After around three years on the market, the Kia Forte compact is getting a few updates for 2017. Along with cleaner styling front and rear, the 2017 Kia Forte sedan and Forte5 hatchback also benefit from newly available engine and transmission options that should increase fuel economy and power.
The 2017 Forte’s visual changes are relatively minor, and include a revised bumper, reshaped headlights, and the “tiger nose” corporate grill to bring it in line with other Kias like the Optima midsize sedan. The taillights are a bit different as well, and now offer LED bulbs as an option. On the inside, the standard cloth upholstery is upgraded, and upper trims come with new features including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability, along with active safety systems like lane-keep assist, autonomous emergency braking, and cross-traffic alert.
The most notable change is found under the hood of the 2017 Kia Forte sedan, where a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder replaces the outgoing 145-hp 1.8-liter unit. It pairs with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission, though Kia is not yet releasing horsepower numbers or EPA fuel economy estimates. The Forte sedan’s upgrade engine, a 173-hp, 2.0-liter direct-injection four-cylinder, carries on unchanged.
The 2017 Kia Forte5 hatch, meanwhile, comes standard with the direct-injection 2.0-liter four, paired with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. A 1.6-liter engine remains the optional engine for the sportier SX trim, though the outgoing six-speed automatic is swapped out for a more advanced seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (a six-speed manual is still standard).
Though a sportier trim level was previously offered only on the hatchback, the Forte sedan adds a new “S” trim for 2017 to slot in between the LX and EX sedans. It has 16-inch wheels, LED lighting accents, a spoiler, and a supposedly “sport-tuned” suspension. The Forte5 lineup is unchanged, with LX, EX, and SX models.
If you’re wondering where the Kia Forte Koup fits into these updates, stay tuned—Kia says it will release more info about the Forte two-door later this year. Until then, keep an eye out for more info on the 2017 Kia Forte sedan and Forte5 hatch until they go on sale within the next few months.