will also be available. Upgrade to the GDI and you’ll get 14 more ponies and 19 more torques. Transmissions will be either a 6-speed manual or a second generation 6-speed automatic. EPA fuel economy estimates for city driving range from 25 to 29 mpg, while highway estimates range from 33 to 38 mpg.
A host of interior features and driving nannies are available on the new Forte, including headlights that can “bend” light around curves, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and leather seats, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, a push-button start with Smart Key, UVO3 telematics, a seven-inch touch screen display and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Depending on trim level, the Forte also comes with navigation and three driving modes from which to choose (normal, eco, or sport). Autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, and rear-cross traffic alert are also available.
Prices and release dates have not yet been announced. Until we hear more, check out the Forte’s bigger sibling – the Optima – below.