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When I broke my second snow shovel Sunday morning, I swore a bit, then went at the remaining pile of white misery with a spade.

I won’t yammer on any further about the woe of shoveling snow because we’re all in the same boat and many of you have it much worse than

myself.

But to those with snow blowers, well, after 14 years of home ownership and the same amount of time saying things like “I’m not going to buy

one? my driveway’s too small and I enjoy the workout,” I’m now ready to join your ranks.

Even with a fourth child on the way and funds being tucked aside, again, for all things baby, come hell or friggin’ high water, there will be a snow

tosser in my garage next winter.

I already have the model picked out, and the accessories, too, which may or may not be added (pending my beautiful, intelligent wife’s

approval)? accessories like bottle holders and one of those cabs (so nothing gets in the bottles).

Heck, maybe even a driftcutter

kit and some handlebar

hand warmers. Definitely a headlight. Yup, next winter I am going to be praying for

snow.

Winter buster

The tester that left my snowandice

packed driveway a few weeks back was already loaded with winterbusting

features.

Kia’s 2015 Forte5 hatchback, dressed in topspec’d

SX Luxury trim, easily handled the wretched, wintercoated

roads I deliberately put its 18inch

rubber upon.

And if I said it once, I’ve said it a 1,000 times? frontwheel

drive, with a quality foursome of winter tires and some commonsense

driving will get

you where you need to be in one piece.

Other things that helped battle the elements through my weeklong

test in the Forte5 included heated and powerfolding

sideview

mirrors. The

heat was an obvious convenience, but the powerfold

came in handy the couple of times I had to park on some narrow, snowbanklined

city

streets where driver’sside

mirrors were targets for oncoming vehicles.

Yes, I could’ve just pushed them in when I got out, if they didn’t power fold, but I much preferred to do it from inside.

The windshield wiper deicer

was also noticed, used and appreciated every day of my test time, as was the heated steering wheel and the

heated front seats.

My tester also included heated rear seats, too, which the kids appreciated, and my front seat could be cooled with the A/C on (I can’t wait for the

days when that feature will be necessary).

The keyless entry and pushbutton

ignition allowed me to keep my gloves on (till the wheel heated up).

I also appreciated the outside temperature display (not that I needed to be reminded of how cold it was) and the allseason

floor mats

throughout.

Fine fit for four

Comfortand

spacewise,

the Forte5, for a compact, was an excellent fit for four, but no more, unless you’re in a real pinch (the extra seat belt is

there if required).

There was plenty of leg room for myself when seated in the rear, thanks to the Forte5’s 2,700mm

wheelbase? my head didn’t touch the roofliner

either and that’d likely be the same experience for someone an inch taller than my 511

height.

The rear seat was also comfortable and would likely remain that way on a long trip? its seat backs were of the usual 60/40 splitfold

variety and,

when in use, there was a decent (for a compact) 657 litres of cargo space.

Cargo versatility

When those seatbacks were folded ‘flat,’ the hatchback’s cargohaul

versatility more than doubled? and with the convenience of the highopening

hatch, a wide walltowall

space, and a low load floor, getting something big home from the furniture, appliance or home electronics

store is an option.

The underfloor

storage bin, cargo cover and net added to my tester’s lengthy content list.

Cabin delights

Back up front atop my manmadeleather

covered, powered everywhere driver’s seat, I had superb positioning and visibility.

While the view range out the rear window through my rearview

mirror was excellent, it was further helped, when backing into or out of tight,

snow(ice)bankwalled

parking spaces, by the rearview

camera image on its 4.2inch

colour touch screen in the centre stack.

That easytouse,

intuitive, multimedia

interface also included navigation and my iPhone synced up quick while the system read my music files

in an instant.

Power and control

On the road, my tester was powered by its spirited 1.6litre

I4

engine boosted along by a twinscroll

turbocharger.

The Forte5 was fun to navigate in and around the city and on some of my alonetime,

outoftheway

test roads.

Offtheline

power was in hothatch

territory and at the ready instantly, while there was plenty of oomph available for a quick highwayspeed

pass.

My tester offered 201 horsepower and a gratifying 195 poundfoot

of torque down low at only 1,750 rpm.

Cruising along on the highway, the feel in higher gears was both smooth and quiet.

Passengers will be pleasantly surprised by a hushed cabin in all drive situations.

Its sport suspension and the P225/40R18 winter tires made for some good handling when it was tossed into a turn on the few snowand

icefree

roads it was driven on.

Make Tolstoy proud

On the whole, for its price, the Forte5 SX Luxury is an absolute ‘must’ test drive for those compactcar

shoppers on the hunt for affordability,

performance, handling, versatility and a feature list that reads like War and Peace.

That content also includes: dual exhaust, rear spoiler, rear wiper, escort lights, front LED positioning lights, fog lights, LED taillights, Xenon HID

headlights, sunroof, memory driver’s seat, driver seat power lumbar, rear centre armrest, leatherwrapped

steering wheel and shifter, softtouch

materials throughout, illuminated and cooled glove box, satellite radio, UVO audio infotainment, Bluetooth, AUX and USB inputs, supervision

gauge cluster, dualzone

automatic climate control w/auto defog,

air ionizer, cabin air filter, autodimming

rearview

mirror, Aeroblade

wipers,

alloy sport pedals, alloy wheels, centreconsole

storage bin, paddle shifters, sporttuned

suspension, electric power steering, disc brakes, hill

assist control, tire mobility kit, six airbags, and more.

That’s a list that would’ve made Tolstoy proud.

But would Count Leo have bought a snow blower?

The specs

2015 Kia Forte5 SX Luxury

Engine: 1.6litre,

fourcylinder,

turbocharged, gasoline direct injection (TGDI),

dual cam variable valve timing (DCVVT)

Transmission: sixspeed

auto

Horsepower: 201@6,000 rpm

Torque: 195@1,750 rpm

Drivetrain: frontwheel

drive

Gov’t of Canada estimated fuel economy: 11.1 litres/100km city, 8.0 highway (realized 9.8 mostly city)

Dimensions: length, 4,350 mm? width, 1,780 mm? height, 1,450 mm? wheelbase, 2,700 mm

Gross vehicle weight: 1,840 kg

Base price: $28,795

Price as tested: $30,580

About the Author »

TODD GILLIS | WHEEL TIME

Todd Gillis is a Custom Content Editor at The Chronicle Herald. He is also a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of

Canada.

tgillis@herald.ca

@HeraldWheels