2019 Kia Forte EX Review By David Colman +Video - It's E15 Approved
Big interior, big mileage, big value... small price!
By David Colman
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL
But even with the base motor, the Forte EX is still a surprising kick to drive, thanks to its low curb weight of 2,805lbs. and manually controllable "Intelligent Variable Transmission." This IVT is one of the better CVT offerings. When you snap the floor lever into its manual range, you immediately shift the Forte into "Sport" mode. You can also access Sport via a Mode button on the center console. Choosing Sport illuminates a red outline of the Forte on the 8 inch touchscreen, which also flashes the word Sport. At that point, you can also feel the steering resistance tighten. The IVT holds the simulated "gear" range you have chosen when you bump the floor stick backwards for downshifts and forward for upshifts. A large centrally located tachometer redlined at 6500rpm keeps track of your manual shifts. While Kia provides no paddles at the wheel, the floor actuation is just as quick and satisfying as paddle shifting.
The new Forte's suspension and wheel/tire combination provides surprisingly well controlled behavior. The 17 inch alloy rims, part of an optional $3,210 "EX Launch Edition," plant 225/45R17 Kumho Majesty Solus radials at each corner. Despite the fact that these mud and snow rated tires carry a super-long wear rating of TW500, they grip the road with tenacious resolve. The shock/spring/tire setup Kia has chosen for the Forte EX producers lively, compliant sports sedan handling worthy of German cars costing twice as much.
Our test Forte's EX Launch Edition Package added a couple of worthy refinements to the comprehensive basic mix. Navigation tops the list of added inclusions, with a couple of additional safety measures to help you park (rear parking distance warning), travel (smart cruise control), and steer clear of pedestrians (forward collision avoidance-pedestrians). Not only that, but Kia also throws in a rear spoiler, LED headlights and LED interior lights, plus a wireless phone charger. And last but not least, the Launch edition includes those graphite finished, 5 double spoke alloy 17 inch rims. Seems like a lot of pricey extra equipment for just a $3,210 expenditure.
2019 KIA FORTE EX
ENGINE: 2.0 liter Multi-Port Injection Inline 4
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 30MPG City/40MPG Highway
PRICE AS TESTED: $26,220
HYPES: Best CVT Transmission, Value Packed
GRIPES: Turbo No Longer Available
STAR RATING: 10 Stars out of 10
The Most In-Depth Independent Kia Vehicle Shopper's Research - Anywhere!
- Kia Buyers Guide | Specs, Prices, Expert Reviews and Comparisons 2019-1997
- Find Your Perfect New Car Match
- Kia Reviews By The Auto Channel Journalists (1998-Present)
- The Auto Channel's Kia Brand Article Archives; News, Press Releases, Reviews, Specifications, Prices, Video, Images; 51,423 Annotations