The Kia Forte compact sedan is stylish and affordable for those who want something more sporty than your average commuter car. The Forte starts at well below $20,000 and features a great warranty as well as an above-average fuel consumption, exceptional attention to detail, and many standard amenities. The new 2020 GT trim adds 201 horsepower and an optional manual transmission.
Although the Kia Forte’s design is attractive, it doesn’t seem as affordable as it actually is. The cabin isn’t a luxurious model, but you will be reminded by the fact that it has been kept as compact as possible. The Forte is not a car for performance enthusiasts. This could be the car for you if you are looking for a simple and basic car with some nice features.
Pricing and Trims
You can choose from one of five trims for the 2020 Kia Forte: FE or LXS, GT-Line and EX.
Entry-level FE starts at $19,000. It features solar control glass and automatic projector beam headlights.
The Forte LXS, which retails for around $19,000, features a chrome exhaust tip and 16-inch alloy wheels. It also has 60/40 split-folding rear chairs.
The GT-Line starts at $20,500. It includes LED daytime running lights and fog lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, UVO eServices infotainment systems with satellite radio, premium cloth upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering column.
The Kia Forte Ex comes with all the above plus chrome trim for windows, perimeter approach lighting and heated side mirrors. There are also LED turn signals embedded into the side mirror caps. Smart key, glovebox lighting, illuminated vanity mirrors and leatherette upholstery. The starting MSRP is approximately $22,000.
The GT’s top-of-the line starts at $22,500 The GT comes standard with unique stitched leather steering wheels, auto-leveling LED headlights and sport seats.
Engine and Performance
The 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine powers the FE, LXS and GT-Line models. The engine features dual continuously variable valve timing and multi-point injection. It produces 147 horsepower and 132 lb.ft. of torque. This engine comes standard with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The FE can be fitted with a 6-speed manual transmission.
GT trim features a turbocharged, 1.6-liter 4-cylinder that generates 201 horsepower. You can choose between a dual-clutch or 6-speed automatic transmission.
The entire lineup comes standard with front-wheel drive. According to the EPA, a Forte FE equipped with the CVT will return fuel economy of around 35 mpg. The GT with manual transmission should return about 28 mpg.
The interior of the Forte is black in color with chrome and silver trim to highlight some details. The car’s material quality is excellent for a low-end vehicle. Most components feel solid. However, there are some hard plastics that remind you this is a budget-friendly car.
All physical controls are large and well-placed, with similar functions group together. This makes it much easier to find what you need while driving. It is located at the top of your dash. This makes it easy to glance at, but it can be awkward to reach. You won’t be afraid to make changes. The large icons in the menus are easy to read and respond quickly.
Like most compact sedans the space in the front seats is adequate for taller adults. However, the rear seat area is much smaller. Although the front seats are contoured and bolstered, they are still relatively flat. The curves of the rear seats are even smaller. All the seats have a firm padding, which can make it uncomfortable for long trips. The trunk space is average for this vehicle.