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.

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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.

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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.

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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.