What the critics say
The 2019 Kia Forte
Attention, value shoppers: “This is the deal you’ve been looking for.” The new Kia Forte isn’t the quickest or nimblest car in its class, but it’s more enjoyable to drive than a Honda Civic, it “exceeds expectations” for style, and it comes packed with features and backed by a generous warranty. Now borrowing design elements from Kia’s sporty and upmarket Stinger, including a longer hood and fastback roof, the Forte “starts paying off before you even get in it.”
“In short, the Forte has grown up.” Having just supplanted a CUV—the Soul—as Kia’s top-selling model in the U.S., the new Forte is longer and wider than the previous edition, and its stiffer platform makes the driving experience sportier and more refined. The trunk has grown to near best in class, and thanks in part to a new CVT, or continuously variable transmission, this Kia touches 41 mpg on the highway.
Because it’s still powered by a 147-hp four-cylinder engine, the Forte “feels a little slow accelerating from a standstill.” But the CVT delivers power smoothly, and anyway, this Forte “improves upon what Kia already does best: offering tons of features for the money.” Lane-keeping assist, an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay: “You won’t find those features standard on the current Civic.” ■