2021 Kia Forte

MSRP range: $17,890 - $23,390
4.5 out of 5 stars(23)
MSRP$20,115
Edmunds suggests you pay$19,975

What Should I Pay

2021 Kia Forte video

[MUSIC PLAYING] MARK TAKAHASHI: Not everyone can afford a Maybach, or even a Mustang. That's where the compact class of sedans and hatchbacks come in. Behind me here is the all-new, fully redesigned 2019 Kia Forte. And it's a great place to start. [MUSIC PLAYING] This time around, the Forte is slightly bigger overall. And as you can see, it takes a lot of [INAUDIBLE] cues from the evocative Kia Stinger. And that's a good thing. It looks sharp, sharper than you'd expect for the compact class of sedans. The question is, how does it stack up against the rest of the competition? We'll get to that in a bit. In the meantime, do us a favor and hit Subscribe below. [MUSIC PLAYING] In the compact sedan class, you sort of have to temper your expectations. But the Forte exceeds expectations in a number of ways. I wasn't all that jazzed about 147-horsepower continuously variable transmission. Those CVTs tend to suck the life out of any car. But the Kia's CVT does a really good job of being more responsive and quicker to accelerate right off the line. It doesn't have that sluggishness or rubber band feel that other CVTs have. And when you're going to pass slower traffic, it does a good job of dropping down into a lower ratio, much like an automatic transmission would, where it just drops you into a lower gear by about two or three. So you get that good punch when you need it. And that's pretty unique in the class, or unique for CVTs in general, actually. The ride quality, it's a little stiff, but not objectionable. In return for that stiffness, it handles pretty well. Not quite as well as the Mazda 3, but far better than most drivers will ever need. One thing counting against it is the rear torsion-beam suspension. And that tends to be a little nervous over mid-corner bumps. That is the case with the Forte, but again, not to objectionable levels. There is a noticeable amount of wind and road noise, though. But again, I'm driving with the radio off. And this has the premium Harman/Kardon system. Just turn it up a little. It should drown it out just fine. In the class, the Forte competes against kind of entry-level sedans. So Corolla from Toyota, Honda Civic, Mazda 3. Those are kind of my picks in the class. Not so much the Corolla, but I really like the Mazda 3. And this, well, it seems to offer quite a bit more than the Mazda, especially when it comes to advanced safety features. This comes standard with forward collision warning, blind spot monitors, and all the latest modern cars have. One thing I like about it, though, is I'm not getting a lot of false alarms. And the Lane Keep Assist on this top trim is actually really good. Comparing prices between the Civic and the Mazda 3 to the Forte, the Forte has a slight advantage just because it has a lot more features. For the base-model Forte, prices start right around 18.5, 18.6. That's manual transmission, lowest trim level. Probably not going to be a lot of people taking that. For another 1,000 or so, you get the CVT. This is the Launch edition EX. This is the EX with all the options. So all the advanced safety features, different colored wheels, sunroof, navigation. It goes on and on and on. It's just over $26,000, though. That's a bit much for this class. But the regular EX, right around $23,000. And that makes a lot more sense, because you get a lot for that, as well. And you have the option to add stuff. But you probably won't need the navigation because it comes standard with Apple Car Play, as long as you have a cell signal, obviously. And the voice recognition is still probably the best out there, in any car. Not only does the Forte draw on some of the Stinger's exterior styling, but also on the interior. It's got the wide dash, just like that, as well as these racy-looking round vents. Materials quality is really good for the class. Everything that you touch has nice, good, soft cushioning to it. So your elbows are well-padded. And elsewhere, when it is plastic, is grained really well. There's really not a whole lot of hard plastic in here to kind of take you out of the fantasy of driving a nicer car. One thing I really did like as soon as I sat down, though, was the amount of travel the steering wheel has. Now, that's quite a bit, so that means that taller drivers aren't going to have to sacrifice their driving position. You have a ton of features here, as well. The infotainment has a standard eight-inch screen. It's sharp, it's responsive, it's quick. And you have a good amount of physical buttons here, which means you won't have to dig through menus just to get some simple operations done. Also standard is dual-zone automatic climate control. That's unusual for the class as a standard feature, even on the base model. On this top trim, you also get ventilated and heated seats, which makes it really comfortable on a hot, muggy day like today. On this top trim, you also get a wireless charging pad, as well as a USB port right under it, and another one right under your center armrest. Despite being a compact sedan, the Forte doesn't skimp on rear seat space. I'm five foot 10, sitting behind the driver's seat, which is set for me. And I have plenty of leg room and knee room. And my hair's just barely brushing the headliner. That means the average adult will be just fine back here. Materials quality, as you'd expect, isn't quite as nice. A little more hard plastic. But if I didn't tap that, I wouldn't have known. I also have a nice center armrest here. I'd be comfortable back here for a road trip. Not a single complaint. And I also have vents right here for climate control. So, well done, Kia. [MUSIC PLAYING] After spending a lot of time with this Forte, I can say it gives the class-leading Mazda 3 and Honda Civic a run for the money. Honestly, I would take it over the Civic. The Mazda, in my view, is still the best driving in the class. But for a lot of people, it's not that important. What is important is stretching their dollar. And the Forte does that. It delivers a lot. A lot of advanced safety features, a lot of infotainment, a lot of just quality overall. For more information on the Forte, as well as its competition, head on over to edmunds.com. If you want to see more videos like this, hit Subscribe. [MUSIC PLAYING]

2019 Kia Forte | First Drive

NOTE: This video is about the 2019 Kia Forte, but since the 2021 Kia Forte is part of the same generation, our earlier analysis still applies.


FAQ

Is the Kia Forte a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 Forte both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.9 out of 10. You probably care about Kia Forte fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Forte gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg to 35 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Forte has 15.3 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Kia Forte. Learn more

What's new in the 2021 Kia Forte?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Kia Forte:

  • Minor equipment changes throughout lineup
  • Summer performance tires now standard on manual-equipped GT models
  • Part of the third Forte generation introduced for 2019
Learn more

Is the Kia Forte reliable?

To determine whether the Kia Forte is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Forte. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Forte's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2021 Kia Forte a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Kia Forte is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 Forte and gave it a 7.9 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 Forte is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2021 Kia Forte?

The least-expensive 2021 Kia Forte is the 2021 Kia Forte FE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $17,890.

Other versions include:

  • LXS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $19,390
  • GT-Line 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $20,490
  • GT 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) which starts at $22,790
  • FE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $18,790
  • FE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M) which starts at $17,890
  • EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $23,090
  • GT 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M) which starts at $23,390
Learn more

What are the different models of Kia Forte?

If you're interested in the Kia Forte, the next question is, which Forte model is right for you? Forte variants include LXS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT), GT-Line 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT), GT 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), and FE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT). For a full list of Forte models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2021 Kia Forte

2021 Kia Forte Overview

The 2021 Kia Forte is offered in the following submodels: Forte Sedan. Available styles include LXS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT), GT-Line 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT), GT 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), FE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT), EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT), FE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M), and GT 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M). Kia Forte models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine or a 1.6 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 201 hp, depending on engine type. The 2021 Kia Forte comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: continuously variable-speed automatic, 7-speed automated manual. The 2021 Kia Forte comes with a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 10 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What do people think of the 2021 Kia Forte?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Kia Forte and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 Forte 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 Forte.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Kia Forte and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 Forte featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2021 Kia Forte?

2021 Kia Forte FE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

The 2021 Kia Forte FE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $20,115. The average price paid for a new 2021 Kia Forte FE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) is trending $140 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $140 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $19,975.

The average savings for the 2021 Kia Forte FE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) is 0.7% below the MSRP.

2021 Kia Forte LXS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

The 2021 Kia Forte LXS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $20,685. The average price paid for a new 2021 Kia Forte LXS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) is trending $121 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $121 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $20,564.

The average savings for the 2021 Kia Forte LXS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) is 0.6% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 16 2021 Kia Forte LXS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Kia Forte GT-Line 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

The 2021 Kia Forte GT-Line 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $22,800. The average price paid for a new 2021 Kia Forte GT-Line 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) is trending $56 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $56 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $22,744.

The average savings for the 2021 Kia Forte GT-Line 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) is 0.2% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 28 2021 Kia Forte GT-Line 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

The 2021 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $24,460. The average price paid for a new 2021 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) is trending $78 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $78 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $24,382.

The average savings for the 2021 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) is 0.3% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 4 2021 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Kia Forte GT 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)

The 2021 Kia Forte GT 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $25,295. The average price paid for a new 2021 Kia Forte GT 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) is trending $175 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $175 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $25,120.

The average savings for the 2021 Kia Forte GT 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) is 0.7% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 9 2021 Kia Forte GT 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

Which 2021 Kia Fortes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Kia Forte for sale near. There are currently 73 new 2021 Fortes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $18,980 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Kia Forte. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $750 on a used or CPO 2021 Forte available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2021 Kia Fortes you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Kia for sale - 10 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $14,024.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

What is the MPG of a 2021 Kia Forte?

2021 Kia Forte LXS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT), continuously variable-speed automatic, regular unleaded
33 compined MPG,
29 city MPG/40 highway MPG

2021 Kia Forte GT-Line 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT), continuously variable-speed automatic, regular unleaded
33 compined MPG,
29 city MPG/40 highway MPG

2021 Kia Forte GT 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), 7-speed automated manual, regular unleaded
30 compined MPG,
27 city MPG/35 highway MPG

EPA Est. MPG33
TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
Drive Trainfront wheel drive
Displacement2.0 L
Passenger Volume111.3 cu.ft.
Wheelbase106.3 in.
Length182.7 in.
WidthN/A
Height56.5 in.
Curb Weight2769 lbs.

Should I lease or buy a 2021 Kia Forte?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Kia lease specials