The 2017 Forte receives subtle visual changes including a new front bumper with ‘tiger nose’ radiator grille, now connected to the headlights – just like on the 2016 Optima. At the back there’s a pair of new taillights with optional LED technology.
The facelifted model will be offered with a new trim level – the sporty S that sits between the entry-level LX and the range-topping EX models. It comes with a sport-tuned suspension, 16-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, and a rear spoiler.
All trims will come as standard with Drive Mode Select, which allows the driver to choose from Normal, Eco, or Sport driving modes. The 2017 Forte also features a variety of safety and assistance systems, including autonomous emergency braking, front collision warning, lane change warning, lane keep assist, etc.
Probably the biggest hews here is the addition of a 2.0-liter Atkinson inline 4-cylinder engine that replaces the 1.8 motor of the outgoing model. It can be mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a revised six-speed automatic. The EX models will be powered by another 2.0-liter engine, paired to a six-speed auto transmission.
Kia says power ratings and fuel economy figures will be released closer to launch, expected in a few weeks. Information about the 2017 Forte Koup will be released at a later date.