Review of the 2018 Kia Forte EX

By John Hayden

The final iteration of the second-generation Forte (launched in 2014) is still going strong in Canada. With only minor changes to its trim level packages, the 2018 Kia Forte EX still  competes with newer rivals. It  even contends with market leaders like the Hyundai Elantra (which uses the same engine) and the Ford Focus, as well as the Honda Civic Hatchback. These updates included a better-quality interior, more active safety features, and an upgraded infotainment system. All of them reflect its basic strengths: plenty of cargo room, spacious seating, and notable warranty coverage. Overall, it ranks high as great value for money among the models on the Hayden Agencies Used Car Lot.

Eye-Catching Design

One of the more attractive models in the compact hatchback category, its swoopy five-door design is discreet but appealing. In fact, it looks more expensive than its actual price on the lot. Like the LX, the mid-range EX includes air conditioning and heated front seats, with automatic headlights, cruise control, and a backup camera display. Its controls are laid out logically for easy use when driving, on a dashboard that feels solid enough to stand up to heavy use over time. Other features include audio with a seven-inch touchscreen (surrounded by useful buttons) and Android Auto smartphone integration. There is also a drive mode selector, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and power-folding side mirrors.

Petite but Powerful 2018 Kia Forte EX

Available with only a conventional six-speed automatic transmission in the EX trim, its powerful direct-injection 2.0L engine churns out a solid 164 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. Running on gasoline, its direct injection fuel system is rather unimpressive in today’s eco-aware world, with a city/highway fuel consumption that’s still acceptable at 9.4/7.0 L/100 kms. With a slightly bigger footprint than its predecessor, the Forte EX body shell is 37% stiffer. Composed of 63% high-tensile steel, it’s 127 KG lighter, with a redesigned suspension and bigger bushings for better steering. Its new electric power steering system is front-wheel drive only. However, a couple of stylish touches reflect Kia’s Euro-flavored branding: a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearstick.

Spacious Interior 

Generous legroom front and back ensure driver  comfort, with spacious interior dimensions ranking its cabin in the mid-size category, by EPA standards. Plushy fabric  gives its roomy cabin a touch of luxury.  It’s also tall enough to seat a couple of adults in the rear, without bumping their heads on the roof. Opening wide, its front doors lead to seats that are easy to slide across. Access is easy for backseat passengers as well, with minimal wheel well intrusion.

Riding in Comfort

Cornering smoothly despite its low-profile tires, the Kia Forte EX also handles rougher roads easily, with a solid suspension that’s designed for city and country driving. Simple to operate, the dual zone climate control includes a digital display and rear vents with a wide range of adjustment. There’s little wind noise, even at higher speeds, with the cabin well-isolated when idling. Although tyre noise increases on highways, this is easily offset by turning up the volume on the stereo.

2018 Kia Forte EX has Generous Storage Space

With a cargo area measuring 23.2 cubic feet (more than you get from the Mini Hardtop 4 Door, Volkswagen Golf, and Mazda 3 hatchback, the four is wide with no intrusions. Although the rear seats fold back easily, they don’t lie completely flat. There’s plenty of room for small items, with a bin under the HVAC controls and centre console between the front seats. Rear passengers share a fold-down midseat armrest, with cupholders for added convenience.

Takeaway: With its peppy acceleration, firm braking, and easy transitions from open highways to city traffic, the Kia Forte EX is full of pleasant surprises.

    Looking For Quick & Easy Financing?

    We know how to find the best vehicle for your situation, and have you leave the lot with a smile on your face.

    Apply now!