Unveiled at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan was the third generation of the best-selling Kia in Canada: the 2019 Kia Forte.
Forte styling is inspired by the new performance flagship, the Kia Stinger. An Atkinson-cycle engine, mated to a Intelligent Variable Transmission, will dramatically improve fuel economy. Inside, an eight-inch touchscreen is standard fit across the 2019 Forte line. Slightly increased dimensions pay off with a vast trunk and improved cabin space, and inside, noise levels are reduced by 5 decibels, a very significant drop. Safety remains of paramount concern to Kia Motors, and the outgoing Forte - which was already a Top Safety Pick+ at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety - will be replaced by a Forte that expands on the nameplate's reputation with more high-strength steel, strong seat frames, and a body that's 16-percent stiffer overall.
We'll know more about the breakdown of 2019 Forte trim levels as we approach the sedan's on-sale date later in 2018. For now, we know that the 2.0-liter engine produces 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. The engine and transmission are part of Kia's new Smart Stream powertrains that will eventually infiltrate the entire Kia lineup. While the power is appreciated, you'll notice the Forte's fuel savings in your wallet.
Expect fuel consumption to fall between 9 and 20 percent to around 6.7 L/100km in mixed city/highway driving with the 2019 Forte.
A large touchscreen won't be the only technological leap forward with the new Forte. Expect wireless phone charging, an available 320-watt Harman Kardon audio system, and a wide array of advanced safety gear, as well: blind spot warning, lane keeping assist, forward collision avoidance assist, and smart cruise control.
Meanwhile, the chassis stiffness that pays off in terms of safety will also play a role in enhancing the Forte's on-road behaviour. New subframes, new suspension geometry, smoother throttle response and greater brake progression are all made easier by the improved structure.
Yet even before the 2019 Kia Forte arrives, Kia Canada is already selling more Fortes than ever before. 2017 was a record year for the Forte in Canada, with 16,388 nationwide sales, up 33 percent compared to the year before.