This Kia’s EPA rating is far too low. Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Nov. 2, 2016 2017 Kia Forte LX with the 6-speed AT - $19,665 incl. mats and the $850 D&H charge offers owners a 29/38 mpgUS city/highway rating. Given our recent drive of the Hyundai Elantra with the exact same 2.0L I4 provided far beyond the same EPA rating, I assume the 2017 Forte will provide the same. The refreshed 2017 Forte gains a reengineered base engine that provides vastly superior fuel efficiency and performance, plus some of the most advanced convenience and driver-assistance features available from any manufacturer. 2017 Kia Forte Exterior Up front, the Forte include a new front bumper and “tiger nose” grille that has been widened to connect with newly designed halogen or available Xenon HID headlamps. The Forte maintains the downward sloping rear to front character line through the front and rear shapely handles and unique alloys. Out back new taillights round out the updates. Now available in three trims, a new mid-trim called the S sits in between the entry-level LX trim and the top-trim EX model. The new S trim adds a sport-tuned suspension, 16” alloys, LED positioning lights, rear spoiler, and a chrome exhaust tip. For 2017, the EX continues as the top trim with LED taillamps, proximity key w/ perimeter approach lighting and front door pocket lighting, and new 17” alloys. 2017 Kia Forte Interior Inside, LX and S trims received upgraded cloth materials for the seats, S trim includes black cloth with white contrasting stitching, as well as a leather-wrapped wheel and shift knob. What I have always enjoyed about Kia’s is there is always something that stands out and the molded in waves on the passenger side dash add focus to what is normally a flat piece of plastic. The carbon fiber like vent and handle surrounds are interesting but a bit too youth oriented for my taste. The EX includes standard heated leather front seats, dual-zone auto climate, rear vents, and a push-button start w/ proximity key. Both the S and EX trims come standard with the latest UVO3 telematics, which is displayed on a 7-inch touch screen and includes both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. And yes it works fantastic! The Forte also comes with Kia’s latest navigation system and Drive Mode System, Normal, Eco, or Sport settings. On the safety front, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Detection, and Rear-Cross Traffic Alert are also available. The refreshed 2017 model has not yet been tested by the IIHS but it has earned 5-stars on the NHTSA. 2017 Kia Forte Drivetrain Replacing last year’s 1.8L I4 is the 147 hp and 132 lb-ft. of torque 2.0L I4 mated to either a 6-speed MT or new AT. The EX arrives with a more spirited 164 hp and 151 lb-ft. of torque direct injected 2.0L I4, the one we are driving. The Forte sedan is being produced at Kia’s brand new Monterrey, Mexico manufacturing facility. 2017 Kia Forte First Drive Impressions This first drive is more a simple placeholder vs. a calibration drive as I am working on a rather interesting project the past few weeks. Our last drive of Kia’s 2.0L in a high end Forte at an event a few years back was not that well received. It was powerful enough but to put it bluntly, the efficiency sucked. What I was hoping is that the new 2.0L and vastly updated 6-speed AT would offer efficiencies comparable to the all-new 2017 Elantra. It should after all given they have the same drivetrain lineage. This week’s ride is the formidable 25/33 mpg city highway rated $26,540 as driven 2017 Kia Forte EX ($21,200 to start) with the hopped up 2.0L I4 and 6-speed AT as described above. $3,500 to $4k off should be a starting target when shopping the 17 Forte. Along with the more powerful drivetrain over the LX and S trims, 17” alloys, puddle lamps on the handles and LED positioning lights are part of the package. Inside it includes all of the features mentioned above. This ride also includes the EX Premium Plus pkg. ($4,490) with the following additions: Upgraded instrument cluster with LCD NAVI Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) Forward Collision Warning (FCW) Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) Lane Departure Warning (LDW) Lane Keep Assist (LKA) Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) Heated and cooled front seats Pwr. drivers seat with memory Auto dimming rear view Xenon HIDs Pwr. Sunroof With a combined figure of just 28 mpg, I was expecting it to underwhelm despite the newfound hope of a corporation that is in the midst of a very quiet efficiency turnaround like nothing the world has ever experienced before. The brand has promised to achieve a 25 percent increase in efficiency across the entire lineup by 2020. Much of that is surely based on the upcoming Niro, the 39/46 mpg city/highway rated Kia Optima and Kia Optima PHEV-27. But what about its bread and butter cars like the standard Forte and Optima? So let’s take it for a little drive between Anaheim and North San Diego to see how the new drivetrain performs. The results were anything but underwhelming. In fact they were so high that I looked under the hood to make sure this was the new 2.0L! Since this is a non-calibrated drive, I will have to leave the actual to your imagination but like most Hyundai’s and Kia’s, it is probably off just 1 to 1.5 percent. Not bad for a 25 mpg combined rated compact taking on afternoon traffic on the 405/5 in southern California. Kia October 2016 U.S. Sales Overview Kia reported it sold 48,977 vehicles in October, down 2.1 percent below the 50,044 sold in October of 2015. Given there were two fewer selling days this October vs last, the daily selling rate (DSR) was up 5.4 percent. YTD sales of 540,741 are up 2.8 percent over the 526,024 sold during the same period of 2015. The refreshed Forte was the brands powerhouse seller with 8,013 vehicles sold, up 54.2 percent over the 5,198 sold in October of 2015. YTD sales of 87,621 are up 27.9 percent over the 68,498 sold during the same period of 2015. Notice how close the 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid is to taking over the #1 spot held onto by the 4th gen Prius? The Prius has never been outsold by any Hybrid since the introduction of the 2nd gen as a 2004 MY offering way back in late 2003. If the Fusion Hybrid sells just another 550 units next month over this and Prius sales stay flat at this new extremely low sales level, the long held dominance of the Prius could be in jeopardy. Think what could happen if the upcoming Hyundai Ioniq arrives with a similar level of efficiency and lower price? October 2016 U.S. Automobile Market Share Detail In October, GM’s U.S. market share was up a significant 0.7 percent while both Toyota and FCAs were down 0.5 and 0.7 percent respectively. On a volume basis, October of 2016 US Auto sales of 1.37 million vehicles was down 4.9 percent below October of 2015s 1.44 million vehicle sales result. Remember that there were 2 fewer selling days in October of 2016 or 7.8 percent fewer selling days. 2016 YTD sales of 14.42 million is down 0.3 percent above the 14.46 million vehicles sold through the same period of 2015 with 2 (or 0.8 percent) fewer selling days. U.S. October 2016 Sales vs. October 2015 Sales Ranks and Results for the top 19 Automobile Manufacturers GM October 2016 Sales Down 1.7% with 258,626 Vehicles Sold Ford October 2016 Sales Down 11.7% with 188,813 Vehicles Sold Toyota October 2016 Sales Down 8.7% with 186,295 Vehicles Sold FCA October 2016 Sales Down 10.3% with 176,609 Vehicles Sold Honda October 2016 Sales Down 4.2% with 126,161 Vehicles Sold Nissan October 2016 Sales Down 2.2% with 113,520 Vehicles Sold Hyundai October 2016 Sales Up 4.2% with 62,505 Vehicles Sold Subaru October 2016 Sales Up 4.1% with 53,760 Vehicles Sold Kia October 2016 Sales Down 2.1% with 48,977 Vehicles Sold Mercedes-Benz October 2016 Sales Down 2.1% with 31,801 Vehicles Sold BMW October 2016 Sales Down 16.6% with 27,971 Vehicles Sold VW October 2016 Sales Down 18.5% with 24,779 Vehicles Sold Mazda October 2016 Sales Down 10.8% with 22,711 Vehicles Sold Audi October 2016 Sales Up 0.1% with 17,721 Vehicles Sold Mitsubishi October 2016 Sales Up 2.8% with 7,637 Vehicles Sold Volvo October 2016 Sales Down 14.4% with 6,340 Vehicles Sold Land Rover October 2016 Sales Down 23.2% with 5,532 Vehicles Sold Porsche October 2016 Sales Up 10.7% with 4,506 Vehicles Sold Jaguar October 2016 Sales Up 226% with 3,219 Vehicles Sold In October, VW moved back ahead of Mazda to take the 12th spot. The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles in October was 18.0 million vehicles. On a YTD sales basis, light-vehicle SAAR was 17.4 million vehicles.