I love both cars the same but don't like the price of the GTI and I don't like the repair costs. I have owned a few VW cars and I always had some kind of issue with them. My buddy has a 05 GTI and I can out run him with ease on power and cornering. Granted I am tuned and have a few more upgrades than he does but his suspension is all setup. Once you setup the suspension on the Forte and get way better tires then it will hold very well. I took mine to a autox track and was holding very well with others in my class and I was on stock suspension besides a torsion bar. I was even on stock tires lol.
The GTI is more of a performance car and the Forte is more geared for fun and practicality. If Kia does bring the 2.0T into the Forte then the GTI and FST would have some good competition. Great comparison since you owned the 2.0t GTI. For us being a little 1.6T we actually shock a lot of people lol. Get a tune on your 5 and you will be even more happy with it. Also if you are a m/t 2 step can be put into the tune and will make your lunching even harder