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2019 Kia Forte: Stinger looks, a lot of technology and a CVT

When Kia previewed the new Forte with some Stinger-ish representations, I thought: "There's no way that Kia really makes it look like that in production." I guess the 2018 Detroit Auto Show is the place for me to eat my hat.

A quick glance is all it takes to know that Kia delivered on its promise to inject the Forte 2019 with some of the mojo from its latest full-size sports offering. The headlights and grille in particular seem taken out of the Stinger. A strong character line follows the tip of the headlight around the back, where it meets with thin taillights connected by an adjustment strip. It has a properly premium feel of something that will not be terribly expensive.

You probably will not drag it like the Stinger does, but at this price, you really can not wait.


Kia did not share an image of Forte's interior at the time this was written. That said, we do know that the enlarged dimensions of the vehicle provide additional space for the height of the legs and shoulders. The circular vents are inspired by the aerospace industry, and Kia promises that this time there will be more soft materials to the touch.

Standard interior equipment includes an 8-inch touch screen that contains Apple CarPlay and Android Auto . Wireless phone charging is optional, as is a 320-watt Harman Kardon sound system.

The Forte 2019 comes with just one engine: a 2.0-liter Atkinson I4 cycle engine that generates 147 horsepower and 132 lb.-ft. of torque. It comes coupled with a CVT developed by Kia that has "change points" that eliminate a critical CVT. The transmission case also has an insulating cover that helps reduce some of the buzzing noises commonly associated with this type of transmission. It is expected that the engine and transmission combination deliver 35 mpg combined, about 3 mpg more than before.

Although it is a more affordable car, Kia will offer a wide variety of driver assistance technology. Available systems include blind spot monitoring, lane maintenance assistance, frontal collision warning and adaptive cruise control.

The 2019 Kia Forte will go on sale later this year, and prices will be announced closer to its launch date.

The back has more Sportage than Stinger, but it's still a good look.


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