2018 Kia Forte Hatchback
- 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
2018 Kia Forte Hatchback pricingin Ashburn, VA
Which Forte does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
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.
Most helpful consumer reviews
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.
2018 Kia Forte Hatchback for Sale
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?
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2018 Kia Forte Hatchback Listings and Inventory
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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.