Refreshed for the 17 MY, the great looking and affordable Forte receives the works. Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – July 10, 2016 2017 Kia Forte LX trim with the atkinsonized 147 hp and 132 lb-ft. of torque 2.0L I4 – A very affordable $17,460 w/ the 6-speed MT and $18,470 with an all-new and more efficient 2nd gen 6-speed AT incl. mats add the $850 D&H charge. 25/34 mpgUS city/highway with the stick and 29/38 mpgUS city/highway with the AT. Given the MT and AT ratios and tires, the MT spins at 2,215 RPM@60 mph while the AT spins at a more relaxed but still high 1,920 RPM@60 mph. The top of the line EX trim arrives with the 164 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque 2.0L GDI I4, which is rated at a very underwhelming 25/33 mpg. There are cars with almost double the hp and torque that are more efficient. Meaning stick with the LX or S trims if the Forte is a consideration for your own drive as they are far more capable than their EPA ratings portend. The refreshed 2017 Forte arrives with several upgrades over the outgoing 2016 model including exterior styling, more efficient base 2.0L I4, plus a number of advanced convenience and driver-assistance features. 2017 Kia Forte EX trim shown. 2017 Kia Forte Exterior Up front, the Forte’s new front bumper and “tiger nose” grille connects with newly designed headlights, which are available as Xenon HIDs. Out back, new taillights with optional LEDs. 2017 Kia Forte Trims The trim run includes the entry-level LX, mid-grade S and top-trim EX. The S trim adds a sport-tuned suspension, 16” alloys, LED positioning lights, rear spoiler, and a chrome exhaust tip. The EX arrives with standard LED taillights, Smart Key with perimeter approach lighting and front door pocket lighting, and new 17” alloys. The Forte is available with Dynamic Bending Light technology, which uses steering wheel inputs to angle the light around corners and bends. 2017 Kia Forte Interior Inside, LX and S trims receive upgraded cloth materials. The S trim arrives with black cloth seats with white contrasting stitching, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The EX is equipped with leather seats with heated front seats, dual-zone auto climate, rear vents, and a push-button start with Smart Key. Inside the 2017 Kia Forte EX trim shown. See the formed lines in the dash and door inserts? Design at its finest! 2017 Kia Forte Infotainment Both the S and EX trims arrive with UVO3, which is displayed on a 7” display audio touch screen with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (late availability). Unfortunately the LX still includes the massively undersized 4.3” screen for backup and infotainment functionality. Beyond Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, NAVI is also available. The Drive Mode System - Normal, Eco, or Sport – changes throttle input, shift points and possibly steering weight. Not sure about that last one yet. 2017 Kia Forte Safety Besides the std. passive front, side and side air bags, active safety includes ABS, ESC, VSM, Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), EBD, BAS, TCS and individual tire pressure display TPMS. Moving into the top end packages - Premium Plus Package ($4,490 USD) on the EX or Technology Package ($1,490 USD) on the S – owners also receive the most advanced safety equipment available today including: Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with Pedestrian Detection System Blind Spot Detection (BSD) Lane Change Assist Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) Front Collision Warning System (FCWS) Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS) 2017 Kia Forte Early Conclusions Stay away from the EX due to that wickedly inefficient 2.0L GDI. Consider the LX/S for its excellent efficiency given our own drives in the Elantra SE with the same drivetrain. I would also probably skip the LX trim because of the clownish small 4.3” screen. Kia’s product planners did not fight hard enough for that one and you will be embarrassed when your friends mention their smartphone screen is larger than that “little thing”. Too bad as I prefer the LXs affordability, softer suspension tuning, and most certainly the stick despite the poor final ratio. All-in, the 2017 Kia Forte S trim is the one to consider when it arrives a few months from now. I would also probably wait a year as you never know about a new plants output. See below. 2017 Kia Forte EX trim shown. The Forte sedan will be produced at Kia’s new manufacturing facility in Monterrey, Mexico, the first vehicle to be built at the automaker’s second North American plant.