Kia announced that following minor revisions, the 2015 Kia Forte sedan earned a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Kia Forte earned a four-star rating for the 2014 model year.
The primary changes to the 2015 Kia Forte sedan include stronger A-pillars and lower side-sills, helping the compact sedan improve its frontal crash-test rating. NHTSA ratings for the outgoing Forte sedan were the result of a three-star front crash rating, a five-star side crash rating, and a four-star rollover rating. Improvements for the 2015 Kia Forte resulted in a four-star frontal crash rating, while the previous side crash and rollover ratings were unchanged. That was enough to push the overall rating from four to five stars.
The 2015 Kia Forte is otherwise the same as the 2014 model, which was overhauled as an all-new compact competitor following its lackluster debut four years earlier. Customers opting for the base Forte will get a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine producing 148 hp and 131 lb-ft of torque, while customers with a bit more power in mind can get a 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 174 hp and 154 lb-ft of torque in the Forte EX. The base engine comes with either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission, while the 2.0-liter pairs only with the automatic. The 2015 Kia Forte will cost $16,690 including destination fees.
Safety standards are becoming ever-more stringent, forcing companies to push the envelope on safety. Already we’ve seen manufacturers respond to the requirement for standard stability control, add more airbags and radar- or laser-based collision warning systems, and prepare for the mandate that rear-view camera technology come standard on new cars by 2018. A possible next step down the line could be vehicle-to-vehicle technology (V2V), which the NHTSA has already publicly endorsed. Cadillac announced yesterday that V2V technology would come to the CTS sedan in 2017.