Starting Price: $19,090 | Price Yours
KBB Rating: 4.2 out of 5
The Kia Forte is one of the best values in compact cars today. It’s a serious competitor to more established names in this class like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla with the benefits of a more affordable price and an excellent warranty.
There are two engines available under the hood of the Forte, and you can’t go wrong with either. Let’s take a closer look and find the right one for you.
The Popular Engine (Recommended)
2.0-liter inline-4 (FE, LXS, GT-Line)
132 lb-ft of torque
EPA City/Highway/Combined Fuel Economy: 31/41/35 mpg (FE), 29/39/33 mpg (LXS, GT-Line)
Price of entry: $19,090
The base engine in the Kia Forte is also the most popular. It’s a 2.0-liter inline-4 that delivers adequate performance and excellent fuel economy. Its modest power and torque ratings won’t blow you away, but it’s strong enough for around-town driving and getting on the highway.
The continuously variable transmission (CVT) takes a little getting used to, but it’s part of why the Forte gets up to 41 mpg on the highway. It’s sometimes imprecise, and you’ll occasionally hear a droning noise while accelerating, but it gets the job done.
It’s worth noting that the fuel economy with the base engine depends on the trim you choose. The base FE trim is a little more fuel-efficient than the LXS and GT-Line models.
The Fast Engine
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 (GT)
195 lb-ft of torque
EPA City/Highway/Combined Fuel Economy: 27/35/30 mpg (automatic), 22/31/26 mpg (manual)
Price of entry: $23,490
There’s an exciting turbocharged engine available for the Forte if you’re willing to pay for it. It offers performance similar to the Honda Civic Si at a lower price point. The Forte GT has punchy acceleration while still returning pretty good fuel economy.
You can get the turbocharged Forte GT with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with paddle shifters or a 6-speed manual that will appeal to driving enthusiasts who want the most control. The manual provides a more engaging driving experience, but it’s the most inefficient version of the Forte.
The Forte GT is an excellent value in sport compacts, but the Forte with the base engine is a better value overall because of its lower price tag and better fuel economy.