We shared the '12 for over 3 years and over 80,000 miles until I bought myself a 2015 Sonata Sport 2.0T Limited 6 months ago. Love that car and reviewed it on here also. Got a great deal. Now that we're back to two cars, mileage will accumulate a lot less. While I was getting the 12 serviced 2 weeks ago and "someone" took my car to work, I was asked "Do you think you can get me a deal on trading my car like you did buying yours ?" So I walked the lot and found a Snow White Pearl Forte5 EX 2.0 GDI - loaded with Premium/Technology package and remote start with black leather with white stitching. I texted the pictures. "I really wasn't a fan of white until you got yours (Quartz White Pearl) but I really like it. See what you can do. If it works out, I'll come sign the papers". The 12 was in excellent condition except for the 82,000 miles they beat down the trade in value on, but with the rebate and financing, it was a good deal regardless. The 12 had leather and sunroof. Great little car. No complaints other than it could have used more sound insulation. Compared to the 12: The tech options are great. Stereo is better. Bluetooth streaming is a world better. It's quieter. Much better legroom - we're both 6ft tall. Headroom was never an issue even with the 12 - sunroof in both. The 2.0GDI doesn't have the off the line punch of the 2012s 2.4 port-injected engine but feels fine overall (same 173hp rating) and better fuel mileage makes it worthwhile. Neither are pocket rockets but we're not race car drivers lol. Has plenty of zip. Warranty can't be beat. This now makes 4 Hyundai / Kia products since 2008 and don't regret any of them. I'm a semi-retired mechanic and choose my/our cars wisely. The only 2 gripes with the 16: 1 - gone with the 2014+ 5 door redesign is the split-folding rear seat bottoms which was great when we needed to haul stuff around. A minor gripe really because the 16 is still plenty roomy with the seat backs folded down. 2 - For the 2016 Forte line up, HID headlights were deleted, even with the Tech package. I remedied that with the same brand HID kit I installed in the 2012. Also installed LED plate and reverse lights - nice difference with the back-up camera at night. Experience has us anticipating the same reliability. The 2008 Sonata we traded for the 2012 Forte is still on the road with nearly 250,000 miles on it. Traded with nearly 120,000 trouble-free miles and came across it recently.
If you are interested in a Forte, get the hatchback. As far as looks, space,quickness in and out of traffic, and easy to work on, this is really the best hatch you can get. I thought I would never buy a Kia. Reminds me of Honda circa 1986. The only things I can nitpick on is handling is so so around curves, and stock speakers in the EX are horrible. Ride comfort is neither great or terrible. I drove out of the dealership under $20k for everything. Very satisfied.
I was in the market for a used car but ended up purchasing the Kia Forte new because of the rebates. I have never liked hatchbacks but this body type fits my current needs and looks better than most in my opinion. This car is comfortable to drive and even the base model is a great upgrade from what I was in. I was really impressed with the warranty offered with this vehicle.