Compact cars are legendary for having all the latest gadgets at an affordable price, but when looking at the 2017 Kia Forte, you’ll find there’s a whole lot more than affordable gadgets. The base Kia Forte trim has plenty of options, but the trim that is the next step up is loaded with upscale technology.
Last year the Kia Forte came in many shapes and sizes, from a sedan to a hatchback, but the 2017 model year Forte received solid upgrades inside and out. It’s stylish, and from afar, it looks like a sibling of the popular Kia Optima, which isn’t a bad thing in the least.
With the updated systems and technology in the Kia Forte, it is a prime candidate to compete with other luxury cars on the market today. Put all the upgrades together, and you have a comprehensive compact car at a great price. To get a good idea of what it’s packing, take a look at the 2017 Kia Forte S trim.
The 2017 Kia Forte S series is powered by a 2.0-liter 16-valve I4 Atkinson cycle engine. “DOHC” stands for “Double Overhead Cam”, meaning the engine has two camshafts. A camshaft controls the air intake and exhaust of an engine, thus two camshafts allow the engine to take in more air and exhaust more gasses.
Simply put, a car with a DOHC out performs a car with a single overhead camshaft. With that in mind, the horsepower of the Kia Forte S is 147-hp with 132 lb-ft of torque.
An Atkinson Cycle engine is designed to provide efficiency at the expense of power density, which was originally exclusively used in hybrid-electric vehicles. Because the Kia Forte S runs on an Atkinson Cycle engine, its fuel economy is generous, with 29 MPG in the city and 38 MPG on the highway.
Driving and Handling
The 2017 Kia Forte S comes standard with an electronically controlled 6-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic.
“Sportmatic” is a type of transmissions with paddle-shifters rather than a gear shift in the center console. Paddle-shift transmission reflects some of the key features of manual transmission such as giving the driver the ability and control to shift the transmission but without the use of a clutch.
Stylish, Elegant Exterior
Many standard features come with the Kia Forte S, such as heated outside mirrors, projector beam headlights, and solar control glass, and automatic light control. Solar control glass prevents UV light from entering the interior, helping to reduce heat built up.
For that high-performance style, the vehicle also has LED positioning lights, a rear trunk lid spoiler, and a chrome exhaust tip. The S trim doesn’t have as many standard features as the upgraded EX trim, but buyers do have the option to add many upgrades to their purchase. Some of the options a driver may be interested in would be a power sunroof, a smart trunk (opens hands-free when key is in proximity), and front fog lights.
The 2017 Kia Forte S rides on 16” alloy wheels fitted with 205/55R16 tires. Those numbers don’t make sense at first glance, but basically the tire is 205mm wide, with an aspect ratio of 55%, and the 16 is the size of the rim i.e. 16”.
Luxurious, Comfortable Interior
The interior of the S Series is definitely classier than what one would expect from an affordable compact car. It has a seating capacity of five passengers with plenty of head and hip room. Plus, the rear row comes with a 60/40 split folding rear seat. That means 60% of the row can be folded down for extra cargo space. To keep that feeling of performance and refinement, the seats are covered in black sport cloth trim, and the gear shift knob and steering wheel are leather-wrapped.
Some of the options such as heated and ventilated seats and driver’s seat memory are available as upgrades. There are also many options for convenience, but the entertainment system and included features make the S Series a formidable choice for the price.
A 7-inch color touch screen display with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a rear-camera are there for convenience, integrated with Bluetooth voice-command navigation and UVO eServices. The Audio system is MP3 compatible and comes with the usual features - AM/FM radio and Sirius XM. The speakers include door-mounted tweeter speakers for crisp sound. Audio controls are mounted onto the steering wheel.
Drive Mode selection is standard in the S Series, giving drivers the ability to switch between different driving modes depending on driving conditions. In conjunction with this, an active eco system has been integrated to maximize fuel efficiency. Other convenient features are remote keyless entry with trunk opener and the 3.5-inch LCD meter display with trip computer.
Safety Features and Warranty
All of the trims are packed to the brim with safety features. Included are: dual front advanced airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags. Control systems like traction control, electronic stability, and vehicle stability management help the driver keep control of the car, even in poor weather/road conditions.
The brakes have ABS to reduce skidding, and the brake assist system adds a level of enhanced safety by applying additional brake force when necessary. Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, or LATCH is also integrated into the car for child safety while on the road.
The Kia Forte S has a starting MSRP of $19,200 and it is backed by an industry-leading warranty. They currently have a plan called “the Kia 10-year/100,000-mile warranty program,” that consists of: 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty; 5-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty; 5-year/100,000-mile limited anti-perforation warranty; and a 5-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan.