2011 Kia Forte Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Kia Forte Sedan

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Kia Forte Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 173 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 23/32 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

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 (6 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

2 of 7 people found this review helpful

Steer clear from kia, silver

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Forte SX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

In April 2011 I bought Kia Forte. since i drove off the dealers lot the car seemed sluggish like there's a brake or gear is stuck on. Within two weeks after i bought the car i asked the Kia service station to look at the car and that's when a employee at Kia service stated that the catalytic converter could be clogged or not functioning properly. (I think Kia hide him because I never saw him again). Since than my check engine light which i actually thought wouldn't even come on if came on as I was on the beltway coming from my office at Andrews going 60 mph it did come on and the engine automatically slowed down which concerned me because this could have caused an accident during rush hour. A day after the check engine light came on i brought it into the Kia service station and Kia said we reset the light and we do know it was a misfire code but we don't know why or if it will happen again. For a new car this scares me. 6 days later i started my car and began to drive and AGAIN i noticed the check engine light stayed on but went off in 47 seconds Again for a new car this scares me and represents a safety issue and for Kia to disregard safety complaints from customers is disgraceful. The dealer Silver Spring Kia was great UNTIL i bought the car I actually brought the car back 3 days later and told the sales Mgr Laura Jerlet the i had a problem with the car and what i can do now to get trade it or get a refund (again this was after 3 three days) she said "once you buy a Kia your screwed" the dealership GM Betty ann Mendelsohn Aschenbach a the part of the KING AUTO group should be steered away from at all costs, the customer service after you buy the car is awful. So far I spent at least $1000.00 on this car due to something wrong with the engine operation that can be causing the bad fuel economy and the check engine light to come on and slow down in beltway traffic. (it happened 3 times since i bought the car 9 Mounts) Under the Md State Lemon Law I Asked Kia to Re-purchase or at least help me get into a car that doesn't have issues. The BBB arbitrator actually stated at the arbitration hearing before the hearing started "Kia doesn't want to do anything to assist you anyway." I did explain the issues to the Arbertrater (Harold Cohen) and the person from Kia Ted Renfrow explain his side (he lied and covered up issues about the vacuum system and the safety issues i explained To be safe Customers that are looking to buy a new or used car must stay away from Silver Spring Kia. and Kia all together. Kia is a very poorly made very cheaply built car and at highway speeds the car is very unsafe and the Kia corporation that covers up safety issues and lies to customers are best just kept away from.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Kia forte sx

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Forte SX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

Have had this car since July. Have 7300 miles. Car is loaded with Nav, sunroof, leather, Sirius radio, rear camera, etc...It's comfortable inside, good drive on the highway, handling isn't bad but the Jetta I also tested didn't handle any better surprisingly. It has great acceleration for a 4-cylinder, non-turbo and the 2.5 engine is what makes the difference. My only complaints so far are the suspension and the gas mileage. I do mostly highway driving and am only getting 26 - 28 mpg. Also, I feel every bump, big or small in this car. Great value for the money and will be a good car to hand down to the kids but not sure I would purchase another.

Kia forte opinion

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Forte SX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

Purchased Forte in late May 2011. Interioe comfort is good. Mileage could be better that current average of 26 mpg. Took it on vacation and the average mpg jumped to 30.5-more highway miles at higher speeds. On rain slick streets it handles good.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

Love this car

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Forte SX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

Purchased SX model with all option packages (rearview cam, nav, sirius w/traffic, bluetooth, leather, sunroof, push-to-start, heated seats, rear spoiler) for $20K, which was my entering price point. You'd be hard pressed to find all that w/a 10 year warranty in any other car at that price. Owned for one month, put over 3000 miles on it, 1700 on a road trip, 1300 over daily 32 mile roundtrip commute. Gas mileage as advertised. As mentioned in a previous review, pictures don't do this car justice. It is a very attractive car. Incidentally, I was interested also in the Koup but found it too tight of a squeeze at 6'3". Despite issues listed below, I am totally happy with my purchase.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

The love for kia begins...

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Forte SX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

I have been researching this and many other vehicles for many years. This car in particular has always been at the top of my list of FWD sedans and hatchbacks. FINALLY GOT IT! The SX Forte has an enormous amount of power for a four cylinder, best in class handling, and to my surprise, it also rides very comfortably. Go Kia for Great Value, Best Warranty, and Good Steering Feel! The EPA estimated 32mpg on highway. But I wanted to test the best that it could do. After driving in the MOST ECO-FRIENDLY manner, the car went 39mpg on the highway!

Worth the money

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Forte SX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

Purchased an SX model with all the options including NAV. Just been a few weeks. So far so good. A few rattles, but nothing major.

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.


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.


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


  • 23
  • cty
  • 32
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs