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The Kia Forte5 is one of the older entries in the growing compact hatchback segment, that includes heavyweights, like the Honda Civic, Mazda3 and VW Golf. Even though it may be showing its age in a few spots, the 2017 Kia Forte5 SX still represents a competitive and value oriented option with a little bit of fun thrown in. Here are the five things you need to know:

1More like a mild hot hatch:


The hatchback segment has really taken off lately and of course that means that hot hatch fans are wondering how each one compares to the benchmark of the segment, the VW Golf GTI. With its 201-hp turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder and an available six-speed manual transmission, the Forte5 SX could have what it takes to appeal to GTI fans.

Unfortunately its a little softer than the GTI and because of that, it’s not quite as fun.

The biggest advantage that the GTI has over the Forte5 SX is that the GTI’s bigger engine brings an extra 9 horsepower and 63 lb-ft. of torque to the table. While the horsepower differences are negligible, the extra torque under the GTI’s hood makes it a few ticks faster than the Forte5 SX 5.9 seconds vs 7.5 seconds. One benefit for the Forte5 SX is that it runs on regular fuel, while the GTI requires the more expensive stuff.

But, wait a hot hatch isn’t just about how fast it is in a straight line because if that’s all that buyers cared about they’d just go buy a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. Dynamics are more important, which is why the GTI is so loved. The Forte5 SX manages to hold its own, but there is a bit more body roll than in the GTI. In terms of overall ride quality, the Forte5 SX’s softer tuned suspension is adequate.

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