Best small car over $21,000: Kia Forte5 LX+

Toronto Star,

By: Gary Grant

In today’s world, a car must satisfy a variety of needs. My wife wants reliability and practicality, but I want connectivity and a fun driving experience. Affordability is a must, and this category offers several vehicles that tick all five boxes.

Base price: $19,495

As tested: $21,695

Stylish but no nonsense inside and out, the Forte5 offers an almost unheard-of level of creature comforts in a vehicle at this price point. Quiet and comfortable, the cabin seats five comfortably with a cargo area that will easily swallow a couple of hockey bags. The 2.0L gasoline four cylinder generates 173 horsepower and can be had with a choice of six-speed automatic or manual transmissions, ensuring a sprightly driving experience.

WE LIKE

Sporty good looks set off by 16” alloy wheels

Economical to drive, yet fun on a twisty road

Fantastic infotainment package for this price point includes Bluetooth and satellite radio

Rear seat actually seats three teenagers

Very large cargo space for a small car

Engine: 2.0L I4 GDI

Power/torque: 173 hp/154 lbs.-ft.

Fuel consumption (regular) L/100 km: 9.7 city, 6.9 hwy.

What’s best: Most standard features in the class

What’s worst: More demure styling than some competitors

Value for money: Best of the bunch