2015 Kia Forte Review & Ratings | Edmunds
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2015 Kia Forte Review

2015 Kia Forte
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Edmunds Expert Review of the 2015 Kia Forte

  • Upscale design, quality and value underscore the 2015 Kia Forte's appeal. It's certainly a great choice for a small sedan, hatchback or coupe.

  • Safety | Reliability
  • Pros

    Spacious interior for both sedan and coupe; many features available; strong engines on EX and SX trims; easy-to-use controls; lengthy warranty coverage.

  • Cons

    Below average fuel efficiency; ride quality sometimes unrefined; middling frontal-impact safety scores.

  • What's New for 2015

    For 2015, the Kia Forte makes slight gains in fuel economy, but is essentially carried over. Kia's Uvo telematics system is no longer standard on the EX trim.

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Reviews from owners of the 2015 Kia Forte

Average Consumer Rating (See all 4 reviews) Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sporty looking car with a ok feature list.

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Kia Forte

At the time I was looking for a used vehicle to purchase after I seen how cheap KIA's were and the warranty they came with I decided to purchase one. I bought this vehicle from my local KIA dealership on 7/10/2015 brand new off the lot. This car has a nice list of features/options you are able to get and customize like any other car. I was always a ford vehicle customer in the past until I purchase a 2010 CHEVY Malibu (JUNK) which was a complete nightmare I hated that car so I end up trading it for this. I purchased the EX Trim of the Forte, because of the options I seen on the car I was impressed with the price value of the sticker. Comparing to other compact cars this is a great value that not many can compete with. Pros: -Warranty- (Keep this in mind if you are purchasing a KIA dealers may try to add on extras not needed) 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty 5-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty 5-year/100,000-mile limited anti-perforation warranty 5-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan -Luxury Side- Automatic Folding Mirrors Push Button Start Heated/Air Cooling Driver Seat Heated Passenger Seats Dual Climate Control -Technology Side- Back Up Camera Satellite Radio UVO System (AMAZING) Navigation With the UVO System you can log into your account and see your driving score and base on the score it will give you tips. -Performance- Handles Great around turns 2.0L Engine Gas Direct Injection Highway Driving I have seen 34 MPG Around my area is rural I usually get approximately 29-32 MPG Cons: Acceleration is a bit slow at times It would be pretty cool if the GPS screen is a pinch to zoom type of screen Feature list on website is limited even for the ex trim Wish it had some interior lighting for at night like on most the newer ford cars Resale Value isn't all that great on KIA's Carpet Floor Mats is a option that should be standard not paying extra for it (Pay $75 for it) Back up camera can be a bit foggy at times



1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Not sure i would buy another kia

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Kia Forte

This car vibrates when foot is on the break...dealer says it is normal but I don't see anything that says it is normal. It also hesitates when going from 40 to 50. Gas mileage is awful about 18 mpg. Again dealer says it will better better when it is broken in. I have had the car for 6 months but it only has about 1200 miles. I am bringing it to the dealer again for its regular check up and hopefully this time they will check it out thoroughly. Doesn't impress me at this point.




The forte5 sx manual is a great car to drive.

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Kia Forte

This car excels in terms of design, comfort, and features. In addition, when an opportunity presents itself, the manual shifting turbo engine is wickedly good fun. Is this a car to take track-racing? Of course not, but the upside is that it's a pleasant and fun daily driver. However, know that the stiffer suspension disallows this car from being a comfortable highway cruiser when the pavement gets dicey. Nevertheless, if you're in the market for a fun-to-drive hatchback with space for 4 (not just seating, but actual space!) definitely check out the Forte5 SX. So far, my mileage has been about 3 better than the rated MPG from KIA, and that's in 50/50 mixed driving. I've also gotten (mostly) used to the much-maligned flex-steer. I rarely take it out of the 'normal' setting. On occasion I'll use 'sport' on a crowded, twisty interstate, and even less frequently I'll use 'comfort' when cruising on a well-paved, empty highway. Worth noting, even though UVO works well, the stock speakers are absolutely terrible. Given that UVO is such a key component of KIA's marketing, they should immediately discontinue the current speakers and use the Infinity upgrade materials they have available for other vehicles (but not the Forte . . .?). Finally, given KIA's incentivized sales approach, there is no way not to get a good deal. Especially on this under-marketed, under-appreciated, and undersold car. Based on all the info I can find online, I ended up paying less than inventory price by a couple hundred dollars.



20 of 34 people found this review helpful

Base model lx good bang for buck

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Kia Forte

"Never thought I would buy a new Kia!. After driving a Toyota Echo for the last 5 years I decided I needed something bigger, newer and almost as good gas mileage. I have owned the 2015 Kia LX 1.8L for the last month and have been averaging a combined 36 miles per gallon which is better than EPA rates. Decided to go for the base model as it was on cash special for $12,500(could not refuse). Decent features for base model, with power groups and satellite radio and blue tooth. Huge upgrade from roll up windows Echo. The ride is comfortable with good seats and driving feel. Ride noise is a little loud, but what can you expect for $12,500. Blue tooth and voice commands work very well.



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Full Expert Review: 2015 Kia Forte

What's New for 2015

For 2015, the Kia Forte makes slight gains in fuel economy, but is essentially carried over. Kia's Uvo telematics system is no longer standard on the EX trim.

Introduction

To better compete in the small car segment, Kia redesigned the Forte last year. We were pretty impressed with the result, and it earned an "A" rating from our staff as a result. And the 2015 Forte keeps that ball rolling. Pick the Forte and you get a fair price, peppy acceleration, generous standard features and a comfortable cabin with high-quality materials. Plus, Kia sees to it that the Forte comes in three body styles: sedan, four-door hatchback (known as the Forte 5) and two-door coupe (Forte Koup). No matter the body style, we doubt you'll find much argument when we say that the Forte is one of the sharpest-looking cars in its segment.

We're particularly impressed with the level of standard and available equipment at the Forte's price. The base LX trim level offers Bluetooth and an iPod interface as standard, while high-end amenities like xenon headlights, keyless ignition and entry and even a ventilated driver seat are available.

There are also three different engines for the 2015 Kia Forte, two of which are competitive in terms of power and acceleration. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder on EX models makes the new Forte one of the quickest cars in the segment, while an even stronger, turbocharged 1.6-liter engine is available on SX versions of the Forte coupe and hatchback. The downside, though, is that none of these engines excels in the fuel economy department, even with this year's slightly improved EPA numbers.

There are many fantastic choices in the compact-car class of 2015. The more expensive Ford Focus and Mazda 3 are class leaders for their sophisticated blend of comfort, dynamism and impressive real-world fuel economy. Also notable are the Honda Civic, Kia's cousin the Hyundai Elantra and the 2015 Volkswagen Golf. These are well-rounded models with lots of refinement and comfort. But with its roomy interior, upscale features, strong engine lineup and sharp styling, the 2015 Kia Forte, which earns a spot in both our 2015 Sedan and Coupe Buying Guides, is an excellent choice if you're shopping for an affordable sedan, coupe or hatchback.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2015 Kia Forte is available as a sedan in LX and EX trim levels. The two-door coupe (Koup) and four-door hatchback (Forte 5) are available in EX and SX trims.

Standard features on the LX sedan include 15-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, air-conditioning, full power accessories, a trip computer, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, a USB/iPod interface and an auxiliary input jack.

Optional for the LX is the Popular package, which includes keyless entry, cruise control, two additional speakers, upgraded seat trim and other interior upgrades, including extra storage, a sliding console armrest and a fold-down rear center armrest.

Spring for the EX, and you get all of the above plus a more powerful engine, 16-inch alloy wheels, adjustable steering effort, foglights, LED running lights, power-folding outside mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a cooling glovebox.

Both Forte sedans are available with Kia's Uvo eServices infotainment system with a rearview camera and upgraded wheels (16-inch alloy wheels for the LX and 17s on the EX).

For the EX the optional Premium package adds a sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a ventilated eight-way power driver seat with memory (still a manual-adjustment seat on the Koup), an auto-dimming rearview mirror and illuminated exterior door handles.

The EX Technology package includes xenon headlights, LED taillights, an upgraded display screen, dual-zone air-conditioning, rear seat vents, a navigation system, HD radio and upgraded Uvo functionality.

The EX hatchback and coupe essentially mirror the sedan. The SX versions include those features but with a sportier mission and mechanicals: a turbocharged engine, 18-inch wheels and unique front and rear styling. Option packages for the coupe and hatchback essentially echo those for the EX sedan.

Powertrains and Performance

The Forte LX is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine making 145 horsepower and 130 pound-feet of torque. Power runs to the front wheels through a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The EPA fuel economy estimates for the Forte LX sedan are 31 mpg combined (26 city/39 highway) for the 1.8-liter engine and automatic transmission. With the manual transmission it's rated at 30 mpg combined (25/37).

The EX gets a 2.0-liter four-cylinder generating 173 hp and 154 lb-ft of torque. On the sedan and hatchback, this engine comes only with the six-speed automatic, but on the coupe, you can also get it with the manual transmission. Forte EX sedans with the 2.0-liter engine rate 29 mpg combined (25 city/36 highway), but we were impressed with the 32 mpg the Forte EX achieved on our Edmunds evaluation route. EX hatchbacks and automatic-equipped EX coupes rate 28 mpg combined, but have slightly lower highway figures. Manual-shift Forte EX coupes come in at 27 mpg combined (24/33).

The SX versions of the Forte Koup and Forte 5 have a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder good for 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. On both body styles, you have a choice of the six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. Kia Forte SX hatchbacks rate 24 mpg combined (21/29) with either transmission. For the Koup, fuel economy estimates stand at 25 mpg combined (22/29) with the manual and the same 25 mpg combined (22/30) with the automatic, which gives an extra 1 mpg on the highway.

In Edmunds testing, a Kia Forte EX sedan accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds, while a Forte SX Koup with a manual transmission did the sprint in 7.0 seconds. Both times are exceptionally quick for the compact car segment.

Safety

Every 2015 Kia Forte comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. A rearview camera is optional. The optional Uvo telematics service includes roadside assistance, emergency crash notification and secondary driver (i.e., teenage) monitoring features including notifications for exceeding curfew, vehicle speed and vehicle location limits.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Forte EX sedan came to a stop from 60 mph in 121 feet, while a Forte SX Koup turned in a 118-foot effort. Both are slightly better than average for this segment.

Government crash tests of the 2015 Forte sedan saw it earn a top overall score of five stars (out of five), with four stars for overall frontal-impact protection and rollover performance and five stars for overall side-impact protection.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Forte its highest score of "Good" in its moderate-overlap frontal-offset impact test as well for the side-impact, roof-strength and whiplash protection (seatbelts and head restraints) tests. In the agency's small-overlap frontal-offset impact test, however, the Forte scored the second-lowest rating of "Marginal."

Interior Design and Special Features

Far from being an economy car stuffed with gadgets, the new Kia Forte boasts a handsome cabin furnished with quality materials that, in the higher trim levels, would give premium-brand compacts a run for their money. What's more, the Forte's high-tech features are well designed and easy to use. The touchscreen interface, with its large, logically positioned "buttons," is one of the best examples of this technology, regardless of market segment or price range.

Seat comfort front and rear is very good thanks to thick, well-bolstered seats. Even 6-foot adults should be comfortable sitting in back. The Forte sedan is also very generous when it comes to cargo capacity, boasting a trunk capacity of 14.9 cubic feet. The Forte 5 hatchback offers 23.2 cubic feet.

Even the two-door Koup is surprisingly practical, with a 13.3-cubic-foot trunk that rivals many compact sedans. Its backseat is also spacious enough for adults and reasonably easy to reach. Unfortunately, the driver seat is mounted a bit high, and as a result some of our taller editors found it difficult to get comfortable behind the wheel.

Driving Impressions

The 173-hp four-cylinder in the 2015 Kia Forte EX is one of the stronger engines you'll find in this class. This output doesn't translate to blazing acceleration, but in general, the EX is quicker than the norm. The only downside is that the 2.0-liter sounds and feels a bit buzzy during hard acceleration. The available 201-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter engine makes for a lively experience in both the hatchback and coupe and is one of the strongest engines you'll find in the class.

The automatic transmission provides smooth gearchanges, and it's surprisingly responsive with downshifts during typical passing and merging situations. The slick-shifting six-speed manual is also quite a bit of fun if you're so inclined.

Most shoppers in this segment will likely be satisfied with the Forte's overall ride quality. But the Forte's suspension is occasionally a bit firm and unrefined. Rougher roads produce a somewhat busy ride, unlike rivals like the Focus and Mazda 3, both of which have a more isolated ride over broken pavement. Those cars are also sportier when going around turns; the Forte feels steady, but not particularly engaging.

SPONSORED CONTENT
Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2015 Kia Forte in VA is:

$184.25 per month*
*Disclaimer
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Talk About The 2015 Forte

2015 Kia Forte Discussions See all Started By

Claires
Claires
05-16-2015
Welcome to Edmunds discussion dedicated to 2015 Kia Forte leasing questions. Here you can find and discuss all the latest lease details for the 2015 Forte, including cap costs, money factors, residual...


kyfdx
kyfdx
02-08-2011
To discuss the latest lease details for the current model, please join us in the 2015 Kia Forte Lease Questions forum....



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