I’m running out of constructive criticisms for Kia. Virtually its entire lineup offers excellent looks, handling and value, and the newly-refreshed Forte is no exception.
I admittedly braced for mediocrity when I heard the new Forte would have a continuously variable transmission. Whiny, joyless and powerless, CVTs are generally abysmal. But the “Intelligent Variable Transmission” in the Forte pleasantly surprised me, squeezing impressive torque out of the 147-hp four cylinder while still managing 40 mpg on highways.
I wholeheartedly recommend the top-of-the-line EX model, with its handsome leatherette seats and suite of goodies for $22k.