Flash Drive

2017 Kia Forte

Model Tested: 2017 Kia Forte EX

The 2017 Kia Forte Sedan EX has been significantly restyled and improved.

Engine: 2.0-liter I-4, 164 horsepower 151 lb-ft torque

Transmission: 6-speed automatic, front-wheel-drive

EPA Rating: 25 mpg city/33 mpg highway/28 mpg combined

Base Price: $21,200

As Tested: $26,540


Spritely performance, especially in sport mode

Well-sized for city driving/parking

Good fuel economy—we averaged 27.5 mpg

Drive modes: regular, eco, and sport

Blind spot monitoring

Automatic emergency braking

Forward collision warning

We tested the traditional sedan bodied Forte, but hatchback and coupe versions are also available.

Lane keeping assist


Super stretch-out front seat legroom

Three temperature heated and cooled front seats

Driver power lumbar adjustment

Medium thick, nicely contoured leather steering wheel

Tilt/telescopic steering column

Excellent auxiliary controls on steering wheel

Good back seat legroom with fronts up some

Ample shoe room under front seats

Soft, wide rear armrest

Ample rear headroom

Very low rear floor hump

Adults can fit in middle position, but cushion is hard

Front seat room is outstanding in the Kia Forte EX.


Medium to small sunroof

Digital and analog speedometer

Deep center console storage bin

Medium size front door bins

Medium, non-locking glovebox

Split folding rear seats with slight incline

Big height difference between folded seats and trunk

OK size, slightly arched pass-through

One seatback storage pouch

Small rear door bins

Big trunk with wide opening

Flat trunk floor

Big double, side-by-side storage bins under trunk floor

WOW Factors:

Room for NBA players in front seats

The trunk opening is wide and there is lots of room inside including some under the deck storage.

Sharp styling

Auto folding side mirrors

Lighted door handles

Excellent cargo capacity

Great active safety features in Premium Plus Package


Folding seat release knobs difficult to use

Cheap trunk carpeting

Hard plastic door panels

Bottom Line:

The 2017 Kia Forte EX sedan (the Forte is available in sedan, hatchback, and coupe body styles) is a stylish, feature-laden, roomy, affordable compact sedan. Front seat and cargo room are excellent and rear seat room is good. The optional Premium Plus Package is worthwhile, because it includes so many high-tech safety features.