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Kia Forte Review

The 2015 Kia Forte ranks 8 out of 27 Affordable Compact Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Kia Forte, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 Kia Forte is ranked:

A spacious interior and trunk, supportive seating and a range of tech features make the 2015 Kia Forte a good value, critics say.

A 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine is standard in the 2015 Kia Forte sedan, and test drivers find it delivers sufficient energy for urban driving. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is standard in both the Forte Koup and the Forte5 hatchback trims, but a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that auto writers describe as among the strongest in the class is also available. The base model comes with a six-speed manual transmission, and a six-speed automatic is available. The 2015 Forte earns up to an EPA-estimated 26/39 mpg city/highway with the base engine and automatic transmission, which is good for the class. Auto journalists are divided over the Forte’s performance. Some think it has decent power, while others say the steering feels numb and the handling is not nearly as sporty as in some rivals.

The 2015 Kia Forte has a high-end, well-styled cabin that is constructed with first-rate materials, critics say. For an affordable small car, they find it nicely outfitted with a range of tech gadgets such as a user-friendly infotainment system. Test drivers say legroom is abundant throughout the sedan, and they describe seats, especially those in the back, as supportive. Critics also say the Forte has a large cargo area for the class. Standard features include satellite radio, USB and auxiliary inputs, Bluetooth and a four-speaker stereo. Optional features include navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control, a six-speaker stereo, a rearview camera, HD Radio, heated front and rear seats and Kia’s UVO infotainment system.

  • "With strong fuel economy, interior space, value, and an impressive list of available features that is almost unheard of in this segment, the Kia is a strong contender in its class. While we'd prefer the Kia to drive a little more enthusiastically, that's simply not a priority for most prospective owners." -- Motor Trend
  • "To better compete in the small car segment, Kia redesigned the Forte last year. We were pretty impressed with the result, and it earned an ‘A’ rating from our staff as a result. And the 2015 Forte keeps that ball rolling. Pick the Forte and you get a fair price, peppy acceleration, generous standard features and a comfortable cabin with high-quality materials." -- Edmunds
  • “Put together, the Forte lineup is a strong competitor against established names like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus. One thing's certain: The Forte makes picking a good compact car that much harder." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Since arriving on U.S. shores back in 1991, Kia has rapidly evolved from a purveyor of bargain-basement econoboxes into a stylish and fully modern brand that can compete with the best the mainstream market has to offer. Perhaps no model is as emblematic of Kia's progress as the latest Forte, a compact sedan that combines the value for which the automaker has become known with an attention-grabbing exterior design and a high-quality cabin." -- Left Lane News

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Other Cars to Consider

The Volkswagen Golf is fully redesigned for 2015 and reviewers say it offers poised handling and is one of the more fun-to-drive cars in the class. They also add that it has exceptional cargo space, a well-made interior and earns excellent fuel economy.

Like the Forte, the Mazda3 also comes in sedan and hatchback models, and auto critics praise its peppy, powerful engine and nimble handling. They also note that it has a crisp-shifting manual transmission, and a long list of available features.

Compare the Forte, Golf and Mazda3 »

Details: 2015 Kia Forte

The 2015 Kia Forte is offered as a sedan, coupe or hatchback. It seats five and has front-wheel drive. The sedan comes standard with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual transmission, while a six-speed automatic transmission is optional. The sedan is available in LX and EX trims, and the Forte5 and Koup are available in EX and SX trims. The Forte was fully redesigned for 2014 and received few changes for 2015. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2014 and 2015 model years.

See 2015 Kia Forte specs »

Review Last Updated: 4/9/15

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