Drivetrain: A 145-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder serves as the sedan’s base offering; Forte5 hatchback starts with a 173-horsepower 2.0 (optional in the sedan), or available 201-horsepower 1.6-liter turbo.
The Forte sedan and hatch models were redesigned for 2014 and sail into 2016 unaltered. Kia stylist Peter Schreyer oversaw the design for both vehicles in addition to the sporty Forte Koup. The sedan runs exclusively with a 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. 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 for 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, the latter offering the least amount of assist. Of the Forte’s two trim levels, the starting-point LX sedan comes with 15-inch steel wheels, basic audio system and the lack of cruise control and keyless remote entry. Move up to the EX (the starting point for the Forte5) and dual-zone climate control, a Microsoft-powered infotainment system, backup camera, glove-box cooler and 16-inch alloy wheels are added. 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.