Avg. Price Paid:$10,904 - $14,814
Original MSRP: $15,200 - $19,600
MPG: 25 City / 34 Hwy
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2012 Kia Forte Review

This review was written when the 2012 Kia Forte was new.

Other than an engine that doesn’t pack a punch, auto writers say there is little they don’t like about the 2012 Kia Forte. 

More than anything else, test drivers appreciate the 2012 Forte’s versatility and practicality that will appeal to a range of shoppers. The Kia Forte is available in three body styles (sedan, coupe and hatchback), has an interior that’s comfortable for four (five is a squeeze) and has good fuel economy. Add to that a standard features list that includes Bluetooth, satellite radio and a USB port for an iPod, and critics say the 2012 Kia Forte is one of the best options on the market for shoppers who want a quality car that won’t break the bank.

However, the 2012 Forte won’t impress budding race car drivers because even the sport-tuned SX trim is a bore. Test drivers suggest shoppers check out the Mazda3 and Ford Focus, which are significantly more fun to drive, but say shoppers who want a small car with a low price and a lot of standard features should stick with the Forte.

Other Cars to Consider

For a car that’s more fun to drive than the the sporty Kia Forte SX trim, consider the Mazda3, which is one of the most engaging cars in the class. Fuel economy averages on the base Mazda3 are slightly lower than the Forte, and there is less trunk space, but if you’re willing to exchange a few miles per gallon and some cubic feet for more power, the Mazda3 could be the perfect fit.

Reviewers like that shoppers have a hatchback option in the 2012 Kia Forte, but if you’re considering the hatchback because it has more cargo space than the Forte sedan and coupe, the Honda Fit might be right up your alley. Not only is it the roomiest hatchback in the class, but it is also the most utilitarian thanks to seats that flip different ways to accommodate long and tall items. To top it off, the Honda Fit is also less expensive than the Forte hatchback (though it doesn’t have as many standard features) and has better performance.

Details: 2012 Kia Forte

The 2012 Kia Forte comes in three body styles: sedan, coupe and hatchback. The sedan is available in LX, EX and SX trims, while the hatchback and coupe are only available in the highest two trims. For 2012, the hatchback is not available with a manual transmission and the EX gains a tilt and telescopic steering wheel.

See the full list of 2012 Kia Forte specs.

  • "Kia's compact car sports excellent passenger and cargo accommodations and lots of features for the money. The availability of a hatchback body style provides additional versatility. No Forte is as much fun to drive as a Ford Focus or Mazda 3 nor is it as refined as a Chevrolet Cruze or Hyundai Elantra. However, this Kia can cost less when comparable equipped. Couple that with Kia's strong warranty, and you get a solid, sporty compact car." -- Consumer Guide
  • "This compact is more than just a piece of transportation. It will take you from point A to B in comfort and style." -- The Detroit News
  • "In our minds, we had equated ‘cheap’ with, well, cheap. But after putting nearly 500 miles on the Forte EX, which sits in the middle of the Forte line, we changed our stereotypical understanding of ‘cheap’ to a more appropriate ‘inexpensive.’ In this instance, that meant remarkable value." -- The Washington Post
Review Last Updated: 10/10/13

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