2023 Kia Forte

2023 Kia Forte
2023 Kia Forte View Out Back 1
2023 Kia Forte Dashboard 1
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2023 Kia Forte Review: Dressed For Success

by Martin Pretorius

The Kia Forte has matured into a serious contender over the years; it has attractive styling, a comfortable interior, a good selection of powertrains, plenty of comfort and safety features, and a high-value price tag, so it's no wonder that this handsome sedan is proving to be a popular choice. Built on the Hyundai-Kia K2 platform, the Forte is now in its third generation and has been treated to two fairly major facelifts since it first appeared in the USA for 2019. Two power units are offered in the new Kia Forte sedan lineup, with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder covering the baseline and a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder as motive power in high-spec variants. Outputs range from 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque, to 201 hp and 195 lb-ft with the turbo unit.

At least two of the 2023 Kia Forte's competitors are more appealing to driving enthusiasts; these include the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, and Mazda 3. Still, the Forte's strong value proposition and good looks should be enough to divert a lot of buyers into Kia showrooms.

Read in this review:

8.8
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2023 Kia Forte Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 Forte?

Having received a comprehensive facelift for the 2022 model year, the Kia Forte carries over for 2023 with minor changes to the options list and trim names. The base model has been renamed from FE to LX, even if it is otherwise identical to its predecessor.

Pros and Cons

  • Very affordable starting price
  • Good standard equipment level for the money
  • Very fuel-efficient
  • Excellent warranty
  • Comfortable interior
  • Handsome exterior
  • Dull base engine and CVT
  • Stiff-legged ride quality
  • Rear-seat space is limited in comparison to some rivals

What's the Price of the 2023 Kia Forte?

It's hard to deny the appeal of an affordable car, and with the Forte LX starting at just $19,490, it definitely fits the bill. The LXS isn't much more expensive at $19,990. The appearance upgrade to the GT-Line will cost you $21,690, while the genuine sporty GT will set you back $24,190. With a manual transmission and a few extra shiny bits, the GT Manual tops out at $24,890. These prices for the Kia Forte are MSRP and do not include tax and registration or the $1,095 destination charge.

Best Deals on 2023 Kia Forte

2023 Kia Forte Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
LX
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$19,690
LXS
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$20,190
GT-Line
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$21,890
GT
1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$24,390
GT Manual
1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Front-Wheel Drive
$25,090
See All 2023 Kia Forte Trims and Specs

2023 Forte Exterior

2023 Kia Forte Forward View KIA 2023 Kia Forte Frontal Aspect KIA 2023 Kia Forte View Out Back KIA
2023 Kia Forte Forward View
2023 Kia Forte Frontal Aspect
2023 Kia Forte View Out Back
See All 2023 Kia Forte Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 182.7 in
  • Wheelbase 106.3 in
  • Height 56.5 in
  • Max Width 70.9 in
  • Front Width 61.5 in
  • Rear Width 61.9 in
  • Curb Weight 2,908.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Aurora Black +$295
  • Currant Red +$295
  • Snow White Pearl +$295
  • Gravity Gray
  • Clear White
  • Steel Gray
  • Sporty Blue
  • Deep Sea Blue
  • Fire Orange

2023 Forte Performance

2023 Kia Forte Front View Driving KIA 2023 Kia Forte Rear View Driving KIA 2023 Kia Forte Engine KIA
2023 Kia Forte Front View Driving
2023 Kia Forte Rear View Driving
2023 Kia Forte Engine

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 2.0L Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmissions
    6-Speed Manual, 7-Speed Automatic, Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

2023 Kia Forte Handling and Driving Impressions

The Kia sedan is a pleasant car to drive; the handling isn't really spectacular or engaging, but the Forte corners with minimal body roll and exhibits good body control over bumps. The steering is direct but doesn't relay any road feel to the driver. This is unlikely to be off-putting to most buyers, because nobody expects a well-equipped compact sedan in this price range to be fun to drive as well, but it does call the suspension's firmness into question. Ride comfort is generally decent, but harsher bumps do reveal a stiff-legged approach to springing and damping that doesn't really align with the mild performance on offer with the base engine. Again, it all makes more sense with the turbo engine, but even there, the performance doesn't really justify the comfort penalties.

The entry-level engine produces only 147 hp. This is arguably the main point of criticism for the Kia Forte, because the base power unit is nowhere near potent enough to exploit the sportily-tuned suspension. Matters are considerably more lively when the 201-hp 1.6-liter turbo, perhaps also because this engine isn't weighed down by a CVT, so performance takes a considerable step upward. It's ample for daily duties, though it won't thrill you.

2023 Forte Interior

2023 Kia Forte Dashboard KIA 2023 Kia Forte Steering Wheel Design KIA 2023 Kia Forte Front Seats KIA
2023 Kia Forte Dashboard
2023 Kia Forte Steering Wheel Design
2023 Kia Forte Front Seats
See All 2023 Kia Forte Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 42.2 in
  • Front Head Room 38.8 in
  • Rear Leg Room 35.7 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.5 in

2023 Forte Trunk and Cargo Space

2023 Kia Forte Interior Overview KIA 2023 Kia Forte Trunk Space with Seat Folded KIA 2023 Kia Forte Trunk Space KIA
2023 Kia Forte Interior Overview
2023 Kia Forte Trunk Space with Seat Folded
2023 Kia Forte Trunk Space
  • Trunk Volume
    15.3 ft³

2023 Forte Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    10 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Kia Forte A Good car?

If you're after value for money along with exemplary fuel efficiency and good looks, the Kia Forte will be perfect for your requirements. While it won't win any awards for driver engagement and the base engine is dull, the reality of a loaded features list, a spacious cabin (especially in front) with comfortable seats, and a class-leading warranty will be enough to win the Forte a lot of fans. Pricing is reasonable, it's not a chore to drive, and safety reviews for the Kia Forte are mostly good, too. This is basic transport at its most honest, and when looking at the Forte from that angle, it's a strong value proposition. The Forte's all-round capability is difficult to beat.

What 2023 Kia Forte Model Should I Buy?

The turbocharged GT models are hard to ignore, but that simply isn't where the real value lies with the Kia Forte. The sedan makes the best case for itself as a high-value, affordable vehicle, so sticking to the lower end of the range makes the most sense. The GT-Line includes a lot of features over the base model, including some advanced safety features. It's definitely the recommended model if you can't afford the turbocharged GT. However, the LX is still a good choice if you're strapped for cash.

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