Model tested: Kia Forte5 EX
MSRP for model tested: $23,000.00
Competition in its class: Mazda3 Sport • Suzuki SX4 • Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback • Volkswagen Golf
This 5-door hatch back can move and accommodates a family of four quite comfortably, including rather large, oversized car seats.
For some, it may not be an ideal only car, like say if you are a family of four, have a dog and travel a lot requiring a fair amount of luggage, but definitely works as a second vehicle for local trips as a family or if you commute.
Speaking of commuting, the gas mileage in the Kia Forte5 is rather impressive. With their published fuel economy at 5.5 L/100km for highway driving, this car will definitely decrease the number of wallet-emptying trips to the pumps these days.
In a typical week I drive about 500 – 550km (350 miles, maybe) and at the time I had to return the car, a week later, I still had about a quarter tank, which, compared to my personal vehicles, is fantastic.
Space for everyone!
I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of legroom the kids had and I was still able to have my seat at a comfortable distance from the steering wheel. They were easily able to climb into the backseat and into their car seats with a minimal amount of help from me; buckling of the belts? Well, that’s another story.
Carter had trouble with buckling himself into the booster seat using the shoulder belt since the buckle is basically flush with the cushion, as we’ve experienced with other recent test drives.
Personally, I like to see the longer, more maneuverable buckles that kids are able to fasten on their own. Not to mention, I’d much prefer to avoid the fight each morning trying to inch the car seat out of the way just enough to fasten the buckle for him.
But I digress.
Storage for the masses.
For a compact car, the storage is pretty great. It has the typical glove box and centre console compartment – which houses the USB and auxiliary input and is great for safe storage of charging items.
The rear hatch affords a decent amount of storage and also includes a removable privacy cover to allow for storing larger items, like say IKEA purchases or a stroller which can be stored easily through the rather large rear hatch opening.
Safety in mind.
The Kia Forte5 includes many similar safety features that are becoming standard on many different vehicles: side curtain airbags and Bluetooth® technology to allow for hands-free driving, and optional steering wheel mounted audio controls.
The EX trim package, which is the mid-level trim package, includes dual power and heated side mirrors, remote keyless entry, steering wheel mounted audio controls as well as USB and auxiliary audio input jacks to name a few.
It’s got the looks AND the moves!
Not only is it stylish and practical, but the 156-horsepower (in the LX and EX trim packages; 173 horsepower for the SX) 6-speed transmission is pretty smooth and quite responsive for quick lane changes or maneuvering through traffic.
Parking is pretty much a synch in a parking garage or narrow downtown space, which was a pleasant change, thanks in part to the tighter turning radius.
Yet with all these amazing features, the thing I noticed most? Just how quiet the sunroof was. Seriously. Even on the highway there was virtually no reverberation and minimal wind noise. The sunroof has a small fabric-like windscreen that rises out of the frame when the roof is opened which deflects air and makes for a much more comfortable driving experience. On the city streets I had forgotten the sunroof was open it was so quiet.
Overall, the Kia Forte5 is a terrific vehicle for a couple or small family. For those of us with a bit more cargo it is definitely suitable for a second car or if someone in the family is a commuter; heck, it’s probably even a great ride for a teen-aged child or young adult looking for their first car purchase.
A full-time working mom of two, Samantha loves to drive
fast responsibly and always keeps a hand available for coffee two hands on the wheel. For an opportunity to have me review a vehicle, please feel free to email me at sam [@] urbanmoms [.] ca.