2018 Kia Forte Hatchback

2018 Kia Forte
2018 Kia Forte


  • Feels roomy inside for a compact car
  • Many desirable standard and available features
  • Easy-to-use controls and straightforward touchscreen interface
  • Lengthy warranty coverage


  • The EX returns lackluster fuel economy for the class
  • Ride quality can be overly firm at times
Kia Forte years

Which Forte does Edmunds recommend?

Kia offers several Forte variants, so picking one largely depends on what you're looking for. But for a practical and well-equipped car, we'd simply opt for the LX. It's the Forte's base model yet delivers strong value. Ideally, get it with the Popular package, which adds the Uvo infotainment system (including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration) and some interior upgrades.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

Last year's refresh has helped keep the 2018 Kia Forte competitive in a class with much newer rivals. Kia made updates to the Forte's interior quality, infotainment system, active safety features and horsepower. All complemented the Forte's existing strengths: spacious seating and cargo space and tons of value.

It's true that newer compact cars have made gains in acceleration, fuel efficiency, interior space, handling and technology features. That means the Forte isn't the standout it once was. But the Forte's long list of available features, competitive price and outstanding warranty coverage continue to make it a compelling choice for a compact sedan or hatchback. It even offers a sporty SX hatchback trim level with an engine making more than 200 horsepower, putting it in a league with only a few other compacts.

If the Forte isn't quite for you, you might want to check out the Honda Civic. It offers an excellent driving experience and rivals the Forte for passenger space and technology features. There's also the snazzy Mazda 3 and the capable Subaru Impreza to consider. But even with such strong competition, we think the Forte is worth a test drive if you're in the market for a well-equipped compact car

Trim levels & features

The 2018 Kia Forte is available as a sedan in LX, S and EX trim levels, while the hatchback (the Forte5) is offered in LX, EX and SX trims. The base LX trim is reasonably equipped, while the EX has a more extensive list of equipment. The S sedan and EX and SX hatchback offer some sporty touches, and the SX even comes with a powerful turbocharged engine.

The Forte LX and S sedans are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. For most trims, power runs to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. The base LX comes standard with a six-speed manual, with the automatic available as an optional upgrade.

Standard features on the LX sedan include 15-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, air conditioning, full power accessories, a trip computer, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 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, USB connectivity and an auxiliary audio jack.

Optional for the LX (but only with the automatic transmission) is the Popular package, which includes automatic headlights, cruise control, upgraded interior upholstery and trim, a sliding front armrest, a rear seat armrest, a rearview camera, a 7-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Kia's Uvo telematics service and a six-speaker stereo. There's also the Popular Plus package, which adds LED taillights, special alloy wheels and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The S sedan starts with most of those items and upgrades to a sport-tuned suspension, 16-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, a rear spoiler, a chrome exhaust outlet, adjustable drive modes (including steering effort), unique black cloth upholstery with white contrast stitching, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and the 7-inch touchscreen system.

The S sedan's Technology package adds foglights, a sunroof, LED taillights, and keyless entry and ignition plus a few safety technologies (lane departure warning and prevention, blind-spot monitoring and automatic emergency braking).

The EX sedan drops the sport-themed extras but adds a 2.0-liter four-cylinder generating 164 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque, a six-speed automatic, foglights, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED turn signal indicators on the mirror housings (and puddle lamps underneath), LED taillights, keyless entry and ignition, ambient interior lighting, leather upholstery, heated front seats and dual-zone automatic temperature control with rear vents. For 2018 the EX also receives some active safety features as standard equipment, including blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

For the EX, there's an optional Premium Plus package that adds a sunroof, a power-adjustable driver seat, adaptive xenon headlights, a navigation system, ventilated front seats and driver-seat memory settings. Forward collision alert and automatic emergency braking are also part of this package.

From a features standpoint, the hatchback's LX and EX trims largely mirror the sedan's, with minor differences.

The SX hatchback adds a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder rated at 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, paired with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It comes standard with 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, dual exhaust tips, and sporty front and rear styling.


The EX's 2.0-liter engine delivers good acceleration for the class, and the turbo 1.6 adds extra zip. Overall, the Forte is an easy car to live with day to day.


The Forte's seats are well padded, and the available seat cooling is a standout feature for the class. Even the rear seats are comfortable. Sound insulation is good, with little wind noise but more noticeable tire noise. The suspension soaks up larger bumps but can get jiggly on some surfaces.


The Forte's interior design is user-friendly, and the materials quality is above average. The rear seat is quite spacious; surprisingly, it's in the front where tall drivers might find the headroom a little tight. Visibility is good thanks to thin roof pillars and a large back window.


The Forte sedan's trunk is among the biggest in its class. There are sizable bins for small items in the cabin, though some competitors boast more clever solutions. Rear LATCH anchors are clearly marked and accessible, with plenty of room for two car seats.


Kia's Uvo system is easy to use and smartly designed, making Apple CarPlay and Android Auto a bonus as opposed to a necessity. While the Forte lacks adaptive cruise control, it offers almost everything else, including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and automatic emergency braking.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Kia Forte.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Horrible Experience
Ashok Bakshi,05/30/2018
This car overall not good
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Features & Specs

25 city / 34 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
164 hp @ 6200 rpm
25 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
7-speed automated manual
201 hp @ 6000 rpm
25 city / 34 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
164 hp @ 6200 rpm
23 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
201 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all 2018 Kia Forte Hatchback features & specs


Our experts’ favorite Forte safety features:

Automatic Emergency Braking
Applies the brakes automatically to avoid a collision with an obstacle in front of the vehicle.
Blind-Spot Detection
Alerts the driver to the presence of other vehicles in the car's blind spots.
Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
Monitors for moving traffic behind the vehicle when in reverse.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 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
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

2018 Kia Forte Hatchback for Sale

Kia Forte 2018 LX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
New 2018
Kia Forte
King Kia
16.8 mi away
Est.Loan: $343/mo
Great Deal!Great Deal!
View Details
Dealer Notes
Clear White 2018 Kia Forte LX FWD Automatic 2.0L 4-Cylinder Forte LX, 2.0L 4-Cylinder, Automatic, Clear White, Black Cloth, LX Rear Camera Package, Rear Camera Display. Priced below KBB Fair Purchase Price!Recent Arrival! 37/29 Highway/City MPG
Kia Forte 2018 LX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
New 2018
Kia Forte
Hersons Kia
18.3 mi away
Est.Loan: $320/mo
View Details
Dealer Notes
Herson's Kia includes a Two year or 24,000 mile maintenance package with every new Kia purchased or leased. The maintenance package includes oil changes and all regularly scheduled maintenance according to the vehicles maintenance minder system. This offer is exclusive to Herson's Kia. For more details visit our website www.hersonskia.com or call 301-340-3100 and speak to our service consultants.
Kia Forte 2018 EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
New 2018
Kia Forte
Est.Loan: $399/mo
Good Deal!Good Deal!
View Details
Dealer Notes
This vehicle won't be on the lot long! It offers the latest in technological innovation and style. It includes leather upholstery, front dual-zone air conditioning, tilt steering wheel, and a blind spot monitoring system. It features a front-wheel-drive platform, an automatic transmission, and a 2 liter 4 cylinder engine. Our aim is to provide our customers with the best prices and service at all times. Stop by our dealership or give us a call for more information.

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More about the 2018 Kia Forte

The 2018 Kia Forte is a compact car available as a sedan or hatchback that offers an impressive list of available features. Last year, the Forte was updated with new infotainment technology, more active safety features and driver aids, a more powerful and efficient base engine, and improved interior design and materials. For 2018, access to some of those updates was expanded to more of the Forte lineup.

On top of those updates, the compact Kia carries over its comfortable and spacious rear seat, accommodating trunk and quiet ride. All in all, the Forte is easy to use and easy to live with, making it a compact competitor worth checking out.

The base Forte LX sedan and Forte5 LX hatchback are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. This engine comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, while a six-speed automatic is an optional upgrade. Also standard are 15-inch steel wheels (16-inch with the Forte5), heated mirrors, air conditioning, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, height-adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split folding rear seat, and four-speaker stereo system with a CD player, satellite radio, Bluetooth streaming and USB connectivity. Opt for the automatic transmission and you also get cruise control.

For 2018, Kia's Uvo infotainment system is available as an optional upgrade to the LX, adding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There are also a slew of interior upgrades as part of the Popular and Popular Plus packages.

Moving up, the sedan-only S trim upgrades to a sport-tuned suspension, alloy wheels, LED running lights, a rear spoiler, a chrome exhaust outlet, adjustable drive modes (including steering effort), distinctive cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and the 7-inch Uvo touchscreen system. Kia offers added active safety features including lane departure warning and prevention, blind-spot monitoring and automatic emergency braking as optional extras.

The EX sedan ditches the S trim's sporty suspension and styling cues, while the EX hatchback holds onto them. Otherwise, both Forte EX styles receive a 2.0-liter four-cylinder generating 164 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque, foglights, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED turn signal indicators on the mirror housings (and puddle lamps underneath), LED taillights, proximity entry and push-button ignition, ambient interior lighting, leather upholstery, heated front seats and dual-zone automatic temperature control with rear vents.

There's a package for the EX that adds ventilated front seats, navigation, HID headlights, a sunroof and extra safety features.

Finally, for hot-hatch enthusiasts, there's the hatchback-only Forte5 SX, which comes with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder rated at 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, paired with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. This trim also comes with an appearance package that upgrades both the interior and exterior look.

Make sure to check out our full review to find out more, and take advantage of our shopping tools to find the best deal on a 2018 Kia Forte near you.

2018 Kia Forte Hatchback Overview

What do people think of the 2018 Kia Forte Hatchback?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Kia Forte Hatchback and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 Forte Hatchback 1 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 Forte Hatchback.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Kia Forte Hatchback and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 Forte Hatchback featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Read our full review of the 2018 Kia Forte Hatchback here.
Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2018 Kia Forte Hatchback?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on new 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 2018 Kia Forte Hatchbacks are available in my area?

2018 Kia Forte Hatchback Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a 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 2018 Kia Forte Hatchback.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Kia Forte Hatchback for sale near you.

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Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2018 Kia Forte Hatchback and all available trim types. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2018 Kia Forte Hatchback include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 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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