2016 Kia Forte Hatchback

2016_Kia_Forte_Sedan_004Photos by Cor Steenstra, Text by Gabriela Galvan.

Following the Mazda3 review take a look at this Kia Forte Hatchback. They’re the same category of vehicle, and target a similar audience. Of course we cannot and will not argue about taste, but as a design it is really homogeneous, no mistakes, no obvious quirks, but also definitely not boring. It looks very confident, inside and out. The similar line from the grille corner to the a-pillar works as does the line from the far corner of the headlight unit over the fender. No weird forced surface folding. A confident placement of the greenhouse over the side section line.

2016_Kia_Forte_Sedan_082I would go even further and say that Kia had enough confidence in their design that they gave the jewelry of the car, the head and tail light units, that bit of extra cache to make it look more expensive, they treated the IP like it is for a more expensive category, and they even found time to play with the often neglected surface in front of the passenger, gave that some extra swing to optically break up the usual vastness of boredom for subtle optical extension of the instrument cluster.

This all adds to the perceived quality in fit and finish of the Kia, inside and out, and makes it stand out from the competition like the Mazda3. When you enter the Kia Forte it makes you aware that this is a well put together product, and driving it, it allows the driver to feel confident that there is enough power when needed, more than enough road holding and plenty of advance warning for any trip, long and short.

Is everything perfect with this Kia? No, sadly not. My issue has been and still remains the color difference between the plastic bumper hulls and the main body. I know, Kia is not unique, all companies still seem to struggle with that, but it can never be THAT difficult to try and compensate for a known or to be expected color difference and put that in the system. There clearly is a mismatch, not a lot, but enough to notice and enough to suggest that it could be tried in advance and the paint for the bumpers could be adjusted. Either that of please, finally resolve this issue. We’re in 2016! We’ve had plastic bumper hulls since the late 70’s. Surely that is enough time to get it under control? If not, resolve it in a way that works.


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