The 2019 Kia Forte sedan has actually already been revealed at this year’s Detroit auto show. The new model is sharp-looking and features a fastback-like rear end with a shortened overhang. It’s 3.2 inches longer and slightly taller and wider than the outgoing model. Similar growth philosophy can be expected in the Forte5 hatchback as well.
So what do you get for $22k? One of the best and most balanced driving experiences of your life. This car is the ultimate daily roadster, and it offers a perfect blend of performance (thanks to a 237 hp, 160 lb-ft 2.2L I4) and handling (thanks to aero upgrades which reduced aero lift by upwards of 80%). It may not fit in terribly well with some of the other crazy cheap cars here, and especially not on craigslist, but it’s worth every last penny.
Fuel economy and reliability are both profound (as is expected), but the model year difference is where you should pay attention. The ’90 and ’91 models are going to be your best bet because, after some minor restyling, Honda decided to give the CRX four-wheel disc brakes and new wheels, which can make a world of difference as far as handling is concerned.
The powertrain lineup should remain the same. This means that all Ford Focus hatchbacks will continue offering EcoBoost engines. The sporty ST model should be available straightaway, but the RS might skip MY 2019 altogether. The question that remains unanswered is: will the Blue Oval stick with the 6-speed automatics or will they offer something more complex in that regard? That’s something we’ll have to wait a bit longer to find out. For now it would seem they’ve played it safe, but that doesn’t mean the new model won’t be better than the current Focus.