Improved Kia Forte earns Top Safety Pick+ award

July 18, 2017

Structural improvements to the 2017 Kia Forte have boosted its performance in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's small overlap front crash test. With an optional, superior-rated front crash prevention system and available good-rated headlights, the small car joins the ranks of Top Safety Pick+ winners.

The 2017 Kia Forte has longer side-curtain airbags than earlier models. In addition, Fortes built after March have beefed-up structure at the door hinge pillar and the door sill.

Thanks to those changes, Fortes built after March earn a good rating in the small overlap test, which represents a crash in which the left front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or with an object such as a tree or utility pole. In the test of the Forte, the driver's space was maintained well, with maximum intrusion of 3 inches at the footrest. The dummy's movement was well-controlled, and measures from the dummy indicated a low risk of injuries in a crash of this severity.

Earlier models earned a marginal rating, with intrusion reaching 8 inches at the lower hinge pillar. In addition, the dummy's head contacted the instrument panel, and the side curtain airbag failed to provide sufficient forward coverage.

To qualify for the 2017 Top Safety Pick award, a vehicle must have good ratings in the small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests and an available front crash prevention rating that earns an advanced or superior rating. The "plus" is awarded to vehicles that meet those criteria and also have good or acceptable headlights.

The Forte's optional front crash prevention system, new for 2017, earns a superior rating. The vehicle avoided collisions in IIHS track tests at 12 and 25 mph. The system also includes a forward collision warning component that meets the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's criteria.

Fortes built after July 2016 equipped with the Premium Plus package on the EX trim line earn a good rating for headlights. Fortes without the Premium Plus package, as well as those with the package but built before August 2016, have poor-rated headlights.

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