2011 Kia Forte Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Kia Forte Sedan

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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 26/36 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


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I absolutely love this car!

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

My husband I just bought this car a week ago and it has been the best decision we have made in a long time. The dealer we use has also helped with making it a great experience, but the car sold itself. Even tho it was used, you would never know. The handling, dependability, and overall car is great.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Love my new car

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

I purchased a used 2011 Kia Forte. I didn't want a new car Note so I decided to get a used vehicle... I Love my Vehicle. It is the first time I have driven a small vehicle in a very long time... My previous vehicle was a durango. I am getting use to the smaller size but the ride is ok, I love the interior design. I love the gas milage.




Kia has many flaws

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

I bought my Forte EX 2011 new. I am disappointed with the gas mileage I've obtained which for an entire tank remains averages between 20-25 mpg with about 60% city and 40% hwy driving. Yet the worst features are the audio unit and the customer service (both corporate and local). My audio unit will randomly start whistling loudly, will turn itself off, bluetooth turns on and makes settings changes without prompting, the CD device fails, and all of these issue repeated after KIA replaced my audio unit with a brand new one. These glitches occur a few times a week while I'm driving. I've had complaints with KIA that have not been resolved for the past 4 months. I feel ignored by KIA.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Luv my kia's

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

Traded in our '04 Optima EX V-6 @ 133,000 for our Forte. The Optima was a great car. Only had to replace the starter. Absolutely luv the forte. Spirited 2.0L, great 6sp auto. Outstanding gas mileage, on a trip from Jax, Fl to Philly it avg over 40 mpg during 1 tank run, i.e. 403 miles and only took 9.7 gal to fill. Averaged 37-38 mpg on the trip. A definite gas saver over the 2.7L Optima. I am 6'1", 256#, a little cramped but otherwise REALLY like this car. Started out with a 2001 Sephia, bought '02 Optima EX V-6 for Mama, Traded both cars in on the same day in Dec '03 for an '04 Spectra and the '04 Optima. Still have the Spectra @ over 103,000 miles.



9 of 11 people found this review helpful

Good value, roomy for its

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

I traded in my 8 year old Pontiac Vibe for the Forte EX (ECO), which I use as a long-distance commuter car. I purchased the Forte on price and decent reviews after test driving some of the competition in this class. I am happy with the acceleration, comfort, interior space, and styling of the vehicle. Combined gas mileage thus far through the first 2k miles has averaged in the low 30s mpg in my commute of mixed highway and city driving, which is virtually identical to my former Vibe and acceptable to me as the Forte ECO is rated 37/27. Steering still feels a bit uncertain to me and handling on windy roads does not compare to my former Vibe, which I did not notice in my initial test drive.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

2011 forte ex

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

I have now owned my new Forte for one month. Have driven it just over 1,000 miles in mostly city driving and have achieved an average of 30MPG. I am a BIG guy, 6'3" and 260#. I find more leg, head, shoulder and hip room in this Kia than others in its class. It is comfortable to drive - but maybe not so much on a long trip. Has many creature comforts not found without extra cost on the competition. If I have a complaint it is that it feels a little light and "squirelly" in Interstate driving, so one must pay attention. I was used to a big Oldsmobile before checking on most cars in this class, all of whom came up short except for the Hyundai Elantra. The Kia won the coin toss.



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

  • 26
  • cty
/
  • 36
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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