Review and Test Drive: 2019 Kia Forte EX

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Once underway we found Kia’s four banger, which is paired to a responsive continuously variable transmission or CVT, to be more than sufficient for day-to-day driving although it would be wont to keep up in the passing lane of an Autobahn.

The driver-assistance technologies worked better in this Kia than in any Kia we’ve driven before, which is to say that we’ve found some of the tech to be somewhat problematic.  Adaptive-cruise control did an excellent job in following traffic and lane-keeping assist kept the car within most of the stripes on the road with aplomb.  Luckily there was no need to use the collision-mitigation braking but the rear cross-traffic alert did alert one driver to passing traffic before he became aware of it visually.

The word that kept coming up as different staffers drove the Forte was “competent.” The Kia was just that, not exciting, not fun to drive, but competent. It did what it did well, i.e. transporting driver and passengers from point A to point B and doing so in a fairly nice passenger cabin.  “Frugal” was another word, thanks to its fuel economy. The 2.0-liter four is rated at 30 mpg (7.8 l/100 km) in town and 40 (5.9) on the highway and after 340 miles (547 kilometers) we recorded 34.9 mpg (6.7 l/100 km), an excellent outcome for a four-door sedan that’s actually comfortable for four people.



The Kia Forte is not only competent, of course, it’s good looking and has a nicely done interior. For those compact sedan buyers who care about good looks, fuel economy, and build quality, it’s a natural.


2019 Kia Forte EX


Base price/price-as-tested $21,990/$23,110
Drivetrain Front engine, front-wheel drive
Engine 2.0-liter four cylinder
Horsepower/Torque 147 / 999
Transmission CVT
Fuel economy (mpg) (city/hwy) 19/26

Jonathan Spira contributed to this review.

(Photos: Accura Media Group)


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