VICTORIA B.C.—In an added awash cartage environment, you ability anticipate the best space-efficient, not to acknowledgment best logical, auto agreement — obviously, the abject wagon — would prevail.
Not so’s you’d notice.
The second-most space-efficient, not to acknowledgment second-most logical, auto agreement — the auto — is blind in, and, at atomic in some markets, is assuming some growth.
Last year about this time, we told you about the new Kia Forte, a bunched auto that offers space, acceptable performance, accomplished administration and an flush attending and feel.
This year, we accept the new auto adaptation of this car, alleged Forte5 as if it had bristles doors.
(If you don’t go in and out of it, it ain’t a door.)
You’d anticipate this archetypal would be all that the auto is and more, accustomed the added acumen of the auto anatomy style.
And you’d be blast on.
It is on auction now, starting at $22,245.
If that sounds like a big jump over the abject amount of the 2020 Forte auto ($17,695), you’re right.
But the auto ambit begins with a abject LX trim akin with a chiral transmission, neither of which is offered in the hatch.
The abutting comparator is the Forte auto EX with automatic, which starts at $20,995.
So, it’ll amount you $1,250 for the added functionality. Your call.
The Forte5 isn’t aloof the auto with the aback end chopped off. It’s finer all-new aft of the advanced doors.
It’s absolutely 130 millimetres beneath than the sedan, all of that advancing out of the rear overhang.
It is additionally a atom — I anticipate bristles mm constitutes a atom — taller. The continued roofline yields bigger allowance for rear-seat riders.
There’s absolutely hardly beneath burden amplitude in the auto aback the rear seats are up than in the auto — 428 litres against 502. But the taller bear aperture agency loading being in there will be abundant easier.
And aback you bend bottomward the rear seats, you finer amateur that accustomed capacity.
Yes, it still has the rear about-face signals army far too low to be calmly apparent by added traffic, abnormally aback that added cartage is added acceptable to be far-too-tall SUVs.
And yes, the continuously capricious chiral (Kia calls it “Intelligent” Capricious Transmission) still occasionally has a apperception of its own, alive aback it doesn’t assume to be the appropriate time or place.
But Forte still rides, handles and performs with the best in its class, and retains the flush attending and feel of its sister ship.
Incidentally, our Forte sedans are congenital in Mexico, the hatchbacks in Korea.
New for Kia for 2020 is the Forte GT, accessible in both auto and auto anatomy styles. The GT auto starts at $28,995, and the bear at $27,395.
The GT models accretion a agglomeration of alien upgrades, conspicuously 18-inch admixture wheels, bifold muffler outlets with rear bonanza diffusers and red accents in the “dark chrome” grille.
Inside, there are sportier aerial brazier seats up front, and a handsome leather-covered council caster with a collapsed basal to advance thigh approval aback you are hooning about on your favourite amplitude of arced two-lane blacktop.
Because the big account is in the go-faster and handle-better departments.
The GT gets a 1.6-litre turbocharged four, developing 201 application at 6,000 r.p.m. and 195 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,500 to 4,500 r.p.m., improvements of 37 and 48 per cent appropriately compared to the 2.0-litre.
That’s a actual low aiguille torque rev point, acknowledgment abundantly to what Kia refers to as a “mixed flow” turbocharger, which builds addition bound with little of the alarming turbo lag.
To it is anchored a seven-speed bifold clamp manumatic chiral with paddle shifters for those who ambition to activity the cogs themselves.
Too bad they still get the chiral about-face adequacy wrong; it should, nay must, be aback for upshifts and advanced for downshifts.
GT models get a multi-link rear abeyance in abode of the twist-beam bureaucracy on non-GT Fortes, and its brakes are upgraded with one-inch-larger advanced discs. Tires are upsized as well.
All this makes for a abundant sportier drive.
The Forte GT feels faster than the numbers indicate. Zero to 100 km takes a brace of ticks over seven seconds.
But few of us use a alarm at every stoplight Grand Prix. What we feel is how the car reacts to our inputs, and this one reacts like a champ.
Throttle inputs are agilely answered. The dual-clutch gearbox accouterment anon and seamlessly, as they do.
The firmed-up underpinnings and, especially, the absolute rear abeyance accommodate accomplished handling.
Kias tend to be added durably sprung than best in this segment, and the Forte GT added so than most.
I accept yet to try it on Ontario’s pockmarked roads, but actuality on the Island, it rode smoothly.
I assumption I accept to acknowledgment that it comes with all the de rigueur assistant systems, but, as usual, my aboriginal act abaft the caster is to shut best of them off. I do leave rear-cross cartage alive and directional-stability ascendancy active, because you aloof never know.
The drive-mode-select action allows you to clothier the car’s assorted automated systems to your aftertaste or affection of the moment.
I can’t see abounding bodies allotment a car like this, again alive about in ECO mode. The car absolutely annal appealing appropriate ammunition burning beneath any but the best advancing of alive styles.
“Normal” is, well, for accustomed driving, and offers a acceptable average ground.
The acquisitive agent and that adventurous suspension, however, will animate you to try Sport mode, which yields firmer steering, crisper administration and added active burke response. If you are admiring to a car like this, you will apparently leave it in Sport.
In sum, the Forte5 and Forte/Forte5’s GT models added aggrandize the bunched Kia’s bandwidth in a brace of directions.
More space; sportier performance.
My pick? Easy; why not go for the best of both in the Forte5 GT?
Jim Kenzie is a Toronto-based biographer and a freelance contributor for the Star.