Used 2013 Kia Forte Koup

2013 Kia Forte
List price range
2013 Kia Forte


  • Generous equipment list
  • variety of body styles
  • affordable pricing
  • excellent handling in SX.


  • Lackluster interior materials and construction
  • intrusive road noise
  • so-so rear legroom
  • firm ride in SX.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2013 Kia Forte is outclassed by newer competitors, but it still has a lot to offer in terms of value and style.

vehicle overview

Compact cars have gone from ho-hum to holy cow in a remarkably short time. When the Kia Forte was introduced, we were impressed by its sharp styling, quality cabin, agreeable driving dynamics and generous features list. Then the bar dramatically leapt upward as a slew of newer sedans were introduced that matched or greatly surpassed the Forte's previously praiseworthy attributes.

As such, the 2013 Kia Forte is easy to overlook even though it remains a perfectly acceptable compact car. It's still one of the few that offers three different body styles: a sedan, a four-door hatchback and a coupe. The Forte's features list also remains a bright spot, since Kia has only increased the amount of stuff you can cram into this relatively diminutive car. And in a sign of modern priorities, power locks and windows might not be standard, but Bluetooth, satellite radio and an iPod interface are.

Under the hood, the standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine may not achieve that flashy 40-mpg highway number touted in the ads of rivals, but at 37 mpg, it's still properly efficient. If you're willing to sacrifice some mpg for a little mph, the SX trim delivers handling on par with anything in the class. The ride can be unpleasantly firm, though, which isn't the case for some of its newer competitors.

As for those competitors, the Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Mazda 3 should be your prime targets. Each provides a substantially nicer cabin, a more refined driving experience and its own fresh take on sharp styling. Their engines are more sophisticated, and even if they don't boast quite the same bang-for-your-buck, their features lists are overflowing with items you wouldn't normally associate with compact cars.

Given this, it should come as no surprise that Kia is fast at work creating a new-and-improved Forte ahead of the usual schedule. Until that car arrives, the 2013 Kia Forte is a decent choice if the right deal comes along, but you should know you'll be settling for something more ho-hum than holy cow.

2013 Kia Forte configurations

The 2013 Kia Forte is available in three body styles: sedan, four-door hatchback ("Five-Door") and coupe (or "Koup" as Kia calls it). The sedan is available in LX, EX and SX trim levels, while the Five-Door and Koup are EX and SX only.

Standard equipment on the LX includes 15-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, Bluetooth and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface. There are no options for the LX.

The EX includes all of the following plus full power accessories, keyless entry, power-folding mirrors, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, map lights, a trip computer and a six-speaker sound system with steering wheel controls. The Five-Door and Koup get 16-inch alloy wheels standard, whereas the sedan gets them as part of the Premium package, which also includes a sunroof. The Eco package adds to the EX electric power steering, a different alternator, low-rolling-resistance tires and aerodynamic enhancements for improved fuel economy.

The Forte SX adds a more powerful engine, 17-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, automatic headlights, foglights, LED running lights, steering wheel paddle shifters for the automatic transmission, upgraded cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and metal-finish interior trim pieces. The Koup SX gets gloss black exterior trim pieces. The Leather package adds to the SX leather upholstery, heated front seats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The Technology package available on both EX and SX adds keyless ignition/entry, chrome exterior door handles, automatic climate control, a rearview camera, a navigation system and real-time traffic. The EX version also gets the automatic headlights, foglights and LED running lights.

2013 Highlights

The 2013 Kia Forte gets additional acoustic insulation and upgraded leather for the steering wheel. New available features include LED running lights and power-folding mirrors.

Performance & mpg

The 2013 Kia Forte LX and EX are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 156 horsepower and 144 pound-feet of torque. In certain states, the engine is certified as a Super-Ultra-Low-Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) and as a result produces 154 hp and 139 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 26 mpg city/36 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined for an automatic-equipped sedan or hatchback. The coupe and manual-equipped cars are just a hair worse. The Forte Eco package bumps efficiency to 27/37/30.

The SX gets a 2.4-liter four-cylinder good for 173 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque. In SULEV form the engine is rated at 165 hp and 161 lb-ft. The 2.4 gets the same transmission choices as the 2.0-liter. 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. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 23/32/26 with the automatic and marginally less with the manual.


Every 2013 Kia Forte comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, a Forte SX coupe came to a stop from 60 mph in an above-average 118 feet. An SX hatchback stopped in 122 feet, which is average.

In government crash testing, the Forte sedan and hatchback received four out of five stars for overall crash protection, frontal protection and side protection. The coupe has not been rated. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Forte sedan the highest possible rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side and roof strength tests.


The 2013 Kia Forte benefits from an increase in acoustic insulation for 2013, but this is still a car that lacks the refinement of its newer competitors. Its ride and handling also lack a certain sophistication. You either get doughy handling and a comfortable ride with the LX and EX, or sharp handling and a harsh ride with the SX. You don't need to make such sacrifices in a Ford Focus or Mazda 3.

The Forte's engine choices might also not be as sophisticated, but nevertheless deliver competitive power and fuel economy regardless of whether you opt for the 2.0-liter or 2.4-liter. Obviously, the latter is 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. On the upside, interior controls are very user-friendly.

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 2013 Kia Forte.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Perfect little car
Don Bambarger,10/02/2015
Bought for my daughter out right out of college, she got to keep about a year and I took car from her. I love this car for my daily driver, bought her an Optima as I like this car a little better. You can't beat a Kia for the price and warranty, but they also are great cars!! I always bought American until I bought this Kia, l don't think I would own anything else now.
why buy anything else!!!!!!!
This is the best car i have ever owned. I work for ford and this car puts the ford focus to shame i will never buy another ford again
The Best deal for the Money!
The little car that can!
Amy M,07/18/2017
I have owned this car since I bought it new. I was skeptical because KIA used to make, well, cheap stuff. I always thought of them like a geo metro or dodge neon arena. But this car is solid feeling. It has held up wonderfully. It looks just as good as it did new still minus the floor mats, the embroidered red lettering which of course is not so red these days. The first thing I did in the KIA was to fix the stiff handling by having performance suspension installed, it's a little bumpier but man can that sucker corner now! I have let the rest remain stock, the car has some punch, and it is a BLAST to drive it. The seats are for short people, I am taller and so I cannot drive long distances in this car without my back hurting unless I add my own lumbar support in the right spot so I don't take this car on long road trips often. The car is lower than stock and looks sleek and because I removed the KIA badges people often mistake it for a Lexus or something much more expensive. People really dig the lines on this car design and I get a lot of compliments on it. I paid like 15k new for this car and I feel it was well worth the value I have gotten out of it in driving enjoyment alone. I have never had a mechanical issue with the car. This car came with a 20-year powertrain warranty. Its a fun zippy little sports car for cheap, I would buy another. I traded a Mazda P5 in on this and while it doesn't sound as cool as the Mazda engine did, it outperforms it in HP and acceleration, but stock it did not in handling and never will in comfort. Update 07/2018: This car is a champ. Not one mechanical issue with this car on the 4th year of owning it and it runs as responsive and well as it did the day I bought it. Kia has been wonderful at keeping it maintained and making sure it is in regularly for service. I am thinking about trading it in for a newer car because I am looking for something that will go better in snow but this car has been one of the best cars I have owned hands down.
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Features & Specs

25 city / 34 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
156 hp @ 6200 rpm
23 city / 31 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
173 hp @ 6000 rpm
22 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
173 hp @ 6000 rpm
24 city / 33 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
156 hp @ 6200 rpm
See all Used 2013 Kia Forte Koup 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 2013 Kia Forte
Used 2013 Kia Forte Koup Overview

The Used 2013 Kia Forte Koup is offered in the following styles: Koup EX 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Koup SX 2dr Coupe (2.4L 4cyl 6A), Koup SX 2dr Coupe (2.4L 4cyl 6M), and Koup EX 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2013 Kia Forte Koup?

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Used 2013 Kia Forte Koup Listings and Inventory

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Can't find a used 2013 Kia Forte Forte Koup you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Kia Forte for sale - 2 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $8,593.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Kia for sale - 6 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $7,772.

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Should I lease or buy a 2013 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
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