2017 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - Small

Small cars represent a big chunk of the car market in Canada and carmakers work hard for every sale by offering impressive products and tremendous value. Cars in this segment are often little more expensive than they were 15 years ago and are faster, smoother, more economical and safer than ever before. Other than a need for greater cabin space, there is now no compelling reason to move beyond this class.

New cars on sale during 2017 include the Hyundai Elantra GT, Subaru Impreza and the Toyota CH-R. Hatchback versions of the Chevrolet Cruze and Honda Civic are new for 2017, as is an sporty RS version of the Ford Focus. Volkswagen has 'Outbacked' the Golf wagon, and redubbed it the Alltrack. After years of lacklustre sales, FCA has thrown in the towell and pulled the plug on the Dodge Dart, essentially abandoning the compact market segment. After an unaturally long run, the Mitsubishi Lancer is in its last year on the market, and Mitsubishi has also announced it is leaving the segment. With the end of Scion, Toyota has rebranded the Scion iM as the Toyota Corolla iM.   

The highest-rated cars are often very competitive on a monthly finance payment basis, but only some cars have leasing arrangements worth considering. Please refer to the pricing section of each car review to determine whether that car is a good lease value.

A note about mileage: The APA is now using the Canada EnerGuide figures as they were available at the time of the model year changeover . 

Chevrolet Cruze  2018 Hyundai Elantra GT  Mitsubishi RVR  Toyota Corolla 
Ford Focus  Hyundai IONIQ  Nissan Sentra  Toyota Corolla iM 
Honda Civic  Kia Forte  Subaru Impreza  Volkswagen Beetle 
Hyundai Elantra  Mazda 3  Subaru CrossTrek & WRX Volkswagen Golf 
Hyundai Elantra GT  Mitsubishi Lancer  Toyota CH-R Volkswagen Jetta 

2017 Chevrolet Cruze

 


 

 

What’s new
A hatchback model joins the lineup as does a new turbodiesel variant. A Teen Driver system allows parents to monitor the use of their cars.

Performance
The smooth, torquey 1.4 turbo pulls strongly at all speeds and is very well mated to the slick-shifting conventional six-speed automatic transmission. The steering is nicely weighted and geared, maintains good directional stability on the highway, but lacks feedback from the road. Braking is strong, with good pedal feel, but the pedal itself is too close to the driver and requires a deliberate lifting of the foot off the throttle to activate. The Cruze is endowed with an absorbant ride and handles tidily. 
Inside, the driver faces two crisply marked main gauges that surround a configurable central display. The dashboard features a large central screen as well as simple, logical controls for the climate and audio functions. Cruze occupants enjoy comfortable seats and rear seat legroom is generous for this class.

Comments
The mainstream 1.4L gasoline turbo with 153 horsepower is joined by anew 1.6L turbodiesel rated at 136 horsepower and a stout 236 lb-ft. of torgue. Two six-speed transmissions, a manual and an automatic, can be mated with the gasoline four, with the diesel offering the same manual, with the diesel featuring a new nine-speed automatic transmission. With nearly 27,000 units sold in 2016, the Cruze had a very successful introductory year. 

Pricing
The $15,995 L model is strictly to advertise a low MSRP as it lacks automatic transmission and air-conditioning, necessities for mainstream buyers. The $20,295 LS automatic model is nicely equipped and is a worthy competitor to the Civic LX or Corolla LE. Upgrading from the LS to the LT costs only $1000 but contains around $3000 in content. The supplement requested for the range-topping Premier over the LT is carefully reflected by the additional content in the upgrade.The diesel sedan has an MSRP of $24,395 for the manual and $25,845 for the automatic. Compared to the 1.4L turbo gasoline LT, the diesel is priced $4250 higher. Good lease value. 

Reliability

New car, not rated. New platform, body and engines. Predicted average reliability.

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB, 4SD
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
Cruze: 1.4L‑4 T (153 HP), 1.6L-4 TDI (136 HP)

Transmissions: 6M, 6A* , 9A (diesel only)

Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  7.9L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  5.9L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available blind spot, rear cross traffic and forward collision warnings as well as lane keep assist 
Additional Airbags: Front occupant knee airbags and outboard rear airbags standard on Cruze
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/160,000 
Current Generation Debut:  2016
Country of Origin:  United States (sedan), Mexico (hatchback)

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2017 Ford Focus

 


 

 

What’s new
Other than the return of the SEL trim level, there are few changes for the Focus for its seventh year on the market in its current form. A new 33.5 kWh battery pack, up from 23 kWh, increases the maximum range of the electric model to 185 kilometres. A DC fast charger permits120 kilometers range to be charged in 30 minutes. Ford has let this car grow so old that it appears to be passively leaving the segment.  

Performance
The smooth 2L four sounds sporty when extended but acceleration lacks the eagerness expected for a car with 160 horsepower. The automated manual transmission, except for an occasional hesitation, works very well. The loud clunks that were a part and parcel of this transmission when introduced have been largely exorcised. Precise, perfectly weighted steering, crisp handling and a resilient ride. Awkward ignition key placement. The Focus is a reasonably quiet car. With massive, flexible power, docile clutch and crisp gearchange, the turbocharged ST gathers speed enthusiastically. The ST's steering is quick, communicative and perfectly weighted, but 252 horsepower sending power to the front wheels leads to "fist full of snakes" torque-steer when accelerating hard. Superb handling is accompanied by a surprisingly smooth ride devoid of any jarring over major road imperfections. Very easy to drive normally, the ST only reveals its impressively sporty nature when you want it to. Powerful, progressive brakes with good pedal feel. The 1L three-cylinder turbo is smooth, quick and economical. A very tall first gear in the six-speed manual transmission makes for languid launches from a stop and makes urban stop and go driving tiresome. The new all-wheel drive 350 horsepower RS is a fast, agile machine and a dialed-in driver's delight. The Focus cabin contains lots of matte finishes, soft-touch plastics and chic faux alloy accents. Crisply-marked gauges. Complex controls. The SYNC3 infotainment interface is easy to use and is a big improvement over the previous apparatus. Very tight cabin, little headroom and severely limited rear legroom. Try the back seat before you buy a Focus. Large, comfortable front seats in the mainstream models but the aggressive bolstering of the Recaro sports seat in the RS and ST suit only the super slim. Big trunk on the sedan but the cargo area of the hatchback body is shallow below the window line. Driven briefly by the APA, the Focus electric was smooth, quick, quiet and a delight in town. Various displays coach drivers to get as much range as possible from the batteries. Like other pure electrics, range and re-charging time are major concerns. Concerning as well was a "stall" experienced with the test vehicle. The battery pack reduces trunk space. 

Comments
On most Focus models, power stems from a 160 horsepower 2L four that sends power to the front wheels via either a five-speed manual transmission or a six-speed dual clutch automated manual with a full automatic mode. The turbocharged 252 HP 2L four sitting under the hood of the Focus ST sends power to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. A 1L three cylinder turbo that produces 123 horsepower and 148 lb-ft. of torque is only offered only on the SE sedan with either a six-speed manual or a conventional six-speed automatic transmission. The high-performance RS, which is built in Germany, went on sale during the 2016 model year.   

Pricing

Hatchback and sedan body styles powered by the 2L four are priced the same. The SE, SEL (hatchback only) and Titanium trim upgrades are all very good value if you like their content. The 1L turbo triple is only available on the SE sedan. The Focus Electric with leather seating sells for around $4600 more than a similarly equipped 2L titanium model. Leasing is modestly compelling for 2017.   
Reliability
Average reliability overall but problems are cropping up as the cars age. The unconventional operation of the automated manual transmission is a delight for some but something some owners can't come to terms with, even when it is working properly. Dual clutch automatic transmission faiilures have been reported, with Ford paying for the dual clutch replacement but denying claims for actual transmission failure, even for owners with a Ford extended warranty. MyFord Touch and steering have generated consumer complaints. Some steering rack issues reported. Unproven turbo engines in the ST, RS and the 1L three cylinder. An extended warranty from Ford of Canada is recommended.

 

 

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB, 4SD
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1L-3 T (123 HP), 2L-4 (160 HP)*, 2L-4 T (252 HP [ST), 2.3L-4 T (350 HP), Electric (107 kW, 143 HP)

Transmissions: 5M, 6M (RS, ST, 1L), 6A, 6A (automated manual)*
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all- wheel drive (RS)
City Fuel Economy:  8.5L-100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.2L/100 km
Active Safety Features: None
Additional Airbags: Driver's side knee airbag
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2012
Country of Origin:  United States, Germany (RS)

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: A

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2017 Honda Civic

 


 

 

What’s new
Built in England for world markets, a four-door hatchback joins the lineup this year. The 1.5 L turbo can now be mated to a six-speed manual transmission for 2017. A high-power Type-R variant will be released sometime iduring the 2017 model year.
Performance
Thw 1.5L turbocharged Civic is quick and cruises with great serenity. However, some drivers find the direct injection system to be noisy and when hooked up to a CVT, the engine drones annoyingly on gentle acceleration and makes the car feel lethargic around town. The new six-speed manual transmission, with a silken smooth clutch and crisp shift action, feels like a premium machine which makes the turbo four sing. The Civic's steering is quick, accurate and beautifully weighted. With crisp handling and a firmly resilient ride, the Civic displays suspension prowess that belies its modest price. The Civic's good brake feel is the entry into solid stopping. Overall, the Civic's solidity, performance and cabin space make it a very tough car to beat in this segment.
Inside, the gauge package is dominated by a tachometer flanked by fuel and temperature gauges. A digital speed display is mounted within the corona of the tachometer. The centre of the dashboard is dominated by the Honda Link touchscreen which eliminates all knobs for audio functions and for the climate control fan speed. This system is not that user friendly and will produce a few grumbles from long-term customers. The rest of the cabin is very Honda-like in design. The Civic displays levels of design, fit and finish that exceed those of a number of compact luxury sedans from revered manufacturers. The new Civic's low roofline and seating position may alienate less agile buyers, but once in, the car is very comfortable with supportive seats and good legroom for a car in this class.

Comments
Mainstream Civics are be powered by a normally-aspirated 2L four previously seen in the Acura ILX, with high-end EX-T and Touring sedans, and all hatchbacks, having a 1.5L turbo four under the hood. Both engines can be teamed with either a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT. The Honda Sensing safety system includes collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation and adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow is standard on fancier models and is an inexpensive option on lesser trims.  

Pricing

The Civic DX sedan has an MSRP of $16,390, but the $20,590 LX with a CVT and air conditioning, is the defacto base model for most buyers. The LX trim updgrade reflects the value of its content over the DX. The EX trim level is very good value and the Touring is a bit of a bargain considering the wealth of its content. The EX-T, which costs $1400 more than the LX CVT, includes the turbo engine as well as about $500 worth of additional features. The Honda Sensing active security suite, standard on the EX, EX-T and Touring sedans with the CVT, is a $1000 option on the LX sedan. Coupes are priced $400 higher than a sedan of the same trim level. The supplement Honda charges for the hatchback versions of the Civic ranges from $2100 on LX models and up to $3300 for the Touring trim level, but includes the turbo engine on all trim levels. Good value leasing on all three body styles.

Reliability

Not rated, new model with unproven turbo engine, platform and body. Previous Civics have been rated above average for reliability.   

Specifications


Body Style:  2CP, 4HB, 4SD*
Occupants: 2/3
Engine: 1.5L T (174 HP), 2L-4 (158 HP)*
 

Transmissions: 6M, CVT* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  7.8L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.0L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation and adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow
Additional Airbags:  None
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000 
Current Generation Debut:  2016
Country of Origin:  Canada and the United States.

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2017 Hyundai Elantra

 


 

 

What’s new
A new Sport trim, powered by the 1.6L turbo seen in the Tucson, went on sale in the fall of 2016.

Performance
Except when pushed hard, when it becomes a bit noisy, the Elantra's 2L four is quick, flexible and smooth. It is carefully matched to the slick-shifting conventional six-speed automatic transmission and delivers exceptionally smooth performance in town and at normal urban-suburban speeds. The Elantra's ride is very absorbant, but its rear suspension needs some more development work as it can lose composure over big bumps taken at speed. The steering is nicely geared but is too light and offers no feedback to the driver. Braking is strong enough but pedal feel is too soft, pedal travel is excessive and the brakes lack initial bite. Good road and wind noise suppression. The 1.6L turbocharged Sport model is quick, smooth, and has more accurate, better weighted steering and better brake feel and response than the mainstream Elantra. Swapping the low-cost torsion beam rear suspension employed on most Elantras for the more complex multi-link unit in the Sport transform the ride and handling of the Elantra. Hyundai should have issued all Elantra models with the attributes given to the Sport, and tweaked that model to be even sportier.
The front seats are not ideally shaped, especially the bottom cushion, however, they do prove comfortable enough in the long haul. Rear seat comfort is good and legroom is average for this segment. Those driving the Elantra face big, clear gauges and a horizontally-arrayed dashboard dominated by a large, centre-mounted infotainment screen. Simple, logical controls for the audio and climate systems rest underneath the big infotainment screen. With elaborate sports seats that hold, but don't pinch, as well as a few "sporty" touches, the interior of the Sport is very nicely presented. Good trunk. 

Comments
Hyundai contends the new Elantra, with a .27 coefficient of drag, is more aerodynamic for 2017 and that its structure is more rigid than previously. Power stems from a 2L four that features an Atkinson cycle, which, according to Hyundai, reduces internal pumping losses, and is more commonly used on hybrid vehicles. Though Hyundai has moved heavily into direct injection, the new Elantra uses a multi-port injection system. Power reaches the front wheels via either a new six-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual. The Sport model is powered by the same 1.6L turbo found under the hood of the Veloster and fancier versions of the Tucson. Available active safety equipment includes a pedestrian and vehicle detection system with autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings.

Pricing

Without air conditioning or an automatic transmission, even as options, the base $15,999 Elantra won’t suit too many buyers but is good for advertising a low, low MSRP. The $18,499 LE trim level features automatic transmission, air conditioning. Bluetooth and a sound deadening blanket affixed to the bottom of the hood. The $20,349 GL, equipped with a heated steering wheel, rear-view camera, alloy wheels, satellite radio, blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors and automatic headlamps, is very good value and has quite a bit more content than a similarly priced Toyota Corolla LE or Honda Civic LX. The GLS upgrade has a few niceties like a heated rear seat and sunroof, but is very expensive when the additional content is accounted for. Upgrading from the GLS to the Limited is very good value if you want leather seating. At $28,799, the Ultimate is a lavishly equipped car, including active safety features, but the same money will buy a very nice midsize car. At around, the $29,000 Sport with the Tech package and automatic is reasonable value and definately a nicer all-round car than the less powerful 2L Ultimate. The Tech package itself is priced to reflect the value of its additional content. Reasonable value leasing for 2017.
Reliability

Average reliability. Excess oil consumption was a problem with the 1.8L four powering the previous Elantra, and this new 2L Atkinson cycle engine is unproven. Adhering to Hyundai's service schedule and keeping all receipts for service are imperative if Hyundai is not to deny a warranty claim. Dismantle and lubricate the rear disc brake components annually to prevent expensive repairs.  

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.6L-4-T (201 HP), 2L-4 (147 HP)*

Transmissions: 6M, 6A*, 7A (dual clutch) 

Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  8.3L/100 km.
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.4L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available pedestrian and vehicle detection system with autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings
Additional Airbags: Driver knee airbag
Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2017
Country of Origin:  United States (L, LE), South Korea (all others)

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2017 Hyundai Elantra GT

 


 

 

What’s new
With the new-generation model unveiled at the Toronto show in February, 2017 will probably be a short model year for the Elantra GT. The previous base L trim level has been discontinued, the GLS has gained the Tech suffix to reflect its standard navigation system and there is a new high-value SE trim. The GT is fronted by a new grille for 2017. 

Performance
The 2L four is a punchy, flexible performer. The six-speed manual transmission has a precise, short-throw gearchange that is allied to a smooth, progressive clutch. Tall gearing allows for low-rev cruising but does blunt acceleration at higher speeds, necessitating downshifting a gear or two to maintain momentum on hills.
The GLS version tested handles competently and has an acceptably absorbent ride. Avoiding the Limited trim (which is equipped with low-profile 45 series tires) is a way to reconcile handling, ride and tire life (low-profile tires generally wear more quickly) in an Elantra GT. The steering is nicely weighted and geared, but transmits little about the road surface beneath the wheels. Power assist can be set to Normal, Comfort or Sport, but the differences between the settings are barely detectable.
The panoramic sunroof has a large opening and seals tightly when closed, but there is a lot of wind buffeting with it open. Powerful air conditioning and an excellent audio system.
The cabin is fronted by a hooded binnacle housing big, crisply-marked gauges separated by a digital readout displaying several vehicle functions. The dash centre stack features logical controls that function with cushioned precision.
The front seats (power adjustable for the driver on the GLS) are comfortable and clad in  attractive fabrics. Legroom is good in front and class competitive in the rear. With a longer roofline, headroom in the GT is much better than it is in the sedan. Rear seat comfort is enhanced by a proper height seat cushion.
Cabin materials are very attractive, with soft-touch surfaces on the dash and door tops as well as convincing faux alloy and piano black accents. With big door bins, a large cubby at the bottom of the dash centre stack and a substantial lidded console bin, oddments storage is impressive.
The carefully finished trunk is regularly shaped and quite long, but is shallower than it could have been because of the multi-segmented storage bin residing under the trunk floor. 

Comments
Based on the i30 model Hyundai sells in Europe, the South-Korean built GT is available with two six-speed transmissions, a manual and an automatic.

Pricing
With air conditioning, a power group, cooled glovebox, Bluetooth and heated seats, the base GL has all the equipment most buyers are looking for. Upgrading from the GL to the SE represents tremendous value and includes equipment like alloy wheels and a large-format sunroof. The GLS Tech trim variant is priced to reflect the value of its additional content and the range topping, leather-upholstered Limited model is great value if you like its features. There could be some good deals on the current GT is phased out to make way for the next generation expected by the summer of 2017.

Reliability

Average reliability predicted, like its sedan equivalent. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 (173 HP) 

Transmissions: 6M, 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  9.8L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.3L/100 km
Active Safety Features: None
Additional Airbags: Driver's side knee airbag
Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2013
Country of Origin: South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Hyundai Elantra GT

 

NEW

What’s new
A new-generation Elantra GT (marketed as the i30 in Europe) debuted at the Toronto show in February went on sale in Canada in the summer of 2017. 

Comments
Built in Slovakia and called the i30 for Europe, this Korean built hatchback arrives in Canada as the Elantra GT.a GT. The new car is roughly the same size as its predecessor but reflects the distinctly conservative styling direction on new Hyundai-Kia group vehicles. Despite looking a bit older than the car it replaces, the new Elantra GT is attractive and nicely detailed, with some styling cues similar to those seen on the latest cars from Peugeot.

The driver faces elegant, easily-scanned gauges located in a dashboard dominated by a large, free-standing pod that contains a touch screen flanked on both sides by conventional audio controls. Traditional climate controls reside at the top of the dash centre stack. Bins and bottle holders in all doors and copious open and closed cubbies throughout the cabin should satisfy even the most determined vehicular hoarders. Cabin materials are attractive and there are soft-touch surfaces on the dash top and upper front doors. The front and rear seats are supportive and rear seat legroom is competitive for this size of car. Spacious trunk.

A direct-injected 2L gasoline four with 162 horsepower is the base engine, but the 1.6L turbo offered in the Tucson and the Elantra Sport is an available upgrade. The 2L is hooked up a conventional six-speed automatic transmission, with the turbo mated with a seven speed dual clutch automated manual. The 2L features basic torsion beam rear suspension, the ithe turbo having a fully independent multi-link rear suspension system. 

Pricing
The basic GT is very nicely equipped and will suit the needs of most drivers. The GLS upgrade, which includes Keyless Go, a large format sunroof and automatic air conditioning, is priced to reflect the value of its additional equipment. The Sport differs from the GL and GLS by being powered by a 1.6L turbo four, has a multi-link rear suspension system instead of a torsion beam device and an optional seven speed dual clutch automatic transmssion instead of a conventional six-speed unit, is priced $4400 higher than the GLS, which, when extra equipment is included, leaves about $2200 devoted to the mechanical upgrades. Upgrading from the base Sport to the ultimate represents an extreme bargai is you like its equipment. 

Reliability

Average reliability predicted, like its sedan equivalent. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.6L-4T 201 HP), 2L-4 (162 HP) 

Transmissions: 6A, 7 DSG 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  N/A

Highway Fuel Economy:  N/A


Active Safety Features:Blind spot and rear cross monitors are standard on all trims. Forward collision, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, land departure warning and lane keep assist are optional on the top end turbo model.  

Additional Airbags: Driver's side knee airbag
Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2018
Country of Origin: South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2017 Hyundai IONIQ

 

NEW

What’s new
All-new platform will spawn a conventional hybrid, a plug-in hybrid and a full electric car. 

Comments
About the same size as an Elantra, the IONIQ is built on a different platform designed to accept conventional hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full electric powertrains exclusively. The exterior is modern, crisp and tidy but doesn’t forcefully signal the car is powered by alternative powertrains. With a 0.24 co-efficient of drag, the shape is very slippery. The cabin is practical and straightforward with cabin space being more adequate than spacious.
A 106 horsepower 1.6L four is the basis for the hybrid and plug-in hybrid. Total system horsepower for the hybrid is 139 and maximum electric-only range for the plug-in is 37 kilometres. The hybrid and the plug-in send power to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. The full electric version is powered by an 88 kWh motor with a maximum possible range of 170 kilometres. The IONIQ will go on sale in Canada sometime in 2017. 

Pricing

With heated front seats, a rearview camera and cellphone interfaces, the base Blue model, at $24,299, is keenly priced for a hybrid. The SE upgrade, with blind spot/rear cross traffic, heated rear seats and steering wheel as well as Keyless Go, is slightly too expensive for the extra content it brings. The Limited upgrade, with leather seating, adaptive cruise control as well as autonomous braking and pedestrian detection, is priced about $1000 too high given its equipment level. In contrast, the $31,749 Limited Tech trim level, with a memory system for seats and mirrors, active xenon headlamps, navigation and a premium audio system, is a bit of a bargain. An full electric model is due soon but no pricing details are available; with the Plug-In hybrid not scheduled for release until the end of 2017. The base $35,649 electric SE is nicely equipped with blind spot/rear cross traffic and navigation. The SE Cold Climate group is priced $1200 higher and has a heat pump that may conserve power but the upgrade seems expensive. The top Limited trim is overpriced. The top spec electric is priced $10,000 more than the top spec hybrid. The cars are not equipped the exact same but the value of the indiviidual contents is the same. With the massive provincial rebate available on the the electric, it will be actually be cheaper than the hybrid in the long run but buyers in Ontario can expect to wait around four months for their rebate cheques. 

Reliability

All new car, not rated.   

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.6L-4 H (139 HP combined), Electric (88 kW) 

Transmissions: 6A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  N/A
Highway Fuel Economy:  N/A
Active Safety Features: No details available
Additional Airbags: No details available
Warranty: 5/100,000, 8/130,000 hybrid components
Current Generation Debut:  2017
Country of Origin: South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2017 Kia Forte

 


 

 

What’s new
Mid-cycle update for the Forte. New front fascias and headlights on the sedan and hatchback and revised rear bumper on the sedan. Minor cabin trim updates as well as the addition of an Android Auto infotainment interface. Package and packaging changes on all three body styles. Active safety features are newly available for 2017. The 1.8L base engine has been replaced with a 2L four, with a direct injected 2L powering EX and superior trims.
Performance
The 164 horsepower 2L four powering most Fortes delivers brisk, flexible performance with impressive refinement. Smooth, responsive six-speed automatic transmission. Despite low-profile 45 series tires, the SX rides with a resilient firmness that never devolves to harshness. While not the last word in feel, the steering on the SX is, precise, nicely geared and pleasantly weighted. There is so little to difference in steering weight between the three settings as to reduce the feature to mere specifications filler. Road and wind noise are very well suppressed. The 1.6L turbo four is smooth, flexible and swift.
The cabin is fronted by a dashboard stocked with crisp gauges and uncomplicated, but elegant controls. The audio and climate systems work with a smooth precision. Large, supportive front seats and good space for front occupants. The rear seat is comfortable and legroom is class competitive but headroom is a bit tight. In SX form, the Forte's cabin looks very upscale and is better-designed and appears more luxurious than the entry-level models of revered luxury manufacturers. High-luxury features such as xenon headlights, Keyless Go, heated steering wheel and a cooled driver's seat are available. Spacious trunk and a sonically pleasing audio system on the SX model tested. Straightforward Bluetooth hookup. The longer roofline of the Forte 5 hatchback makes for improved headroom for back seat riders as well as offering greater versatility. The Forte 5 SX 1.6 turbo came in second in an APA road test against a Volkswagen Golf 1.8, Comfortline. Coming in second was not so much a reflection on the Kia, which was highly regarded, but the overwhelming excellence of the Golf. 

Comments
The base Forte is powered by the same 147 horsepower four as the Hyundai Elantra, with a 164 horsepower 2L four found under the hood of the EX and higher trims. The SX coupe and hatchback feature a 201 horsepower turbocharged 1.6L four.
Pricing

The $15,495 base LX, without automatic transmission or air-conditioning is offered merely to advertise a low MSRP. With heated front seats, cruise control and a rearview camera, the LX+ upgrade is good value at just under $20,000. The EX model is spectacular value is you want its features and includes the more powerful direct-injected 2L four. The EX-L brings leather seating at a cheaper price than the SX, which, with navigation, xenon lamps, autonomous emergency braking and lane keep assist, lacks nothing and is very good value. The hatchback models have the direct injected 2L as standard, with the SX trim powered by the 1.6L turbo. On the hatchback, the EX upgrade balances price and content precisely. About $1,500 of the $2,900 price gap between the EX and SX is pure content, with the rest related to the turbo engine. The SX Luxury package is a bargain given its lavish equipment. Equipment differences between the sedan and the coupe and hatchback body styles make it difficult to make a value judgement on the cost of transitioning from one body style to the next. Leasing is not worth bothering with.

Reliability

Good reliability predicted with few of the 2L engine issues being reported on the Elantra cropping up on the Forte. 

Specifications


Body Style:  2CP, 4HB, 4SD
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.6L-4T (201 HP), 2L-4 (147 HP: LX), 2L‑4 (164 HP)

Transmissions: 6M, 6A*, 7-speed dual clutch 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  9.4L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.0L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available blind spot and lane keep assist system
Additional Airbags: None
Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2014
Country of Origin: South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


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