Matt Myftiu

Matt Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

When I think of the best compact cars, Kia is not usually the first brand that pops into my head. But that could be about to change.  

I recently spent some time in the fully redesigned 2019 Kia Forte, and I’m back with a rundown of how it measures up in the segment — which I must say, was surprisingly well.  


The Deep Sea Blue-colored 2019 Kia Forte I tested was attractive enough, by the standards of non-luxury compact cars. None of them are extreme lookers, to be honest, but there were some unique things going on with the grille and the rear lights that stood out vs. the competition.

The Forte looks bigger than a typical compact car; and has a somewhat roomy back seat and very roomy trunk for the segment. Everything is also well-organized inside, and the quality of the seating and other interior materials was higher-end than I anticipated. Seating is comfortable, and all controls are well-placed for driver use.

On the lighting front, you get LED tail lights, LED Daytime Running Lights, and power heated outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators.

You also get a compact spare tire, dual-zone automatic climate control with rear vents, a power adjustable driver’s seat, and heated and ventilated front seats. 17-inch alloy wheels were included on the 2019 Kia Forte EX that I tested, and 15-inch wheels come on the base model.

Let’s flash back to 2008, when Dale Earnhardt Jr. joined Hendrick Motorsports as Kyle Busch exited.

Dale Jr. was coming in on a hot streak from DEI; all indications were he would contend for titles at Hendrick, NASCAR’s hottest team at the time.


Kyle Busch was a couple years into his time at Hendrick, and was young, brash, had promise, but was a handful to deal with.


Hendrick Motorsports chose Dale Jr. They let Kyle go off and sign with Joe Gibbs Racing.


Let me get this out of the way early: Kyle Busch is one of NASCAR’s greatest drivers, both now and in the overall history of the sport. As the King himself said, Kyle could have competed for wins in any era of the sport. He’s a wheelman to the core, with great natural instincts on how to handle a racecar. He’s a first-ballot lock for the Hall of Fame once he retires and becomes eligible.


His 200 wins are an impressive accomplishment and show he is a true talent, regardless of how you view him personally or what you think of his off-track antics.


But that’s where I stop. The endless adoration parade that’s likely to come this week is something I’ll sit out. And here’s why. Numbers do not lie.


Trucks dominate the auto industry, and not everyone is looking for a basic work truck. In fact, the trend is moving in the opposite direction, with these vehicles moving farther away from being solely work-focused and instead growing more luxurious in their creature comfort offerings for the whole family, based on customer demand.

The 2019 GMC Sierra has been redesigned for 2019, and attempts to break out of the shadow of its GM cohort the Chevy Silverado. I recently tested out one of the upper trim level Sierra offerings, a 2019 Sierra Denali 1500 4WD Crew Cab, and I’m back with a full report on how this truck distinguishes itself.


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