This past weekend I took a 2019 Kia Forte to see if it lived up to the hype and its nickname "Baby Stinger" (Nod to the Kia Stinger, Kia's recent sports car debut with an engine boasting 365 horsepower) Prior to this weekend I've never been behind the wheel of a Kia - so I had no idea what to expect.

Though I am aware of the gas mileage/leg room compromise that takes place when you are in the market for a daily driver. To my suprise, this simply was not the case with the Kia Forte.Though this car is categorized in the economy class, there is nothing economy or compact about the 2019 Kia Forte.

It looks, feels, and drives like an high-end mid sized sedan. I was so impressed by the spaciousness of this vehicle. My 6'6" better half could sit in the passenger seat with a comfortable amount of space between his knees and the dash. (Seriously impressive for a "compact car") The trunk is gigantic- 15 cubic feet of storage space to be exact, and the back seat has an extremely practical amount of space for passengers.

The tech features in the Forte were equally impressive to me. It has Apple Car Play capabilities (Android auto, too ). If you're driving and receive a text message, it will read it to you and give you the option to reply vocally with your response. The sound system was crisp and resonated nicely throughout the car. The Forte's driver assistance/safety features were unbelievable to me. I got over a to the turning lane without signaling and the steering wheel turned slightly back to center and got me back into the lane I was merging out of because it detected that I may have been drifting out of the lane unintentionally.

The Forte has cameras on the side mirrors so the car knows where the lanes are and will keep you between them, there are also cameras on the front bumper of the car - which will slow the car down if you are close to hitting someone or something in front of you. I was so impressed that Kia had chosen to implement these features in their line up of the high teens to low $20k price range. It gave me such peace of mind when I was driving.

The exterior of the Forte is sleek and expensive looking, the attention to detail is very apparent with this redesign. The interior was comfortable with modern touches and the dash is a step ahead of its competitors in the economy class with the 8 inch touch screen tablet display featured on the dash.

The design is far from a standard compact car, yet the gas mileage is spot on; the entire weekend I averaged 35 mpg and I rarely ventured onto the freeway so the average was composed of mostly city miles. I never felt like I was driving a stereotypical "commuter" car. The 2019 Kia Forte exceeded all of my expectations of a compact car. I am thoroughly impressed with the appearance, features, and drivability of this car. Go test drive a "Baby Stinger" for yourself and see what all the hype is about!