2022 Kia Forte5: Staying Relevant

Strong points
  • High value
  • Great fuel economy
  • Generous warranties
Weak points
  • Visibility could be better
  • Steering lacks precision
  • Comfort is decent at best
Full report

The compact sedan segment has lost key market shares in recent years but could regain some thanks to gas prices being historically and absurdly high. The Kia Forte is one such car that efficiency-minded customers should consider.

The 2022 Forte lineup includes seven sedan models (LX BM, LX, EX, EX +, EX Premium, GT-Line and GT Premium) and three hatchback models (Forte5 EX, GT and GT Limited). Our tester for this review was the base hatchback.

Forte5 pricing ranges from $24,510-$32,810 including $1,700 destination and delivery charges. There are seven body colours to choose from, with Gravity Blue (as tested) costing an extra $250.

How does the Kia Forte5 fare against the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Sentra, Toyota Corolla, Subaru Impreza and Mazda3? Let’s find out.  

Photo: Dominic Boucher

Interesting Value

The Kia Forte5 shines by offering customers plenty of bang for their buck. Standard content includes a heated steering wheel and front seats, wireless charging for smartphones (that’s right) and an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

It also comes with LED daytime running lights and many driver assistance technologies such as rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, forward emergency braking assist and driver attention alert.

The infotainment system is easy to use with a home screen that makes all the main vehicle functions readily accessible. It’s not the sharpest-looking interface out there, but it does what it’s supposed to do. Facing the driver are two analogue gauges and a 4.2-inch multi-function display.

Photo: Dominic Boucher

Agile Commuter

On the road, the Kia Forte5 behaves like a proper commuter. It’s responsive and agile enough to thread its way through traffic and tight spots fairly easily. However, the ride is kind of stiff on bad pavement, while visibility is compromised by the large roof pillars and tight rear window.

Furthermore, steering lacks precision and feedback. On a positive note, the telescopic and tilt-adjustable steering column is something you don’t always find in an entry-level car. The cabin is relatively quiet, though the 16-inch Nexen tires make a bit too much noise. 

Photo: Dominic Boucher

Two Engines

The base Forte5 houses a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine producing 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. A continuously variable transmission sends that power to the front wheels only.

Let’s just say that performance is a bit underwhelming. Then again, if you want basic transportation to go from A to B, you’ll be fine. The most pleasant thing here is fuel economy. Our tester closed the week with an average of 7.1 L/100 km.

To spice things up, GT and GT Limited models get a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. You’ll most certainly appreciate the 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.

Photo: Dominic Boucher

Sensible Purchase

We cannot end this review without a few words about Kia’s warranties, which rank among the best in the industry. Basic coverage and powertrain coverage are both 5 years or 100,000 km, whichever occurs first. Anti-perforation warranty is also good for 5 years but there’s no mileage limit.

With today’s high gas prices, the 2022 Kia Forte sedan and Forte5 hatchback are efficient, high-value options that customers need to consider. Aside from a few irritants, the duo represents a sensible purchase for anyone after an economical, stress-free commuter.

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