30 Minutes with Kia Forte GT - Hyundai Elantra Sport Turbo Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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30 Minutes with Kia Forte GT

I just had a chance to spent some time with first Forte GT in Edmonton - got email from sales rep I spoke with in June. I am actually quite surprised.... in the spring I contacted Kia Canada to find out if the sedan will be offered - was told no, only Forte 5. Kia dealer confirmed it in June. Seeing sedan was quite shocking - I was not expecting that.


I am not going to talk about the exterior - there are plenty of photos available online. I was not able to drive the car either, at least not this time. The dealer will be getting more stock 'soon' and test drive will be possible. I am curious to feel differences, if any, between the 18 ES and 20 Forte GT. During this visit, I was more focused towards the interior, quality of materials and features. I like the price of the car vs what I paid for ES.

Due note that in the equipment list, there is no information that this is DCT car. It only states "AT", while the vehicle code reads: FORTE (BDM) GT DCT. Intentional move from Kia due to some negative opinions on DCTs going around the web?

The car has a lot of nice gadgets:
- detonator-style keyfob
- factory rear lip spoiler
- larger centre instrument cluster LCD, in colour
- ambient interior lights, fully customisable in terms of colour and intensity (can be turned off)
- active cruise control
- LKAS
- power driver seat (synthetic leather), it is very comfy once I set it to my likes. Having lumbar support is a big bonus for me (I do have some lower back issues)
- heated front and rear seats (no ventilation, regretfully - bad Kia!!!! )
- heated steering wheel, feels very much like ES
- wireless mobile phone charger
- LED headlamps/rear lamps
- centre console rear vents
- faux stitching effect on the dashboard
- real stitching on the door cards - 2 stitches in red/grey
- ambient light
- trunk opens fully (partial opening on the ES - perhaps stronger(?) springs from Forte will fit as they look the same)
- LED interior lights
- mud flaps are available

Dislikes:
- a lot of piano black plastics around the gear shifter and buttons, I can see them getting scratches quickly
- piano black on the steering wheel elements - scratches
- door panels squeak/crunch when pulling on the handle while the door is closed - this is completely quiet on the ES
- no auto folding mirrors
- no front parking sensors (but here I am not certain if KDM Forte K3 has those)
- no option for foglamps, although openings in the front bumper are present
- shift knob looks plain (on par with OE shifter in ES), compared to the N-Line I have right now in the car
- no actual spare tire, only repair kit
- plain floor mats



I was overall impressed and I look forward towards the test drive. Will continue this thread in due time.
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Last edited by GsiTurbo; 08-21-2019 at 11:48 PM. Reason: cleaning up
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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Few more photos. I will do exterior comparison/driving feedback against the ES when I get the Forte GT for a test drive.
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Last edited by GsiTurbo; 08-21-2019 at 11:49 PM.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 01:08 AM
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Very cool - thanks GsiTurbo! My wife would never consider this though because of the "tablet" type screen.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 01:42 PM
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Looks quite good! Love that front grill. Lose the black spoiler (too overdone now in my opinion) and I could see myself in one.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Hello boys and girls,
This past Wednesday I had Forte GT on a test drive for 1.5hrs. I'll make a proper review over the long weekend (in Canada). For today, I wanted to share some findings I did on a difference in options between the following markets:
- Canada
- US
- Mexico, and
- South Korea

All options are cumulative (+) or removed (-)

I'l' start with the Canadian version - major options:

Canada Forte GT

+ LED headlamps + tail lights
+ dual zone climate control
+ active cruise, LKAS, emergency braking
+ heated steering wheel
+ heated synthetic leather front / rear seats

USA Forte GT2 Package

+ front fog lights
+ heated + ventillated synthetic leather front seats / rear (?)
- single zone climate control
- no heated steering wheel
source: https://www.kia.com/us/en/forte/buil...es=G2C&trim=GT

Mexico Forte GT
+ front fog lights
+ heated + ventilated synthetic leather front seats
+ dual climate control
+ electrically folding mirrors
+ front + rear park assist

- no heated steering wheel
- 17" wheels
source: https://www.kia.com/mx/showroom/forte-sedan.html

Korean K3 GT
+ front fog lights
+ dual climate control
+ manual headlights levelling system

+ electrically folding mirrors
+ synthetic leather seats
+ heated + ventilated synthetic leather front seats, heated rear seats
+ heated steering wheel

Korean K3 GT Plus
+ front and rear parking assist
+ heated + ventilated real leather front seats, heated rear seats
source: https://www.kia.com/kr/vehicles/k3-gt/features.html

It appears that Canada and US get least equipped variants. Are we being seen as less demanding customers?
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Last edited by GsiTurbo; 08-30-2019 at 11:55 PM.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-31-2019, 09:58 AM
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Interesting. I had this on the shopping list before I got my '19 ES. The tablet screen is gross and the turn signals down low on the rear bumper is also strange and counted as points against it. When going through pictures and info about it my wife and I decided not to wait for it and go for the ES instead. Shortly after i'd read that we weren't getting the sedan GT.....but apparently that was a lie, unless you Edmontonians are special..... don't see the GT sedan on the Kia Canada website yet either.

I could definitely go for adaptive cruise and power seats (only with memory though). 19 ES has lane keep that works well (when you set it properly in the menu). Overall i'm happy with the ES and it ended up being my cheapest option which is always good. It was $25k and if i got up into $29k+ i'd have had a more difficult time choosing it over an Accord sport.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-31-2019, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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At the very beginning, I would like to say bit 'thank you' to Jordan Melin from Go Kia South in Edmonton. He arranged everything to my requests and satisfaction, and allowed for 1.5hrs test drive with a lot of questions from demanding customer. If you are in the Edmonton area and going to check out the car, do mention me (Tom) and this forum-board for some VIP treatment :-) 780-465-3535

I think I have my thoughts and opinion on the Forte GT settled at this moment. Do note this is for DCT car.

For all purposes, first impressions from driving the car is that it feels very much like the 17-18 Elantra Sport. I have not driven the 19 ES - logic would dictate that the car should also feel very similar. You are to experience the same initial turbo lag before it spools up. Short first gear. The car feels the same in terms of acceleration to about 100 km/h. The body roll when cornering feels very familiar/same and same is true for the overall crispness and precision of the steering system with little road feedback, due to electrical power steering. As in ES, Forte GT is not exactly sure which gear to select when trying to downshift on acceleration - there is delay. It is best to manually downshift couple of gears before attempting to overtake another vehicle or to accelerate at highway-ish speeds.

There car's suspension is, however, slightly different when it comes to little road imperfections. 17-18 ES wonderfully absorbs all the road imperfections, except for the small road cracks - you can feel every single one of them. If you drive 17-18 ES you know exactly what I am talking about. Well - this part in the Forte GT is completely different. I have purposely drove the car on a section of concrete-finished Edmonton's ring road (Henday Dr) - it is not the most pleasant drive in ES due to 'jumpiness'. I was very pleased and surprised to barely feel anything in Forte GT. I am not sure if this is due to the springs' compression rate or dampening rate of the shock absorbers - it felt much more refined and better.

Road noise at 110km/h feels about the same with less tire noise (but this could be due to tire type on the car). There are some tweaks in the airflow around the tilted sunroof - I have noticed substantially reduced wind noise. I like to drive with tilted sunroof when possible.

Overall impression on the driving characteristics of the car: better tune of the suspension and less wind/road noise at highway speeds. There was one noticeable source of vibration/noise coming from the front end of the car. Fitment issue?

Driving aids work very well. Both active lane keep assist and active cruise control (set to active mode). At times LKAS kept the vehicle at the edge of the RH of the lane, but without passing it over.

Driver's position is better thanks to power adjustable driver seat with lumbar support. Some people do not like the floating infotainment display, but it is easier to look at in it's position compared to ES. Personally, I do like the dashboard/interior design with some Stinger accents by Peter Schreyer. All interior lights are LED from the factory. The interior and type of plastics used feels more "premium" vs ES. Definitely more 'soft touch' materials are used.

All of the above brings us to the exterior of the car. It is my opinion that it looks better in person than on the photos. Does it look better than 17-18 ES? Hard to say. They both look quite well, with ES having a slight edge due to Audi design cues. Would I consider this as a replacement for my 18 ES? Yes, but not in it's current configuration. If Kia Canada made it possible to order vehicle configuration that would include Canadian + Mexican variant options, then yes, I would consider vehicle change. But for now, I can get many of the options I would like to have on my car retrofitted to the ES...

Should you consider this car? Yes, absolutely!
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Last edited by GsiTurbo; 08-31-2019 at 08:07 PM.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-31-2019, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Couple more photos. Feel free to ask if you have questions.
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Last edited by GsiTurbo; 08-31-2019 at 05:22 PM.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-31-2019, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowstig View Post
don't see the GT sedan on the Kia Canada website yet either.
Correct. For whatever reason they show hatchback only. I got same info from Kia a while back when I was shopping for ES - I was told only hatchback will be available.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-31-2019, 11:16 PM
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I don't understand this trend with car manufacturers to have a tablet sitting on top of the dashboard.

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