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2021 Kia Forte5 GT Manual Review: An Endangered Species

Auto123 reviews the 2021 Kia Forte5 GT with a manual transmission.

Over the years, Kia has become a producer of utility vehicles, like most automotive companies in North America. But unlike some brands that have shunned the traditional car segment, Kia persists, in fact it still offers five models, if you count as separate entities the 4- and 5-door versions of the Forte.

It's true that among that group of five, there’s the Rio5 that’s frankly hanging on by its fingertips - the subcompact category isn't what it used to be - and the Stinger, which we already know is on the way out. But the K5 was renewed just a few months ago, and the Forte was redesigned in 2019. In fact, Kia is thought to be preparing a mild upgrade for its compact car. We know this because just recently, Kia unveiled details of the K3 sedan, the name used internationally for the Forte.

While we await the tweaked Forte, I had occasion to drive a 2021 Forte5 GT equipped with a manual transmission, a configuration that is quickly going extinct these days. Here's what I took away from a few days of testing.

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