The 2019 Kia Forte has been unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show today. The all-new 2019 Forte is ready to battle the Civic with styling that has been borrowed from the Stinger sport sedan. In addition to the sportier styling, the third generation 2019 Forte also introduces a new Intelligent Variable transmission.
For starters, the 2019 Forte builds on the sportiness of the last generation with a more sophisticated look thanks to several styling cues that were inspired by the Stinger. Kia’s designers decided to ditch the cab forward look of the last generation, since the 2019 Forte now sports a fastback-like shape with a longer hood and short rear deck. The cowl point was also pushed back five inches.
The 2019 Forte has also grown with its length increasing 3.2-inches to 182.7 inches, which adds more legroom and more space in the trunk. The Forte now has one of the largest trunks in its class with 15.1 cubic feet of space. The Forte is also half an inch taller and its width has increased to 70.8-inches.
Under the Forte’s new longer hood is a 2.0L four-cylinder with 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft. of torque. The engine can be mated to either a six-speed manual or Kia’s new Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). The 2.0L and the IVT transmission are expected to get a 35 MPG combined rating, which is a 3 MPG improvement.
The Intelligent Variable Transmission builds on a typical CVT, by trying to address many of the reasons why drivers hate them. The rubber-band-like feel being one of the main reasons, is why Kia’s engineers added adaptive style shift logic with a chain-type belt instead of push belt. Kia says that this results in smoother acceleration with a step-shift-like feel that mimics a conventional automatic.
Noise is another issue CVTs can sometimes face and engineers worked hard to reduce this in the Forte by wrapping the transmission case in a sound-insulating cover to help quiet the typical “drone” associated with CVTs. In doing so, NVH levels are also reduced by 5dB.
The 2019 Forte will be available in LX, S and EX trim levels. It comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. A wireless charging tray is optional as is Kia’s suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, like Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist and and Smart Cruise Control.