2017 Kia Forte5 SX new car reviews

The Kia Forte5 is simply a five-door iteration of the brand's economy car. Packing more space and utility into a small economy car sounds like one practical package. Our test car came with the optional twin-clutch transmission and the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine.

We recently reviewed the Toyota Corolla iM, one of the Forte SX's biggest competitors. So how do they compare? Our own General Manager, Margie Suddard, took the keys to find out.

Other staff views

Marjorie Suddard Marjorie Suddard
General Manager

Unfortunately, I don’t think you’re going to get a “nice” review of the Forte5. I drove it home from the office once… then parked it. It was awful. Is Kia some kind of Korean acronym for “transmission slip”? The dual clutch unit in that thing generated noises and sensations that made me feel like I was sliding around in a dying cow.

This car should appeal to me, but if I'm looking for something in this format, I would definitely pay less and get more by choosing the Toyota iM.

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Comments

View comments on the GRM forums
singleslammer
singleslammer PowerDork
6/15/17 11:48 a.m.

Anything else worth noting? Basically, if you get a manual, is it worth considering? I remember driving a manual Fiesta (that I bought) vs an auto. Night and day. That Ford auto is pile.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
6/15/17 12:13 p.m.

In reply to singleslammer:

If it's the same dual clutch as the Hyundai Veloster loaner we had, yes it really is pretty damn bad.

Rusted_Busted_Spit
Rusted_Busted_Spit PowerDork
6/15/17 2:03 p.m.

I liked the 16 that I drove, but it was a stick.

Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
6/15/17 4:24 p.m.

I haven't driven the manual, so I can't judge. Tim also drove it--also only once--and said the steering felt "as dead as Abraham Lincoln," so not sure a stick is going to transform this enough. The overall dynamic was sluggish and underpowered. If we get a chance to drive a non-slushbox version, I'll be eager to see if that's all it needs to, you know, not suck.

Margie

Driven5
Driven5 Dork
6/16/17 1:45 a.m.

Wow...It sounds like Kia benchmarked the Ford Powershift, and then decided they could beat them at their own "How bad can a DCT be?" game.

FSP_ZX2
FSP_ZX2 Dork
6/19/17 4:21 p.m.

I have the 2017 Elantra Sport with the 201hp 1.6T and the M6 transmission. I smile every time I drive it.

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