The new-look 2017 Kia Forte, which came to town at the beginning of July, is modelled on the Kia Optima, notes Birchwood Kia East sales rep Tim Francisco.
It has a new front bumper, grille and tail lights. There is also a larger touch screen for lower trim levels as well as a Smart Trunk feature.
You just have to stand behind the vehicle with the key fob in hand or pocket and the trunk opens automatically.
The 2017 Forte is available in a choice of three trim levels — the LX, the EX and the SX.
The model is powered by a choice of engines. The LX and SX models come equipped with a 2-L iron-block in-line four-cylinder engine, while the EX model has a 2-L four-cylinder engine that has an aluminum block and direct injection.
New available active-safety features include autonomous emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert, front collision warning, lane change assist and dynamic bending lights.
The Forte is available as a four-door sedan, two-door coupe or five-door hatchback.
The sedan ranges in price from $15,500 to $28,000 (plus freight and pdi), while the hatchback starts at $19,500.
“We have had a good response to the 2017 Forte,” Francisco says. “It’s an affordable, economy car. You get a lot of standard features for your money.”
Familiar faces at Frontier Toyota
“I feel like I have come home,” says Shannon Vezey, Frontier Toyota’s new general sales manager.
“This is where I started my career in auto sales more than 20 years ago, and it’s nice to see that there are so many familiar faces here. There has always been a lot of stability at Frontier Toyota.”
Although Vezey has had a varied career in auto sales, including stints as a financial services manager and human resources consultant and recruiter, most of her career has been in Toyota sales and management.
Most recently, Vezey worked with Frontier Toyota sister store Jim Pattison Subaru as its financial services manager.
“This is an exciting opportunity for me,” she says of her new position.
The management and staff at Frontier Toyota are also happy to be welcoming back sales star Margaret Morton who had left the industry a couple of years ago to spend more time with family.
“My grandchildren are in school now and I really missed my customers,” says Morton, who returned to Frontier Toyota in July.
“I am glad to be back and selling cars again. People are still surprised to see me back here.”
Frontier Toyota also recently added award-winning veteran sales rep Gil De Guzman to the sales team. De Guzman has been in auto sales for close to 15 years.
He sold Honda models for the first 10 years and has been selling Toyotas for the past four.
“I’m closer to home here and I like the environment,” he says.
“Everyone is well organized. All the departments are close at hand. The shop is really clean. And everyone is friendly.”
Dealer of the week
Sales Rep: Tim Francisco
Dealership: Birchwood Kia East
No. of Years: Seven
Favourite Model: 2017 Kia Forte
Why: “The Forte is a really good economy car,” Francisco says. “You get a bunch of features for a very affordable price.”