Kia has officially detailed the 2017 Forte, which includes a refreshed appearance and new engine. The refresh is Kia’s attempt to bring the Forte in line with the rest of the lineup from a design perspective and increase performance, at least that’s the theory here.
The design changes are fairly substantial for a refresh. The front bumper, grille and headlights are all new for 2017. The grille has changed to Kia’s signature “tiger nose” grille design, which directly connects to the new, sleeker lamps. Kia says the design is European inspired, which is perhaps debatable. Nonetheless, the 2017 Forte does look better than the 2016; sleeker and more sophisticated.
Kia has also swapped out the taillights with sleeker units. While not standard, LED taillights will be optional.
Prior to the 2017 model the Forte was powered by Kia’s 1.8-liter four-cylinder. That engine has been ditched in favor of a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder. Despite the bigger displacement and Kia’s claims of “better performance,” the power figures are largely unchanged from the old engine at 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual or automatic gearbox remains the choices on the new engine, while fuel economy remains a mystery until closer to launch.
The 2017 Kia Forte is expected to arrive later this year.