2018 Kia Forte Review
Pros & Cons
- 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
List Price Range
$10,000 - $19,305
Used Forte for SaleSee all for sale
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
Whether it's the strong acceleration, satisfying brake pedal feel or ability to transition from open road to city traffic, the Forte5 is a genuine surprise. Real development went into this car, and Kia should be applauded for no half-measures. And it comes with a great manual transmission.
Compact cars generally scrimp on something, be it seating surfaces, seat construction or even adequate climate control. Yet the Forte5 leaves very little to be desired, even for the rear passengers. It's hard to ask for more from a car in the class.
The Forte5's simple and straightforward cabin is a virtue because it means there are no tricks to figuring out its controls or all of its technology. It's hard to beat the traditional gauges in the instrument panel, too.
A hatchback should be practical, and this little Kia checks all the boxes. It makes good use of space, not only for the passengers but their stuff as well. It's practical enough with the seats up, and with the seats down there's plenty of room for larger objects. But we wish the seats folded flat.
There's a lot of equipment in the Forte5, and at the SX trim level, much of it is standard. Kia has embraced Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and it's refreshing to see when cars costing twice this much still go without. Only the lackluster audio system hurts it here.
|Overall||8.1 / 10|
Most helpful consumer reviews
LX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
Heavily researched this car, esp. relying on CR tests. They rated this car tops in the compact class (overall score) tied with the Toyota Corolla. However, the Forte road score was higher. ( My own figures put this car out in front too, in this compact class.) Also, we test drove a Corolla for a week in 2014 and it drove like a bus in comparison. So, CR was right: car is a gem. Over 40 mpg pump to pump in all types of driving including plenty of hills (we live in the Adirondack Park of NY State.) Highlights are: great ride for comfort and lack of road noise. (Switching out the OEM tires for Continental True Contacts may have helped.) Also, we stuck with the original wheel size, i.e. 195/65R15, for which there are many advantages such as: less costly tire replacements, better ride (more rubber between rim and road,) better in snow and better mpg's with narrower tires, lighter and stronger than bigger rims, etc. etc. This car drives like a dream. Can't think of much to complain about. I'm 6'2" but plenty of headroom in front even with seat in highest position. Could actually go an inch higher, but driver's comfort and view out is first rate. Bought this 2018 in end of April of that year, and only have c. 5000 on it as of June 2019. and so far could not be happier. Good choice. All that research paid off! We liked the folks at the dealer too (Della Kia in Plattsburgh, NY). Car is very nice looking (deep, rich, garnet red) and the price very right--recommend it indeed. 8/30/19 update: Nothing new to add except that comments made in the original review still hold. This is a wonderful car for us. Too bad they changed it in 2019 as the comfort/ride/noise and overall score by CR is lower. But have not driven the new 2019 model so perhaps it is OK--worth checking out. I get 41 PLUS mpg in the summer and the new model is supposed to be better marginally if it's that important to you. (MPG's are very important to me, but I'll take 41 plus any day.) By the way, as I think the case with many cars, the dashboard mpg's are somewhat lower than the actual pump to pump measurement and it is the latter figure that I use to calculate the mpg's so it is very accurate. Kia seems to make very good cars now--at least to CR brand comparisons. I am very happy with this car!
S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
The best features are the smoothness of the drive, the quiet interior, the entertainment system, the safety features. The trunk is HUGE: lots of cargo space. Legroom is surprisingly very good. The car is bigger on the inside than it appears on the outside. I love the keyless ignition. I don't need to even take out my key (FOB); the locks sense the fob, and the door unlocks. You still have the option of pressing the unlock button on the fob itself. Then get in roomy driver's seat, put your foot on the brake, push the ignition button, and you're ready to go. The acceleration is awesome, but the downshift is pretty intense. The price of the car was amazing. I got the S model: sunroof, extra safety features. Just fantastic.
LX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
I was looking for a car that was a bit smaller than the one I had been driving for 10 years (a Toyota Camry). I also wanted a back-up camera and a few other new features. I have only had the car for about 1 month, but so far I am more than happy with it. It has exceeded my expectations.
LX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
I'm barely over 26000 miles, have done all service at correct intervals since owning and already have check engine light for cylinder misfires. Pathetic when you can't rely on a car with relatively low mileage.
Features & Specs
Our experts like the Forte models:
- 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.