2019 Kia Forte EX: Economy of Cost Not of Features

Published: Tuesday, May 7, 2019 | 8:52 PM


The Kia Forte comes into 2019 with a full redesign. What started out as basic mode of transportation has morphed into a stylish vehicle with a rakish exterior, nimble performance and plenty of tech for the money.

A riches of features is still standard on the Forte but the silhouette has changed with a longer hood and sloping back roofline. The 2019 Forte is more sporty and less like the economy car it still is.

The Forte comes in four trim levels: FE, LXS, S, and EX. This review will focus on the feature-rich top-level EX.

With heated side mirrors, windshield wiper de-icer, push-button ignition, keyless entry, keyless trunk opener, simulated-leather upholstery, a power adjustable driver’s seat, heated and ventilated front seats, a sliding armrest and two extra USB ports the Forte rocks it. Additional driver aids include blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and lane change assist.

2019 ForteThere is an add-on EX Launch Edition package which adds more goodies like a sunroof, rear decklid spoiler, 17-inch wheels and a wireless device charger that was not included on my model.

Powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, the Forte delivers 147 horses and 132 pound-feet of torque. A continuously variable automatic transmission drives it all. The only trim where a manual transmission is available is the base FE which is fine by me, I prefer an automatic. Expect to get 30/city, 40/highway, and 34/combined mpg.

The inside reflects the outside of the Forte with a mixture of materials that give the interior a more refined look. As always in Kias, the instrument panel is clear and easy to use, with button and knobs easy to access. Leg room is good in the front but backseat passengers may feel a bit cramped depending on their dimensions.

It’s easy to load stuff into the trunk with its wide opening and ample storage space (15.3 cubic feet). There also plenty of nooks and crannies for water bottles, books etc.

Although the Forte is not the sportiest of drives, it uses what it has in power to its best advantage and allows the driver to zip through traffic, but don’t expect any speed records. The suspension is a bit stiff so bumps are felt a bit more but the cabin is quiet with a small amount of road noise.

If your looking for an economy car that has more, try the 2019 Kia Forte EX for a test.