Forget the ‘90s, we are living in a golden age of hot hatchbacks and sport compacts. With so many good offerings it is easy to see why Kia’s Forte5 gets overlooked by folks shopping for a sporty hatchback. Kia wants to change that with some big updates to the 2017 model. Is it a hot hatch? Not really, but it’s warm enough to be decent.
For those of you who are unaware, Kia will currently sell you a 173 horsepower hatchback for about $18,000. At $22,000 you can have 200 HP, a 6-speed manual transmission, and a “sport-tuned” suspension in the SX trim. Load that sucker up with leather seats that are both heated and ventilated, a heated steering wheel, UVO with navigation, sunroof, and a bunch of other goodies and you will barely break $26,000.
If you were to spec out a Volkswagen GTI with those same features you would quickly surpass the $30,000 mark.
Shop around and you can score well-equipped models for up almost $4,000 off the sticker price.
For 2017, Kia is cramming even more content to the Forte5 with some updated styling, advanced safety features such as: Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear-Cross Traffic Alert in addition to Apple Car Play and Andriod Auto. For those of you that don’t want to bother with a clutch pedal, Kia will use an all-new 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox that will replace the 6-speed automatic on the turbocharged models.
Pricing for 2017 models hasn’t been released, but it’s probably safe to say that Kia will retain its value proposition.
This isn’t the car for the buyer looking for the most amount of performance per dollar. Kia didn’t make a sport-compact to conquer apexes at your local autocross. However, if all you need is a stylish commuter car with a nice helping of fun and a maximum amount of content, the Forte5 is certainly worth a test drive.
If you have a question, a tip, or something you would like to to share about car-buying, drop me a line at AutomatchConsulting@gmail.com and be sure to include your Kinja handle.