You would be hard-pressed to find a more handsome compact sedan or hatchback today, which counts for plenty in a world awash in automotive conformity. No changes to report for both models now entering their second year in their current iteration.
A 145-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder serves as the starting point; Forte5 hatchback runs with a 173-horsepower 2.0 (optional in the sedan), or a 201-horsepower 1.6-liter turbo.
The Forte sedan and hatch models were redesigned for 2014 and sail into 2015 unaltered. Kia star stylist Peter Schreyer, who has a knack for creating organically shaped sheetmetal that clicks with buyers, oversaw the design for both vehicles in addition to the sporty Forte Koup. The sedan runs exclusively with 1.8-liter engine that pumps out 145 horsepower and 130 pound-feet of torque, while an optional 2.0-liter four-cylinder produces 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. For Forte5 buyers, the 2.0 is standard, while a turbocharged 1.6-liter four cylinder is optional. It spools out 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission can be connected to the base 1.8 or the Forte5’s optional 1.6. However the 2.0-liter engine uses a six-speed automatic only, which is the optional transmission in the other two powerplants. Spending time aboard the Forte or Forte5 will prove comforting for passengers and especially pleasing for the driver who has command over the level of steering effort with the Forte’s optional Flex Steer system. With it, the electric power steering can be adjusted to Comfort, Normal and Sport settings, with the latter offering the least amount of assist. Of the Forte’s two trim levels, the starting-point LX leans to the simpler side of the ledger with its smaller engine, 15-inch steel wheels, basic audio system and the lack of cruise control and a keyless remote entry button on the fob. Move up to the EX (the starting point for the Forte5) and along with adding the LX’s missing items, you can count on dual-zone climate control, a Microsoft-powered infotainment system, backup camera, glove-box cooler and 16-inch alloy wheels. The optional 2.0-liter four-cylinder is also an EX staple. The Forte5 SX gets the turbo engine along with plenty of convenience content, but can only be had with the six-speed stick.