2011 Kia Forte Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Kia Forte

Kia Forte Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 156 hp @ 6200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 25/34 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2011 Kia Forte

  • The 2011 Kia Forte may not be top of mind for a lot of consumers, but it should be, as it compares favorably against perennial favorites from Honda, Mazda and Toyota.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Good fuel economy; excellent handling in SX trim; affordable pricing; long warranty; standard Bluetooth.

  • Cons

    Tepid handling except for SX; road noise can be intrusive on some surfaces; telescoping steering wheel only available on top trim level.

  • What's New for 2011

    For 2011, the Kia Forte lineup finally gets a six-speed automatic transmission, a new four-door hatchback body style and a minor equipment shuffle.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (156 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Great little car

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte

we bought the ccar used in 2012, since then it has been all over fl and 2 trips to ga. on the hwy i get between 36-41mpg and on the slower back country roads going 55 i get 52mpg. not a single problem with the car the only reason i gave it a 2 for comfort is the front seats are only good for about 150miles anything longer and and they let you know your in an econmy car. the car has good pick up and go too




Good cheap car that runs

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte

My car has 50,000 miles, 2.0L 4 cylinder, 5 speed manual transmission. I bought it used. This car has been great. It has been my daily driver for 2 years. I needed cheap, reliable transportation and it fit the bill. Comes with great features and a great warranty. That being said, beware of this cars resale value. I have put about 10,000 miles on it in the 2 years i have owned it and it went from being worth almost $13,000 retail/$10,000 trade to about $7500 retail and $5000 trade. For those who want to buy this car to keep and drive till it dies, it is well worth it. However if you plan on trading it in after a year or two, look away. I wish i hadn't bought it just for that reason alone.




Have to hand it to

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte

The sport tuned suspension really makes this car fun to drive. It's no sports car by any means, but it is a beautiful blend of fun and practicality. There's a half inch dead spot in the throttle which makes first gear a royal pain, but it's a very simple fix for someone with a little know-how. Even with the mod, the gas pedal is REALLY light and sensitive. It takes a little getting used to. Blue tooth isn't great, but it's there. Back seats have an impressive amount of space for a coupe. Drivers seat sits high and and only raises from the back. Steering wheel controls are great, audio sounds good, interior controls have a comfortable and logical layout. Well done, Kia.




I loved my forte!

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte

I recently traded in my 2010 Kia Forte for a 2013 Nissan Sentra, but I only traded it in because it was high in miles (over 100k). Otherwise I would still be driving it. I was a little leery about buying a Kia, but I was pleasantly surprised. Mine came equipped with all kinds of toys: Bluetooth, Sirius satellite radio. Acceleration was more than ample for passing.




Not so bad

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte

2010 forte ex sedan 2.0L 4 cyl automatic. overall, i'd have to say i love this car. traded my nissan titan for this in 2010, and i'm LOVING the gas mileage. now has 26k miles. the exterior and interior both look really nice, and the ride is comfortable. i drive from dallas to corpus almost every other weekend, and it handles like a boss. pick up isn't that great, but that's to be expected with a 2.0. only thing i don't like is this thing is prone to dents. i just leaned on the car and i got a dent on the drivers side door. a girl from my university also hit the passenger door with her purse and dented it, and her purse was freaking tiny lol. despite that, KIA made one nice little car :)




Great car for a great

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte

My husband and I owned this car for a year, and I loved it! We put 20k miles on it with no problems, and the gas mileage was great.. We made it from San Diego to Phoenix with one tank. The body style is classy, not like the older kia's. The interior also looks extremely nice with leather, and I liked the digital radio and the way it worked with sirius. The car was also fun to drive.. It's only a 4 cyl, so it doesn't have a lot of pick up, but it handles really well. We had to trade in our car because it was difficult getting the car seat in and out of the back, but thats the only reason!



Full 2011 Kia Forte Review

What's New for 2011

For 2011, the Kia Forte lineup finally gets a six-speed automatic transmission, a new four-door hatchback body style and a minor equipment shuffle.

Introduction

Until recently, Kia automobiles stood out about as much as a 12-year-old girl at a Justin Bieber concert ? which is to say, not at all. Now the automaker is getting noticed in a big way with a fresh portfolio of vehicles boasting bold styling, solid performance and impressive overall quality. And one of the standouts among this group is the 2011 Kia Forte.

Thanks to stewardship by a former Audi designer, the Forte wears crisp, tasteful lines that help it get noticed in a segment seldom known for distinctive styling. There's more than just good looks, too, including a 156-horsepower base engine, impressive fuel economy, solid build quality and many thoughtful standard features. Of course there is also Kia's confidence-inspiring 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Unlike many of its competitors, the Forte is also available as a coupe (dubbed the "Koup"), which provides an extra dollop of style for those shopping this economy-minded segment. And this year brings another body style, a four-door hatchback offering greater practicality. The 2011 Forte also receives a standard six-speed manual transmission on all models and a new six-speed automatic. The latter features improvements in both performance and fuel efficiency over its precursor, a tall-geared unit that had but four speeds to work with.

Our only real gripe with the Forte is that the LX and EX prove rather uninspiring to drive. But the SX's sport-tuned suspension and more powerful engine make it another animal entirely, and one that should satisfy those seeking some driving kicks in their affordable compact. All things considered, the 2011 Kia Forte presents a legitimate choice for a small sedan, hatchback or coupe alongside mainstays like the 2011 Honda Civic, 2011 Mazda 3, 2011 Scion tC and 2011 Toyota Corolla.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Kia Forte is available in three body styles: four-door sedan, four-door hatchback and two-door coupe ("Koup"). The sedan is available in LX, EX and SX trims, while the hatchback and Koup come in EX and SX trims only.

Standard equipment on the base LX includes 15-inch steel wheels, a six-way-adjustable driver seat, a tilt steering column, 60/40-split-folding rear seat, Bluetooth connectivity and a four-speaker CD/MP3 audio system (with satellite radio and USB/auxiliary audio jacks). The EX adds keyless entry, air-conditioning, full power accessories, a six-speaker audio system and cruise control, while the EX Koup adds 16-inch alloy wheels, firmer suspension tuning, sport front seats and a sportier exhaust note.

The SX trim comes equipped with a more powerful 2.4-liter engine, a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, wider tires, foglights, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, an enhanced gauge cluster, a trip computer, unique cloth upholstery and metallic interior trim. In addition to the above, the SX Koup also gets unique 17-inch alloys, a sportier version of the SX sedan's suspension, and illuminated red speaker surrounds that can blink in time to the beat.

Options on the LX include air-conditioning and the split-folding rear seat, but no power accessories. The EX has an expanded range of options, including a sunroof, 16-inch alloy wheels (sedan only) and leather upholstery with heated front seats. A Fuel Economy package for the EX sedan adds electric power steering, low-rolling-resistance tires and aerodynamic enhancements. SX options include a sunroof and heated leather seats, while a Technology package offering keyless ignition/entry, a navigation system, automatic climate control and chrome exterior door handles is available on the EX and SX.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Kia Forte LX and EX get a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 156 hp and 144 pound-feet of torque. The SX uses a 2.4-liter that delivers 173 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on all but the hatchbacks, which come with a six-speed automatic (the latter is an option on all models).

The EPA estimates for the LX and EX with the manual transmission are 25 mpg city/34 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined. The numbers edge up to an impressive 26/36/29 with the automatic. Opting for the Fuel Economy package bumps the EX sedan figures to 27/37/30.

Kia estimates the more powerful Forte SX at 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway with the manual and 23/32 (23/31 for the Koup) with the automatic.

Safety

Standard Forte safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints.

The Kia Forte has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash testing procedures. However, its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to the new tests) for the sedan were five stars (out of five) in frontal-impact tests for driver and passenger. In the side-impact tests, the Forte earned five stars for the driver and four stars for rear passengers. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Forte sedan received the top score of "Good" in that agency's frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Forte Koup came to a stop from 60 mph in a very respectable 118 feet.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Kia Forte's dashboard design doesn't raise the bar aesthetically — frankly, it's pretty boring — but it includes gauges that are easy to read, a clean layout and generally intuitive audio and climate controls. Standard Bluetooth connectivity across the lineup is also a nice touch. Materials quality is on par with the rest of this segment. Unfortunately, a telescoping steering column is only available on the SX, meaning taller drivers might have a hard time getting comfortable in the LX and EX.

Rear legroom is good for this class, though the Koup's rear quarters are predictably tighter and lack the sedan's center armrest. Cargo space is plentiful in the coupe and sedan, measuring 12.6 cubic feet and 14.7 cubic feet, respectively. The hatchback offers 19.4 cubic feet with the rear seats up and more if needed when they're folded.

Driving Impressions

The 2011 Kia Forte isn't exactly a driver's car in LX or EX guise. It's prone to body roll during enthusiastic cornering and the steering is rather numb. The SX model's sport-tuned suspension, however, makes for a night-and-day difference. It lacks the precision of a Honda Civic Si, for example, but the SX's overall driving dynamics put it at the head of the economy class.

In any trim, the ride is comfortable enough, and with the exception of intrusive road noise on some surfaces, the Forte is a confident highway cruiser. With either of the new six-speed transmissions, the Forte's performance satisfies; the automatic even offers a manual-shift feature for those who occasionally enjoy changing gears themselves.

Talk About The 2011 Forte

Read more about the 2011 Kia Forte

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 25
  • cty
/
  • 34
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs