Bought my 2015 Forte in Nov '14.
So far, the car has been great. No mechanical problems or issues at all.
It has plenty of room for a compact car. I saw some people said visibility is an issue, but for me ( I'm 5'7) visibility is just fine. I have the base engine, and granted it could use a little more power, and fuel economy is about average not great. The interior is really nice especially when compared to other compact cars that I looked at. KIA has definitely come a long way.
PROS: Price, Style, Standard features, Interior quality.
CONS: Base engine under powered, standard '15 wheels are cheap looking for such a nice car.
"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.
The Kia Forte/Hyundai Elantra has lots of competition -- Corolla, Civic, Impreza, Mazda 3, Ford Focus, VW Golf and others. None of these is best at everything. We've had the Kia for 26 months now. An LX base package, automatic transmission. We wanted a hatchback, but the bigger engine that comes with it uses more fuel. The standard 1.8 has more than ample power everywhere, and is an outstanding match for the transmission. The ride, engine/transmission, warranty, price, reliability, and overall design were why we bought the car. They continue to be its strengths.
In a 160 mile test drive we got 41 highway, 27 city gas mileage. These figures have held up over the last year. We generally use the Eco button on the dashboard. So it is better than average in its class on fuel, similar to a Honda Fit. (Update: At about 4000 miles we started getting between 43 and 47 mpg in long highway trips. At 12,000 miles, we continue to be in the 43-47 mpg area, 40 in the mountains.)
Weaknesses are shared by many cars of other manufacturers: the design limits vision anywhere to the rear of the driver; headrests are uncomfortable; rear window gets dirty quick; not especially easy to enter/exit the car, shape of car is harder to park than older models.
Looks like the Forte is meant to go head to head with the Honda Civic. We previously had a 2005 Honda Civic. This is a better car in most ways, except for the weaknesses I just mentioned, which most manufacturers have adopted. It handles crosswinds on expressways much better than that Civic. Rides smoother. Handles even better. Engine feels very strong.
Based on experience so far, we'd buy it again, though still wishing for a hatch with the standard engine. We also could not buy one in white that wasn't a hatch. The Mazda 3, Ford Focus, Subaru, and VW Golf all have a lot of good things going for them, but this seems like the best overall car. I would compare it to Toyota and Honda in the 90s. It will not knock your socks off, but it is maybe the best car to own.
I'm coming from a little Scion which was purchased primarily for it's performance and gas mileage. However, the older I get the less I can take a bumpy ride. So I began the search for a sedan with a better ride and more comfort. Since my husband had recently bought a Kia Sportage and loved it, I looked into the Forte. I purchased my car through a deal offer on Edmunds and am I happy? You Bet Cha! I'm getting 31to 32 miles per gallon and the smoothest ride anyone could want. I got a great price and the Hendrix Group in Concord, NC, followed through on the deal with no bait and switch! Love the service, car and the price. Thanks Edmonds for making the introduction1
We have had our kia forte for about 3 months now. We took it for it's first oil change which in our contract stated the first years worth would be free. After they were done, they tried to charge us for it. We of course pointed out that they were supposed to be free. Had to wait for them to get in contact with our sales person and verify that yes, it should be free. Apparently they do not notate it at the sale when they promise you certain things so you have to basically fight for it when it comes to actually getting what you were promised. Now, we have a popping sound in the steering wheel for about a week. Called the service dept and they said to bring it in. Took it in today..was told that it was at least a 2 hour wait for them to get to it just to find out what was wrong. We told them we cannot wait that long and would we get a rental car? Was told that they will only give us a rental car if the car is either kept overnight or if they deem it undriveable. Otherwise we have to bring it up there, and sit and wait until they can get to it. Awesome service. Because I can afford to take off of work to go sit up at a dealership for hours just to be told whether or not they can even fix it that day or not. And then if they CAN fix it I definitely have time to sit up there even longer and wait while they do. This is a brand new car..our first new car we have ever bought..there is no reason why we should even be having ANY problems to begin with, much less having to hassle to get it fixed. If there is a problem, especially something major, such as STEERING, you would think they would say "ok, lets get it fixed. Here is a loaner car until we figure out what is wrong and get it corrected"..but that would be in a perfect world right?