Used 2012 Kia Forte

2012 Kia Forte
List price range
2012 Kia Forte


  • Wide variety of body styles
  • affordable pricing
  • long warranty
  • excellent handling in SX trim.


  • Tepid handling except for SX
  • intrusive road noise
  • lackluster interior
  • rear seat short on legroom.

Used 2012 Kia Forte for Sale

Kia Forte 2012 Koup EX 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
94,725 miles
Used 2012
Kia Forte
Koup EX
Auto Max Center LLC
19.6 mi away
Est.Loan: $131/mo
Fair Deal!Fair Deal!
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Dealer Notes
2012 Kia Forte Koup EX 2dr Coupe **WE FINANCE ALL CREDIT**
Kia Forte 2012
75,433 miles
Used 2012
Kia Forte
Koup SX
Absolute Motors
27.6 mi away
Est.Loan: $168/mo
View Details
Kia Forte 2012
64,698 miles
Used 2012
Kia Forte
Frederick Auto House
27.8 mi away
Est.Loan: $112/mo
Great Deal!Great Deal!
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Kia Forte 2012 SX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
102,284 miles
Used 2012
Kia Forte
Tate Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram
47.2 mi away
Est.Loan: $186/mo
View Details
Kia Forte 2012 LX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
94,518 miles
Used 2012
Kia Forte
Hertrich Honda
79.1 mi away
Est.Loan: $112/mo
View Details

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2012 Kia Forte is a bit outclassed by newer competitors, but it still has a lot to offer in terms of value and style.

vehicle overview

When the Kia Forte debuted a few years ago, we were pretty impressed with this new small car, finding it offered levels of style, engineering and overall quality that were on par with more well-known Japanese competitors. For the 2012 Kia Forte, the game has changed, as other manufacturers have rallied and made notable improvements. But overall the Forte still holds appeal.

Of particular merit, the 2012 Forte is offered in coupe, sedan and four-door hatchback body styles, one of the few small cars to offer such a selection. If you're interested in something sporty, the Forte coupe (the "Koup") will likely satisfy thanks to its sharp styling and firmer suspension tuning. If it's practicality you desire, Kia's got you covered with the roomy Forte hatchback. The Forte has other positive qualities as well, including long warranty coverage, plenty of standard features and high fuel economy when equipped with the optional Fuel Economy package.

That said, we consider some newer small cars to be more appealing overall. The Hyundai Elantra, for instance, has a nicer interior and better fuel economy no matter how you equip the car. The new Ford Focus is another well-regarded choice, as are the revitalized Mazda 3 and Volkswagen Golf hatchback. But if you're looking for something sporty, practical or just high on value, the 2012 Kia Forte is worth a look.

2012 Kia Forte configurations

The 2012 Kia Forte is available in sedan, four-door hatchback and coupe (or "Koup" in Kia-speak) body styles. The sedan is offered in three trim levels including the entry-level LX, midrange EX and sporty SX trim levels, while the hatchback and coupe are available in EX and SX trims only.

Standard equipment on the LX base model includes 15-inch steel wheels, a six-way-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, a tilt steering column, Bluetooth and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, a USB/iPod interface and an auxiliary audio jack.

Step up to one of the EX models and you get keyless entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, a trip computer, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, illuminated vanity mirrors, full power accessories and a six-speaker sound system. The EX coupe adds 16-inch alloy wheels, firmer suspension tuning, front sport seats and a more robust exhaust note.

The SX comes equipped with a more powerful 2.4-liter engine, a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, unique cloth upholstery and metallic interior trim, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The SX coupe also gets 17-inch alloy wheels, a sportier version of the SX sedan's suspension, and illuminated red speaker surrounds that can blink in time to the beat.

Options on LX models are limited to air-conditioning. The EX has a longer list of available extras, including 16-inch alloy wheels (sedan only) and a sunroof. A Fuel Economy package for the EX sedan and hatchback adds electric power steering, low-rolling-resistance tires and aerodynamic enhancements. SX options include a sunroof and leather upholstery with heated front seats. A Technology package that bundles keyless ignition/entry, automatic climate control, a navigation system and chrome exterior door handles is also available on the EX and SX.

2012 Highlights

For 2012, the Kia Forte lineup returns largely unchanged save for the midrange EX model, which gets a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Revised gauges have also been added to the EX Technology package.

Performance & mpg

The 2012 Kia Forte LX and EX are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 156 horsepower and 144 pound-feet of torque. The sportier SX gets a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that puts out 173 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on LX models and the Koup, while EX and SX models come equipped with a six-speed automatic that's also offered as an option on the LX. In Edmunds performance testing, an SX hatchback with an automatic went from zero to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds, which is on par with similarly powered cars. The Koup is a bit quicker. With the manual it hits 60 in 7.6 seconds.

The EPA fuel economy estimates for the LX and EX with the manual transmission are 25 mpg city/34 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined. Those numbers edge up to a respectable 26/36/29 with the automatic. Opting for the EX Fuel Economy package ups those numbers to 27/37/30. The more powerful Forte SX isn't too shabby either, with EPA estimates of 22/32/26 with the manual and 23/32/26 with the automatic. The two-door Koup returns estimates within 1 or 2 mpg (some higher, some lower) of the sedan and four-door hatchback numbers noted above.


The 2012 Kia Forte's list of standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags that cover both rows of seats, and active front head restraints. In Edmunds brake testing, a Forte Koup SX came to a stop from 60 mph in an excellent 118 feet. An SX hatchback stopped in a still above-average 122 feet.

In government crash tests, the Kia Forte earned four stars (out of a possible five) in overall safety, with four stars for overall frontal-impact safety and four stars for overall side-impact safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Forte sedan the top score of "Good" in that agency's frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.


When it comes to the fun-to-drive factor, the 2012 Kia Forte is a mixed bag. The softer suspension underpinning LX and EX models allows for a little too much body roll in spirited driving, and the relatively numb steering feel doesn't help matters any. Both are perfectly passable in everyday motoring, although folks who put a premium on solid handling will want the firmer sport-tuned suspension that's standard on SX models. With it, these are legitimately fun little cars.

Ride comfort is generally good either way you go. Similarly, the smaller engine under the hood of LX and EX models will suit most folks just fine, but the larger 2.4-liter engine powering SX models feels noticeably stronger. We highly recommend the automatic transmission, as the manual is both unpleasant and difficult to use.


The Kia Forte's interior is a fairly comfortable place, with good room up front and backseats with legroom that, while not great, is about par for the category. One notable exception is the coupe's rear seat, which is a tight squeeze by anyone's standards. The quality of the interior is certainly acceptable, but it's a noticeable step down from what you'll find in a Focus, Elantra or Volkswagen Golf. Some Forte test cars we've sampled have also suffered from haphazard construction.

Both the coupe and sedan have a good amount of cargo room, with 12.6 cubic feet and 14.7 cubic feet, respectively. The hatchback version is even better, with 19.4 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats that expands to 44.2 cubic feet with those seatbacks folded down to make a flat load floor.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2012 Kia Forte.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Best car I've ever owned!
I bought my 2012 Forte brand new. It's going on 146k. I had to replace the pulleys which were loud and going bad at about 120k. Recently, I replaced the steering bar and bushings because they had worn out. Other than that, this car has given me absolutely no problems. I have maintained it and its runs great and looks good. I plan on driving this car until the wheels fall off. So far it looks like that's going to be for a really long time. Love this car!
Great car for the money!
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.
Perfect little car!
Don't let the price tag fool you, this car is well built. It doesn't give that cheap feel you'd expect from a lower budget vehicle. The interior is very comfortable for my petite frame, I don't have trouble seeing the road or maneuvering. My larger passengers seem quite comfortable as well. Has a peppy engine and tight suspension, shifts smoothly, very quiet, brakes effortlessly.. This car does well on winding roads. The feel of the car when driving it is very similar to the '11 Ford Focus. My Forte has high mileage (70,000 miles) & hasn't had a single problem, runs great, & is very dependable which is great since the Focus started having problems at 21,000 miles. Update: car now has 115,000 miles and still runs great! It’s only needed regular scheduled maintenance and new shocks, that’s it! Car still runs and drives flawlessly!
Curt Utton,04/05/2016
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. Traded car in 2016. Now own Lexus. 450h.
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Features & Specs

26 city / 36 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
156 hp @ 6200 rpm
23 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
173 hp @ 6000 rpm
26 city / 36 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
156 hp @ 6200 rpm
25 city / 34 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
156 hp @ 6200 rpm
See all Used 2012 Kia Forte features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat3 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover10.3%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2012 Kia Forte
Used 2012 Kia Forte Overview

The Used 2012 Kia Forte is offered in the following submodels: Forte Hatchback, Forte Koup, Forte Sedan. Available styles include EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A), EX 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Koup SX 2dr Coupe (2.4L 4cyl 6A), Koup EX 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6A), SX 4dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 6A), SX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A), Koup SX 2dr Coupe (2.4L 4cyl 6M), LX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A), LX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M), and Koup EX 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2012 Kia Forte?

Price comparisons for Used 2012 Kia Forte trim styles:

  • The Used 2012 Kia Forte LX is priced between $5,988 and$5,990 with odometer readings between 64698 and94518 miles.
  • The Used 2012 Kia Forte Koup EX is priced between $6,995 and$6,995 with odometer readings between 94725 and94725 miles.
  • The Used 2012 Kia Forte Koup SX is priced between $8,998 and$8,998 with odometer readings between 75433 and75433 miles.
  • The Used 2012 Kia Forte SX is priced between $9,950 and$9,950 with odometer readings between 102284 and102284 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2012 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) 2012 Kia Forte for sale near. There are currently 5 used and CPO 2012 Fortes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $5,988 and mileage as low as 64698 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2012 Kia Forte.

Can't find a used 2012 Kia Fortes you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Kia Forte for sale - 7 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $9,619.

Find a used Kia for sale - 4 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $18,352.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia Forte for sale - 3 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $19,168.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia for sale - 8 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $14,002.

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Should I lease or buy a 2012 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
Check out Kia Forte lease specials