Zip Code: 20149

2018 Kia Forte: Preview, Pricing, Release Date

, Automotive Editor - May 05, 2017
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Model Preview

The 2017 Kia Forte received a light refresh that included new headlights, an updated fascia, and new taillights. With the paint on these updates still drying, we expect no changes to the looks of the Forte in 2018. Unfortunately, the two-door Forte Koup has been discontinued.

Other than the elimination of the two-door, the rest of the Kia Forte’s styling will likely carry into the new year unchanged. Thanks to its refresh last year, the Forte features a more mature look it has lacked in recent years and should remain fresh for a few more years. Those hoping for a full redesign will probably have to wait until at least 2019.

Also likely continuing without changes will be its cabin, which is surprisingly roomy. It has plenty of space for adults over 6-feet tall and up to 14.9 cubic feet of cargo room in the sedan. Those looking for more room for cargo, there is the Forte5 hatchback with 23.2 cubes of space with the seats up.

With its looks remaining the same, we also expect Kia to leave the standard features as is. If this proves true, then we expect to see 15-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, air conditioning, power accessories, Bluetooth connectivity, and a four-speaker audio system in the base LX trim.

We also expect the powertrain to remain the same in 2018. Both the sedan and hatchback versions will likely continue to come standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that will produce 151 horsepower and 164 pound-feet of torque.

Kia Forte

The hatchback model gets an extra performance wrinkle in the SX model’s 1.6-liter turbocharged engine with 195 hp and 201 lb-ft of torque. The 2.0-liter is available with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, while the 1.6-liter engine will pair with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The Forte missed the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick designation due to its lack of a small-overlap crash test. It does, however, have “good” ratings in four crash tests and a “superior” rating in front-crash prevention with its optional autonomous emergency braking. The only area it suffers is the new headlights test, which it receives a “poor” in. These ratings should carry into the new model year unchanged.

Expect a full review closer to launch.

Pricing & Release Date

We expect dealers to begin taking requests for the 2018 Forte in late-July or early-August. No official release date is available just yet.

With no changes planned, we do not expect any big price hikes for the Forte. For reference, the 2017 Forte sedan starts from $18,495 and tops out at $22,195 (destination fees included). The Forte5 hatchback starts from $22,995 and stops at $24,695 (destination fees included).

The key competition for the 2018 Forte will be the Honda Civic, Mazda Mazda3, and Toyota Corolla.

Learn about the current Forte on sale now »

Pictured: 2017 Forte

Kia Forte

Kia Forte

Kia Forte

Kia Forte

Kia Forte

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