“2020 Kia Forte GT”
A Fun to Drive Sleeper Sedan
Following a successful third generation redesign last year, the Kia Forte has added two new sport trims for the 2020 model year: the GT Line and GT. With these new additions, the 2020 Forte continues to offer driving fun, comfort, and convenience to those looking for a stylish vehicle to accommodate their versatile lifestyles.
We’ll deal here with the GT model which draws its motive force from a 1.6-liter, inline four-cylinder turbocharged engine. Energy s geared to the front driving wheels through a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. Its multi-link rear suspension and dual exhaust are both sport-tuned for the 2020 model year. 18-inch alloy wheels, a Smart key with push-button start, LED headlights with auto-leveling and High Beam Assist, as well as a flat bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters (on DCT only) and red contrast stitching are also new model additions.
Last year’s all-new model styling took on some of the design cues and flavor inherent in the look of the Kia Stinger GT. Orth Hedrick, Kia’s Product planning guru, outlined the Forte’s similarities to the Stinger, which Kia felt contributed to a sportier vehicle with enhanced premium appeal. Some of the noteworthy exterior changes included the horizontal light trim strip between the taillights, the sweeping rear end tweak, detached rear turn signal indicators, and the gloss black front and rear splitters. But the similarities ended there as the Forte didn’t even come close in terms of the Stinger’s performance and handling attributes. But then, it wasn’t supposed to.
Power for the new Kia Forte GT is provided by a 1.6-liter, DOHC, D-CVVT 16 valve inline 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with Gasoline Direct fuel injection that delivers 201Horsepower @ 6,000 rpm along with 195 pound feet of torque@ 1,500-4,500 rpm
The transversely front-mounted engine’s energy reaches the front driving wheels via a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox with wheel mounted paddle shifter.
STINGER-LIKE DESIGN APPEAL
Visually, the new Kia Forte displays a fastback coupe look despite its four-door sedan configuration, thanks to the chrome trim cabin glass surround with the blacked-out B and C pillars. In profile, the forte sits low over the wheels and tires. The high beltline, long hood, and short rear deck with its modest overhang. The all-new Forte has increased in length by 3.2-inches increasing rear legroom and the available 15.3 cubic-feet of cargo space ranks as one of the roomiest in this segment.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
The interior exhibits a simple and tasteful horizontal dash layout with easy to use, intuitive old-fashioned knob controls. Kudos for that simplification.
Standard fare across the lineup include an 8.0-inch touchscreen, projector low beam headlights, solar control glass, a rear window defroster, dual-zone automatic temperature control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth wireless technology, a six-way adjustable front passenger seat and steering wheel mounted audio controls.
Standard safety features include: Hill Start Assist Control; a tire pressure monitoring system, impact sensing auto door unlock, rear child safety door locks, forward collision warning, forward collision avoidance, lane departure warning as well as lane-keeping assist.
The Forte GT comes with a power sunroof, Harman Kardon premium audio system, single projection LED headlamps, smart cruise control, LED interior lighting, voice command navigation, Forward Collision-Avoidance with pedestrian detection and Park Distance Warning. Add $925 to all models to cover Destination and Handling costs.
My test 2020 Kia Forte came in GT trim sporting a Gravity Grey metallic exterior finish and a Black interior. Its base sticker read $22,290., while the as-tested price totaled $26,445. after factoring in optional fare and destination and handling charge.
Piloting the 2020 Kia Forte GT sedan provided a most pleasant experience. The 1.6-liter engine was instantly responsive, delivering 201 horses and 195 pound feet of torque, and the seven-sped DCT transmission’s wheel-mounted paddle shifters raised the fun-to-drive quotient, especially on challenging, twisting back roads.
The ride quality was firm, yet comfortable and stable, and the handling characteristics offered an improvement over prior model Fortes – make that sporty.
THE FINAL TAKE
In the final analysis, the 2020 Kia Forte is an attractive (almost sexy), efficient, practical, and fun-to-drive sedan that also provides a heightened level of versatility. The Forte sedan is built at Kia’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Monterrey, Mexico.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2020 Kia Forte GT
Base Price: $22,290.
Price as Tested: $26,445.
Engine Type and Size: 1.6-liter, DOHC, 16 valve inline turbocharged 4-cylinder with D-CVVT and Gasoline Direct injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 201 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 195 @ 1,500-4,500 rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed dual clutch with paddle shifters
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Front-wheel drive.
Suspension: Front -MacPherson Strut with coil springs and twin-tube shock absorbers.
Rear – Coupled Torsion Beam axle with twin-tube shock absorbers.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) with ABS.
Tires: Michelin P225/40 ZR18 mounted on 5-triple (“W”) “Y”-spoke alloy wheels-machine face with Black painted inners. Tire mending kit.
Wheelbase: 106.3 inches
Length Overall: 182.7 inches
Width: 70.9 inches
Height: 56.5 inches
Curb Weight: 2,908 pounds
Turning Circle: 34.8 feet
Fuel Capacity: 14.0 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 27 mpg city / 35-mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: .269
0 – 60 mph: Not tested
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