No change of heart: Kia Forte 1.6 GT AT
With the surge of available crossovers in the market, it would not take long before the Filipino car buyers pick them more for their personal mobility needs over a sedan. After all, a bigger space with the same drivability is one of the perks of crossover vehicles.
Add to that the low margin for the price tag, many buyers are enduring that hurdle just to get a better value-for-money proposition to make sure they wisely shell out their hard-earned peso.
So manufacturers offering sedans must ensure that they offer a different value for money proposition to warm in the market. With that kind of enigma to deal with, does the Korean car Kia Forte have what it takes to stay afloat in the automotive scene?
Let’s take the case out of the line variant: the Kia Forte 1.6 Turbo GT AT.
This vehicle stands 4,640 mm long, 1,800 mm wide and 1,450 mm wide with a 2,700 mm wheelbase. Compared to crossovers, the dimensions do not offer much difference—except, of course, in height.
This simply means that from the price range that is being offered compared to the crossovers, you generally get the same amount of leg room and head room. So why pick the more expensive one, right?
Aside from that, the sedan design gives occupants an exclusive space for cargo (some 502 liters if you need numbers), meaning you need not to get cramped with all the things you bring when you head out of the grocery (which is essential nowadays as the virus could be transmit from what you buy outside).
The Kia Forte 1.6 GT AT wears its European-bred looks with the signature Tiger Nose Grille, complemented by the red accents that are found only in this variant.
The head lights and fog lamps are quite chink compared to its overall design but it does not mean it does not blend well with the front fascia design. It somehow tells onlookers, “I’m aggressive yet thoroughbred” as it also sits on 17-inch alloys with a bigger profile for comfort.
On the inside, you would see how the Kia Forte 1.6 GT AT has been perfectly-arranged.
The black on red motif gives the vehicle a sporty semblance. The black leather seats with red stitches are very plush; it perfectly matches the steering wheel design, giving it a muscular look.
Although the steering wheel with all the buttons makes its very busy, it has been arranged in a way that you would easily hover on it at a single glance. The leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel with red stitching , plus the red GT markings, round the athletic detail for the Kia top tier variant.
While the Kia Forte 1.6 GT AT shares the same engine displacement with the other varieties, it has a more energetic powertrain, as the 1.6 liter, four in-line cylinder, DOHC petrol wears a turbocharged gasoline direct inject (T-GDI).
Such design lets it reach a maximum of more than 201 horsepower and 265 Nm of torque. Such power is refined by the seven-speed dual clutch transmission. To add to its fun-to-drive factor, those numbers translates power almost immediately.
The Kia Forte 1.6 GT AT’s tech-laden features would help you curb back to your primary focus on personal transportation.
The driver enjoys an eight-way power adjusted seats with 2-way lumbar support, while the front passenger has two-way adjustable seats. Four a family of four, everyone gets to enjoy armrest while on board, but the vehicle can seat five.
Same with many crossovers to small SUVs—or even AUVS— rear passengers also enjoy the air-conditioning system as it now has rear vents too. It also has a smart entry function for easier ingress and an illuminated push start button.
The eight-inch touch-screen is Bluetooth-ready and has Apple Carplay and Android Auto features. Your choice of music can blasted through the four speakers and two tweeters.
Safety-wise, it has six airbags, (front, side and curtain and the usual anti-brake lock system (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC) and electronic brake force distribution (EBD) as well as Hill Start Assist (HSA), Isofix anchors and immobilizer.
Just like as its name suggests, the nameplate—as well as its amenities—will still give you good reasons why it is still a good pick despite the numerous choices for a bigger car. They might be at the same price point (SRP is of P1.65 million), but with what the Kia Forte 1.6 GT provides, it will still be a good pick among its competitors.
Photos from Ruben D. Manahan IV