REVIEW OF THE 2015 KIA FORTE5 SX-LMay 13rd, 2015
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
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
The tester that left my snowandice
packed driveway a few weeks back was already loaded with winterbusting
Kia’s 2015 Forte5 hatchback, dressed in topspec’d
SX Luxury trim, easily handled the wretched, wintercoated
roads I deliberately put its 18inch
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
heat was an obvious convenience, but the powerfold
came in handy the couple of times I had to park on some narrow, snowbanklined
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
Fine fit for four
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
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
when in use, there was a decent (for a compact) 657 litres of cargo space.
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.
storage bin, cargo cover and net added to my tester’s lengthy content list.
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,
parking spaces, by the rearview
camera image on its 4.2inch
colour touch screen in the centre stack.
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
engine boosted along by a twinscroll
The Forte5 was fun to navigate in and around the city and on some of my alonetime,
power was in hothatch
territory and at the ready instantly, while there was plenty of oomph available for a quick highwayspeed
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
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
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?
2015 Kia Forte5 SX Luxury
turbocharged, gasoline direct injection (TGDI),
dual cam variable valve timing (DCVVT)
Horsepower: 201@6,000 rpm
Torque: 195@1,750 rpm
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