The little sedan will now start from $20,085 in America.
Kia has given its bread-and-butter Forte a little sprucing up for 2022. The compact sedan—and, in Canada, a five-door hatchback—sees more expressive styling front and rear, plus better in-cabin technology and a more comprehensive suite of safety assists.
Up front, the Forte adopts new interior headlight elements, which pull inspiration from both the larger K5 and upcoming EV6. On the high-performance GT, a curvier front bumper design provides more red highlights to match the grille, wrapping around the foglight enclosures. Around back, the full-width taillight treatment features more LED segments, also like the EV6. Two much larger exhaust tips poke out from under the bumper; we’ll have to see if they’re real, or simply garnish.
Inside, the biggest change is the availability of a 10.25-inch infotainment screen. An 8.0-inch unit is now standard, and like other Kia products featuring these two sizes, the smaller item also allows for wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Other changes include a larger LCD info screen in the instrument panel (up from 3.5 to 4.2 inches), an electronic parking brake, and an available rear-seat USB charger.
Every 2022 Forte comes standard with automated emergency braking (including pedestrian detection), lane following assist, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and driver attention warning. Other aids like blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are available, though some—like Kia’s quite good Highway Drive Assist—are only available on the GT-Line and GT, and even then are still optional.
The GT sits at the top of the Forte lineup, still featuring a 201-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter and the driver’s choice of seven-speed dual-clutch transmission or six-speed manual. The rest of the lineup (FE, LXS, and GT-Line) sticks to Kia’s familiar 2.0-liter four-cylinder, funnelling 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque through a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Picking the turbocharged option also means a multi-link rear suspension; lesser models stick to a simpler torsion beam setup.
With the manual-transmission FE now discontinued, the CVT-equipped model will now be the entry point of the lineup in the US, priced from $20,085 including destination. That’s an increase of $300 over the 2021 model, which seems more than fair for the added standard kit. The GT-Line and GT DCT are up $600 and $700, respectively, while the manual-transmission GT price rises $1,100, to $25,485. Canadian pricing—and indeed any information on trim differences—was unavailable at the time of writing.
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