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#4

in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $15,900 - $21,900
Invoice: $15,599 - $20,658
MPG: 25 City / 36 Hwy
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Kia Forte Review

The 2014 Kia Forte ranks 4 out of 40 Affordable Small 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 2014 Kia Forte is ranked:

Test drivers recommend the redesigned 2014 Kia Forte, saying it is comfortable, has a spacious interior and trunk and has lots of easy-to-use tech features.

The 2014 Forte comes standard with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that automotive critics say provides adequate power. More reviewers have tested the Forte with the optional 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, and they write that this engine makes the car feel much livelier. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard with the base engine, but more reviewers have tested models equipped with an optional six-speed automatic transmission, which they say shifts smoothly. With an automatic transmission, fuel economy is rated by the EPA at 25/36 mpg city/highway, which is on par for the class. Reviewers say that the Forte has a comfortable ride, though one test driver says that it doesn’t feel as athletic as rivals like the Ford Focus or Mazda3.

Auto writers generally like the Kia Forte’s cabin layout. They say the cabin is constructed with some materials that are hard to the touch, but appropriate for the car’s class and price point. Several note that the five-seat Forte sedan has very comfortable seats in the front and rear, as well as one of the largest trunks in the class. The Forte comes with lots of features for the class, and critics appreciate that the climate and infotainment controls are easy to reach, legible and intuitive to use. Standard features include a four-speaker stereo, Bluetooth and auxiliary and USB ports. Optional features include heated front seats, heated rear seats, a ventilated driver’s seat, Kia’s UVO infotainment system, HD Radio, a backup camera and dual-zone climate control.

  • "Kia's past might be filled with cut-rate economy cars, but its present sure doesn't have any; unlike Psy's ironic Gangnam portrayal, the Forte is, actually classy in both its ambition and execution." -- Car and Driver
  • "The 2014 Forte is no less price-competitive, but it's a more-compelling choice, with build quality and overall refinement that are easily a match for most anything in the class. It also appeals for available features that most rivals don't offer, such as heated rear seats, which is something you can't get even on many premium-brand midsize cars. It's part of Kia's effort to move beyond its traditional ‘budget brand’ status and into the blue-chip realm occupied by the likes of Honda and Toyota." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The 2014 Kia Forte has plenty to offer in terms of quality and value, and its sharp new look pushes it farther toward the head of the class." -- Edmunds
  • "Today's Kia vehicles don't offer the same price advantage they used to, but with better quality, more features and significantly improved resale values, they're now a much smarter buy." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Granted, our tester had every possible option, but the new Forte rises to the top of its class with its comfort, driveability and technology. Who needs a luxury car?" -- Tampa Tribune

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Other Cars to Consider

Reviewers like the Mazda3 for its athletic handling and fun driving experience. The Mazda3 also earns praise for its slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission, as well as an optional engine that provides plenty of power.

The Ford Focus is available as a sedan or hatchback, and is highly-praised by test drivers for its high-quality interior. Reviewers also say that a refined suspension makes the Focus one of the sportiest entries in the segment.

Compare the Forte, Mazda3 and Focus »

Details: 2014 Kia Forte

The 2014 Kia Forte is available as a sedan, coupe or hatchback. It seats five and has front-wheel drive. A 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual transmission are standard on the Forte sedan. With this engine, a six-speed automatic transmission is optional. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is optional, which comes with a six-speed automatic transmission. The hatchback Forte5 and the two-door Koup models come standard with a 2.0-liter engine, while a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is optional. The sedan is offered in LX and EX trims, while the Forte5 and Koup are offered in EX and SX trims. The Forte is fully redesigned for 2014.

See full 2014 Kia Forte specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/13/14

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