Size of car implies a compac, yet overall handling & performance feels closer to an intermediate-size vehicle. Happy with overall handling on VT roads. Vehicle is light so during high wind conditions vehicle gets pushed around. Engine & transmission performance very good. Higher speeds on interstates /thruways car felt very controlled & gas comsumption/mpg is surprisingly very good. Lent car to visiting family members and all were impressed with this Forte.
Keep in mind this is a compact car. You are not going to get ride/room or power of a mid-size car. We purchased our Forte 5 door new on 6/2012 and have 50,000 miles on it.
THE GOOD - a/c, engine power, drives nicely, cup holders and storage room, big back seat (5 door), blue tooth, only one repair - the key would not unlock the driver's door but the remote has always worked. Also a great warranty - 10 yr/100,000 mi
We live in Texas and the a/c can handle the hottest days. I am 6'3" and I have room in the back seat.
THE BAD - No Water Temperature gauge (has light), head rests are very uncomfortable, and the fuel mileage.
If I use the cruise control I get poor fuel mileage. If I drive into a head wind I get poor fuel mileage. Keeping the speed at 70 mph or less with a tail wind and accelerating down hill and backing off going uphill I have gotten 35 mpg as advertised or better several times.
For the first 56,000 miles, this car is dependable and looks great; however, do not be fooled by the "normal" KIA noise coming from the engine. I live in Tampa, Florida, and dealership support has been poor thus far. The clicking sounds in the engine base ended up needing a tension pulley at 60,500 miles, just 500 out of warranty. Kia USA agreed to honor and pay as it was 600 $ for repairs. I still heard a metal whirling sound, but was told that was a "normal" KIA sound...what? At any rate, about 3000 miles later, the whirling sound is getting louder and now it has been diagnosed as needing a new compressor..haha. seriously? I still like the car; it handles a little better than the Honda fit (which is out of my league, it seems pricewise), but the Forte is still the riff raff of the hatchbacks, and honestly? With this happening at 60,000 miles, holy moly, I do not see the car having any value whatsoever at 100,000. P.S. I had an Isuzu Trooper 290,000. It was the sweetest 20,000$ I ever spent. I feel I was a bit rough with the scoring, but if I was to get mezmerized and sucked in on a 100,000 power train warranty, it would be with an Elantra. Right now with the boom shakalaka noise and rattle and roll, anything is better than what I am dealing with...1200$ for a compressor, wow!
I have had no major complaints about this car. Nothing outstanding, but it is a high quality, problem free compact car. The engine is peppy and acceleration is surprising for this car. The only issue I have is the remote start feature. It doesn't function properly all of the time. I haven't taken it in for that problem since it is out of warranty and I don't use the feature often. The dashboard and controls are very simple and easy to use. There are no annoying design features.
I bought my 2012 Forte brand new four years ago. It's going on 99k and the only thing I've ever done to it was get a new set of tires and regular oil changes. This car has given me absolutely no problems. It's got great fuel economy and looks great. I plan on driving it until the wheels fall off. So far it looks like that's going to be for a really long time. Love this scar!