2015 Kia Forte
As if we weren't already "advanced" enough, many automakers are trying to advance time itself. Even though it's nowhere near being 2015, car companies like Kia, are rolling out cars like the just-redesigned Kia Forte, and calling them 2015 models (in the rest of the world, it's called a 2015).
Designed to compete against such stalwarts as the 2015 Ford Focus, 2015 VW Jetta, and the 2015 Honda Civic. The 2015 Kia Forte is new in almost every way. There's more length, and width, along with a lowered ride height. Exciting new lines set this compact car apart from the competition, and even suggest a European flair. However, we have to wonder if Nissan is missing any of their massive Leaf headlights...
The inside is equally impressive, with nice-feeling materials, and an attractive design. You may wonder at first, why you have 3 bumps on the passenger side of the dash. But after you take in the interior design, you grow to appreciate those odd ridges, and the designers that put them there. For a sub-$20k compact, the 2015 Kia Forte presents itself rather well.
Clearly, Kia is trying to dominate the compact class by offering a car with fresh styling, and loads of high-end options. There's (available) heated & cooled front seats, heated back seats, a heated steering wheel, and since we're on the subject of heat, heated side mirrors come standard on the base 2015 Kia Forte LX. Push-button start and a backup camera come on the 2015 Kia Forte EX. And of course, you can spec other goodies like leather, a sunroof, navigation with the UVO infotainment system, HID headlights, and dual-zone climate control with rear seat ventilation.
If you were to fit all of that equipment to a comparable VW, Ford or Honda, you'd be looking at nearly $30k. And you wouldn't get Kia's famous 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty, with the class-exclusive 5-year/60,000 mile roadside assistance plan. Kia is obviously serious about offering bang-for-the-buck, and they're not afraid to stand behind their product either. Which is nice.
Under the hood, the 2015 Kia Forte LX is motivated by a 1.8 liter 4-pot, producing 148-hp. The 2015 Kia Forte EX gets a more powerful 2.0L direct injected 4, with 173-hp & 154 lb-ft. In 1.8 guise, you can choose either a 6-speed manual, or a 6-speed automatic. The 2.0 comes standard with the automatic.
Apparently, the 2015 Kia Forte Koup & 2015 Kia Forte 5-Door didn't make it through the wormhole with the sedan. We're not sure why. But they return this year (2015...right?) mostly unchanged. They come with a pair of simple DOHC engines (2.0L - 156-hp / 2.4L 173-hp), and a pleasantly athletic look. Expect them to be redesigned around 2015...no wait, 2015...oh hell, they look fine the way they are.