The Forte is Kia’s compact sedan that has been making a pretty good impression on the market. Although it is no Honda Accord or Toyota Camry, it still has its own strengths that set it apart from the rest. The Kia Forte is relatively inexpensive, yet it does not compromise on what buyers look for the most in this price range. The 2022 model hits the market with styling changes and also adds new tech features. As anyone would say, the value proposition is pretty great here, with some pretty cool features coming just at $20,085.
For 2022, Kia would be making some changes to the trim levels as well. The EX-trim has been axed and a new Sports Premium package has been added to the sporty GT-Line trim. All in all, there are now four distinct trims in the line-up – FE, LXS, GT-Line, and GT. The prices are – $20,085 for the FE, $20,585 for the LXS, $22,285 for the GT-Line and finally, $24,485 for the GT. Also, new Technology packages are made available for the LXS, GT-Line Technology, and GT. The Technology package will include driver assistance features, but each one that will be added will be unique to each trim.
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Now, the most exciting part of a car is the engine, but sadly, Kia would be making no changes to the powertrains powering the Forte. There are two engine options on offer – a 2.0L naturally aspirated inline-4 that is capable of producing a modest 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. The other is a 1.6L turbocharged inline-4 that produces 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque.
Only the base trim will come with a 6-speed manual transmission. The others will be equipped with CVT. However, the GT trim will also have a DCT transmission on offer. Both the engines are pretty slow, with the naturally aspirated being slower.
Not really all that exciting, but the Forte GT does make the sprint to 60 MPH in 6.7 seconds, which is impressively quick for this price range. The ride is also comfortable and for regular commuters, the regular Forte shall be more than enough. However, for those who want a little more adventure, the GT trim is there for the taking. It also handles better than the boring Fortes, but not exactly inspiring.
The interior is minimalistic but it still looks pretty slick. The materials used are high-quality and the interior is pretty upscale for the price. As you go higher up the trims, you get better materials. You can also opt for heated and ventilated seats and dual-zone climate control. Again, for a regular commute, this car should not disappoint you. The GT-Line and GT get sports seats and also a sport steering wheel. You can add a black interior with red contrast stitching to give off that sporty vibe and it looks really cool.
If you read the title, you know that there is new tech and yes, the new tech is exciting. Even though it does not break your bank, the FE and LXS models still come with a large 8” infotainment touchscreen that works surprisingly well. Of course, it is not the best in business but it is pretty good. Not only that, you also get a 4.2” optional digital instrument cluster.
Oh, and the GT-Line and GT trim both enjoy a 10.25” touchscreen, which is all the more exciting. The base trims come with Bluetooth and also wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. The larger infotainment system packs navigation as standard, and also SiriusXM radio. The rear USB charging port is standard and wireless charging is also an option you can explore. So, the tech definitely looks more exciting.
Before we talk about safety, let’s talk about the exterior upgrades that make the Forte look cooler than ever before. Well, the new design refresh is certainly welcome and the Forte looks sportier than ever before. The front fascia has been updated and the look has been made more aggressive.
The front bumper has been changed and now looks more aggressive. The grille has also been changed and new exterior lighting elements have been added. The headlights have been changed and they appear very slick now. With small LED pieces forming the DRL, the shape of the headlights is pretty aggressive with sharp cuts and edges and the entire structure appears pretty attractive. The grille is now narrower and sandwiched between the headlights. The new Kia logo sits on top of the grille, at the center. The front bumper now appears way more stylish and cooler.
Kia is going for that aggressive theme and that is pretty evident. The GT-Line trim gets LED fog lights as standard and also new 17” aluminum wheels. Speaking of wheels, the design has been updated and appears way more pleasing now. With the upgraded rear bumper, the stylish new Kia Forte is here to steal the hearts of millennials.
Now, coming to safety, Kia has made some welcome changes in that department too. All the new models of the Korean car will now come with a lane following assist system as standard. Adaptive cruise control is an option and it has been improved. The system can now adjust speed according to the navigation data based on the speed limits and it can also slow down before entering curves. Pretty smart. This entirely new system is dubbed the Highway Driving Assist and it works as a Level 2 autonomous driving system.
The Kia DRIVE WiSE safety equipment has also been updated. Alongside lane following assist, now you will also get forward collision warning with pedestrian warning, automatic emergency braking, and driver warning system as standard. Aside from the standard features, the list in the option holds new features such as cyclist detection and automatic rear braking. The Safe Exit Warning system will alert the occupants if there is any pedestrian, cyclist, or another vehicle approaching from behind when they try to open the door and exit the car.
So, those are the most exciting and the most significant changes coming to the 2022 Kia Forte. The Forte has been revised quite well and it aims to capture the market share. With the new styling, it is sure to turn more heads. With the new tech and driver assistance features, no one can argue that it is not a value proposition. Perhaps the performance is the only issue but those with the GT certainly shouldn’t complain. Overall, this is a win for Kia.
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