2020 Kia Forte 5 GT
This week we are reviewing the KIA Forte 5 GT. Our vehicle was assembled at the Pesquería Plant plant in Mexico and has an MSRP of 31755.00 CAD.
Fun Factor: 7
Can it Family: 8
City Cruising: 6
The Forte 5 GT has big shoes to fill as it goes against a large number of hatches such as the VW GTI, the Honda Civic Sport and even the Elantra GT. While the entries above don't compete directly in size with the Forte 5 GT, they have a hot hatchback feeling to them. The KIA Forte comes with the added practicality of having a more spacious trunk than the models above. Under the hood of the Forte 5 GT, you'll find the familiar 1.6L turbo 4-cylinder that makes 201hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Our real-life acceleration test got us from 0 to 100km/h in 7.3 seconds, slightly slower than the 6.95 seconds it took us with the Automatic GTI. The difference is so little that it would be barely noticeable in the day to day and found that the vehicle was a lot more stable at launch compared to the GTI mainly due to the way the 7-speed dual-clutch has been optimized for spirited driving. Other entries in this segment have firm suspension; the KIA is tuned more towards comfort. The steering feels a little vague at first and then firms up with speed to give it a more enthusiastic feeling.
Can it family, it sure can we had enough space in the trunk to put a larger jogging stroller thanks to its hatchback almost station wagon shape and still have enough room for groceries. The drivers and co-pilot seats are well-bolstered. Around bends, side cushions could be positioned a little more aggressively to keep you in place; however, this way, the side bolstering can accommodate various body-shapes. The front seats also provide heated and cooled seats; that's rare in the segment and at this price point. Now going to the rear seats, they are quite upright and maybe less comfortable for your taller kids. The rear bench is otherwise comfortable except for the middle seat, which is more on the firmer side and will be less pleasant on longer drives. This seat also has an odd-shaped seatbelt insert that makes this seat better suited for short distances.
The average fuel economy observed with the Forte 5 GT was 8.05L/100km during our 350km test. We noted a fuel consumption of 9.9L/100km in the city, and on the HWY, we saw an average fuel economy of 6.6L/100km. KIA announces a combined economy of 8.9L/100km. In the city, they announce 8.9L/100km and on the Hwy 6.9L/100km. The CO2 emissions of the Forte 5 are 190g/km; this is slightly lower than its cousin, the Hyundai Elantra GT, equipped with a similar engine and transmission.
On the Hwy, the Forte drives like a charm and is very efficient. On cruise control, we saw the fuel economy dip as low as 6.2L/100km. The cabin does let in some road noise, especially from the rear trunk; it still made it possible to have a conversation with the whole family. It's worth mentioning that other vehicles in the segment don't really do better at this price point. Kia is quite generous with safety kit such as lane keep assist system, driver attention system alert, Forward collision-avoidance assist and rear cross-traffic alert that keeps you and your family safe. The lane keep assist will slightly vibrate the steering wheel and correct your trajectory. Front visibility is great; rear visibility is a little hindered by the large c-pillar and the small rear window.
You have to give it to KIA; they know their sound systems. The eight-speaker premium amplified audio system by Harman Kardon is good. The infotainment is easy to use and supports Apple Car Play and Android Auto; the voice command is efficient. The vehicle offers a wireless charging pad; strangely, it does not have wireless smartphone integration for its infotainment.
The installation of car seats, the rear doors open wide enough to get car seats inside the vehicle. Once inside, the ISOFIX ports are slightly hidden underneath the seat while still being reasonably accessible so that the installation can be done in a breeze. The vehicle offers latches on the outer seats and a rear anchor port in all 3 places. Smaller children will have no trouble opening the back doors to gain access to the vehicle as the doors are easy to open, and once inside, the seatbelt and buckles are nicely positioned on the outer seats. The one in the middle will require adult assistance due to its position inside the bench.
Over bumps and road imperfections, the Forte 5 takes them without upsetting the vehicle's momentum. One of the main reasons to take the Forte over its competitors is that it's turning radius permits you to do U-turns a lot easier and makes parking in tight parking spots easier to maneuver. The rearview camera is of good quality and offers several views depending on your needs. What the Forte 5 GT doesn't have is start/stop technology while sitting in traffic to reduce fuel consumption.
Why would we buy the Kia Forte 5 GT, or what we liked about it? Lots of space for the family, sporty performance while still being fuel-efficient, lots of options for the price (cooled seats, heated seats), a manual transmission is available.
Why would we not buy the Kia Forte 5 GT, or what we did not like about it? The brakes feel a little weak for a performance-oriented vehicle, noisy cabin, city driving less refined due to the dual-clutch. No hybrid version available at this time.
Kia has lent us this vehicle one week as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with Kia Canada. The above is a recollection of our personal opinion of the car referred above.