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.
The Kia Forte has lots of competition -- Corolla, Civic, Impreza, Mazda 3, Ford Focus, VW Golf, Hyundai Elantra (similar) and others. None of these is best at everything. We've had the Kia for 38 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 19,000 miles, we continue to be in the 43-47 mpg area, 40 in the mountains. Occasionally get 50 mpg on a 200 mile trip.) This car is especially likeable on hilly, curvy highways, or on expressways in the West Virginia mountains. And it tends to get 39-40 mpg in those conditions, an extra plus. Weaknesses are shared by many newer cars of other manufacturers: the design limits vision anywhere to the rear of the driver; headrest positions are not great; rear window gets dirty quick; not especially easy to enter/exit the car, shape of car is harder to park than older models. Not as nimble as a Honda Fit in the city. 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. Two specific gripes: Driver's side window has always been a little noisy when shut, more like a ten-year-old car. The Dealer found no fix. In warm weather on a long trip sometimes the steering wheel will tighten up in the middle, making it hard to make the minor unconscious adjustments you make on a straight expressway. On curvy roads, we've never had this problem. So it seems related to warmth and not using the steering wheel much. The dealer did not experience this on their test drive. I believe it is a problem with some percentage of these 2015 Fortes. Update April 2017: Our continued satisfaction with this car has us interested in the new Kia Niro hybrid, which is highly reviewed and not real expensive. If we were to add a second car, that'd be our first place to look.
"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.
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
I have had this car for about 2 months now, I loved the sleek style of this car. Silver with Black wheel covers and the darkest tinted windows I have ever seen. Interior design is nice as well and cleans up great. The car has attitude! (visually) I saw the dealer I bought it from listed it on car gurus, as having premium pckg moon roof and leather and it was sharp! I get there and its a base model, no premium ANYTHING! Not even cruise control. I test drove the 6 speed manual silver Slow poke and realized it was a great gas saver and really, Drove pretty easily. The 1st bad thing I noticed immediately... the power, It has none! Even winding out the engine on the highway to get every ounce of power for just catching cruising speeds can make you feel like your in a damned ford escort from the 90s. (No attitude there) The clutch engages great but when the car is cold the engine seems to rev when the clutch is pressed and it makes shifting a bit challenging for smooth operation. (I have extensive experience driving manual) this one needs some RPMs in order to get her going from a dead stop. It is fun to drive in town. The tires however are horrible for taking corners. You can not push this car, its a cruiser/gas saver...treat it like that, haha. Stereo is crap,Bluetooth hooks up after about 30-60 seconds, even when your phone is hooked up. It isn't user friendly. I have another ride with a cheap little replacement stereo that hooks up as soon as the car is on. its fast, I was going to replace the head unit but that's 400 bucks!!! No thanks! Also, I have Sirius radio and its okay, but the sound overall is very bad. "Door speakers only?" yeah that's what i said... if its going to suck most areas...this area is NOT one of them that should lack, I dislike the skimping for sound systems. Yeah yeah I know, there are upgraded versions. But the base model should still have SOME KIND OF SOUND QUALITY! But it does not. Steering...its tight and is okay, seems a bit "go carty" no real center established and likes to pull to the right a bit. Its been aligned. Overall its just a learning curve, I do not really notice it now. Gas mileage is nice, but I haven't seen 37 mpg yet. I am not much of a highway driver, I am pulling in about 25 mpg consistently. My 2005 stratus got 17 mpg so, its a nice jump. Paid 9k and I am not to upset about it. had 40k miles and currently the only engine issue seems to be valve train rattle on low end of RPMs. It isn't to bad but I can tell its going to be, guess ill have it serviced and try to keep her purring. One more thing I dislike, the suspension is very stiff when you hit larger bumps, the rear end actually tries to swing out from under you...so go very slow over tracks and such. But!... I would have to say though after driving this thing for a couple months, it is rather nice to look at and it is a head turner even though it lacks in performance she still has that, "ohh that's nice" quality. I find myself climbing into it and thinking I finally have piece of mind about the car I own. Just know its not a performance ridden sound system having corner taking mustang, its great for daily driving or highway travel. (interstate, not so much) with the Interstate being a pot hole haven this ride is not going to handle it. One big bump with the wrong person driving this car, your in the ditch. I guess most of this post is negative, well, I have a need/want for a certain kind of vehicle, I did not buy that..I bought cheap and reliable, this car is just that. I shall buy another ride for interstate driving corner taking and bump absorption. Now go buy a 6 speed KIA, floor it, and cruise through town like you own it! Because cruising is all you can do in this thing!