2021 Kia Forte

MSRP $18,790 - $20,490

Ranked #11 in Midsize Sedan

7.3

Overall Rating

2021 Kia Forte Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 5, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The Kia Forte is known as K3 in its own native land. This is a pretty good car and has often been equipped with the best features from the brand. Kia as a brand is very well known for the high reliability and safely manufactured models. Kia Forte brings in simple controls and offers impressive fuel economy.Although, the riding and handling quality of the model is a bit of a let down. It’s suspension becomes stiff at some point in time passengers can feel every bump.

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Pros

Lots of features

Great infotainment system

Airy and generous cabin space

Good build quality

Cons

Poor performance than rivals

Bad Ride quality

What's New?

No new changes


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$18790

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

123 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

122 cu.in.

horsepower

147 hp @ 6200 rpm

torque

132 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm

transmission

1 speed CVT

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

11/10.3 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

106.3 in.

length

182.7 in.

width

70.9 in.

height

56.5 in.

curb weight

2707 lbs.

ground clearance

5.3 in.

capacity

passenger volume

96 cu ft.

cargo volume

15.3 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

9.5 sec.

zero to 100 mph

22.3 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

16.2 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

173 ft.

warranty

basic warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

1 yr./ 10000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ 100000 mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

FE$18,790 onwards

LXS$19,290 onwards

GT-Line$20,490 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Kia Forte in Currant Red color
Currant Red

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Features

7.0

Engine and Performance

5.7

Fuel Economy

7.0

Interior

8.5

Exterior

7.0

Safety

8.0

Competition

8.6

7.3

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.3

Overall Rating


The 2021 Kia Forte Sedan is offered in four different trim levels and their prices start from $17,890 and go all the way up to $23,090.Yes,that is the price of the top end model,thus making this an affordable car.This is a price point that is highly competitive and so the car has a number of rivals like the 2021 Toyota Corolla,2021 Mazda 3 and the 2021 Honda Civic.

2021 Kia Forte Sedan Front Angle View
2021 Kia Forte Sedan Rear Angle View

5.7/10
Engine and Performance

7.0/10
Fuel Economy

8.5/10
Interior

7.0/10
Exterior

8.0/10
Safety

8.6/10
Competition


2021 Kia Forte Features

The 2021 Kia Forte starts off at a price point of $17,890 for the manual gearbox and $18,790 for the CVT gearbox.The base model called the FE.This is the only model offered with a manual transmission.The Next in line at a price point of $19,390 is the LXS the trim from here becomes only CVT models as this is the only gearbox on offer,in fact the LXS,the GT-Line and the EX trims all come with only the CVT transmission on offer.The Top end EX model itself is priced at $23,090 and that includes a lot of features even on the lower trim.

Model

FE

LXS

GT-Line

EX

MSRP (Manual)

$17,890

-

-

-

MSRP (CVT)

$18,790

$19390

$20,490

$23,090

Key Features

15-inch Steel Wheels w/Full Covers

Adds to FE features

Adds to LXS Features

Adds to GT-Line features

 

3-Point Seat Belts for All Seating Positions

16-inch Machine Finish Alloy Wheels

17-inch Machine Finish Alloy Wheels

17-inch Graphite Finish Alloy Wheels

 

4-speaker Audio System

Black Gloss Sport Bumper Accents

6-Speaker Audio System

10-Way Power-Adjustable Driver's Seat w/ Power Lumbar Support

 

6-way Adjustable Driver’s and Front Passenger’s Seat

Chrome Exhaust Tip

LED Daytime Running Lights 

Dual-Zone Automatic Temperature Control

 

ABS w/4-wheel

Drive Mode Select (DMS)

Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning

Smart Key w/ Push-Button Start and Immobilizer

 

Daytime Running Lights

 

Lane Change Assist

Rear A/C Vents

 

Electronic Brake-Force Distribution 

 

Sport Seats w/ SOFINO and Cloth Seat Trim

Heated Front Seats and Ventilated Front Seats

Which Trim should you buy?

The FE trim (Base) is a very well to do and a well equipped model making it a good choice for anyone,it is also the only moel that comes with a manual transmission and it can be bought if you want the fun of driving a manual transmission car.However if you prefer convenience and love to be pampered with tech the EX trim or the GT line will be better suited and considering the low prices you can go to any model across the line up and still not have stretch a lot.

2021 Kia Forte Engine and Performance

5.7/10

The 2021 Kia Forte is sold with two engine options and the base model is equipped with a 2.0L 4-Cylinder MPI 16v DOHC engine and that is good for about 147hp and 132 lb-ft of torque,this is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and a CVT is offered as an option. 

2021 Kia Forte Sedan Engine Bay

The GT trim however comes equipped with a 1.6L 4-cylinder Turbo GDI 16V DOHC that produces 201hp and 195 lb-ft of torque.The GT trim is mated to a Dual-clutch Variable Transmission (DCT) while the other trims offer Intelligent Variable Transmission(CVT). Kia’s 2.0-liter engine allows the Forte to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 9.5 seconds.

Models

2021 Kia Forte 

2021 Toyota Corolla 

2021 Mazda 3

2021 Honda Civic 

MSRP

$17,890

$22,275

$22,445

$21,250

Engine

2.0L inline four-cylinder

2.0L inline four-cylinder

2.5L SkyActiv-G inline four-cylinder

2.0L inline four-cylinder

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

CVT w/OD

CVT w/OD

6-speed automatic w/OD

CVT w/OD

Power 

147 hp @ 6,200 rpm

169 hp @ 6,100 rpm

186 hp @ 6,000 rpm

158 hp @ 6,500 rpm

Torque 

132 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm

151 lb-ft @ 3,900 rpm

186 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

138 lb-ft @ 4,200 rpm

0-60 MPH (seconds)

9.5

7.8

8.3

8.2

Quarter Mile (seconds)

16.2

15.5

15.2

16.3

Top Speed (mph)

119

120

131

119

The Mazda 3’s 2.5L engine outperforms every other rival in the engine capacity. The others find themselves with 2.0L power units. The Mazda 3's 0-60 mph acceleration time of 8.2 seconds proves to be better than that offered by the Kia Forte.The Civic follows the Mazda 3 in terms of acceleration but it has a poor braking distance.

How well does the Forte handle?

The Kia handles really well when compared to its rivals,the steel unibody style used improves the car’s driving dynamics and stiffens the body helping the car’s occupants from feeling jerks and makes them feels well insulated from the outside environment.Thus,striking the balance between handling and comfort

2021 Kia Forte Sedan Side View In Motion

The Suspension duties are well taken care of by the MacPherson struts in the front and torsion beam axle with twin shocks at the rear,these make a good work of taking care of the undulations on the road.However the Forte does not give a lot of confidence on spirited driving.But on the whole the suspension setup keeps the car well balanced and the chassis is just too good and keeps the body roll well under control.All these said the car still has to keep up to the superb handling prowess of the Honda Civic.

2021 Kia Forte Braking Performance

There are absolutely no compromises taken by Kia in terms of braking,the Forte is equipped with disc brakes on all four wheels as standard, across all variants.

2021 Kia Forte Sedan Brakes

The stiff suspension compliments in providing a linear braking experience.At 11.0” in the front and 10.3” in the rear the rotors of the Forte are amongst thelargest in its segment. Meaning more friction with the added surface area.

Models

Kia Forte

Toyota Corolla

Mazda 3

Honda Civic

Brakes Front

11.0 in

10.8 in

11.0in

NA

Brakes Rear

10.3 in

10.2 in

10.4 in

NA

60-0

118

119

118

NA

Curb Weight (lbs)

2,707

2,910

3,071

2,763

The Mazda once again has its dominance in terms of stopping distance but that is matched by the Forte.Despite the heavy mass the cars do a good job with braking.The Corolla too does a 

Mazda 3 has the shortest stopping distance, the same as the Forte. Despite the added weight for Mazda which adds extra mass which in turn drags the heavy car for longer distances despite having stronger brakes. The Toyota Corolla also does a decent job with bringing the sedan to rest at 119 ft which is just a single ft less than the leading competitors.

2021 Kia Forte Fuel Economy

7.0/10

The Kia is well balanced with the engine being able to give good performance and a good mileage of 31mpg in the city and 41mpg on the highway which results in a combined mileage of 35mpg.The car also has a deep tank of 14 gallons which gives it a really good range.It returns the highest range figures. It can cover 490 miles on the highway on a full tank of gas.

Models

2021 Kia Forte 

2021 Toyota Corolla 

2021 Mazda 3

2021 Honda Civic 

MPG (City)

27

31

26

30

MPG (Highway)

35

38

35

38

MPG (Combined)

30

34

30

33

Fuel Tank Capacity (Gallons)

14 

13.2 

13.2 

12.4 

Range (City/Highway/Combined; Miles) 

378/490/420

409/ 502/ 448

343.2/462/396

372/471.2/409

The Toyota and the Honda are the only rivals that come close to the efficiency figures of the Forte.The Honda has the smallest fuel tank capacity at 12.4 gallons and still has a good range thanks to the mileage figures.The Toyota and the mazda share the tank capacity but the Toyota is better in terms of fuel efficiency figures.

2021 Kia Forte Interior

8.5/10

The Forte seats up to 5 passengers in comfort irrespective of whether you're seated up front or on the rear bench. The Kia offers a great deal for the state-of-the-art technology that is offered at such a cheap price. Android Auto, Apple CarPlay smartphone integration and Bluetooth come standard in all the trims. The Forte comes equipped with a standard 8.0-inch infotainment system.

2021 Kia Forte Sedan Driver Seat

There is no shortage for a good seating position thanks to the generous range of the steering wheel and driver's seat adjustments. Right from the base trim,there are a lot of standard features and the GT-Line and the GT trim are equipped with sports seats. The Forte has a very minimalist yet top-notch design.

Models

2021 Kia Forte 

2021 Toyota Corolla 

2021 Mazda 3

2021 Honda Civic 

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

38.8/56.1/42.2

38.3/54/42

38/55.7/42.3

38.2/56.9/42.3

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

37.5/55.3/35.7

37.1/51.7/34.8

37.3/53.5/35.9

34.6/52.6/35.9

Cargo Capacity cu-ft)

15.3

14.4

13.1

13.2

The trunk space is really good and on par with many other midsize sedans,The interior dimensions of all the cars are almost similar to each other with very little differences.The Forte however provides a well-balanced passenger space in both rows.

Some of the highlight features of the Forte’s interiors are:

  • 10-way power-adjustable driver seat
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel 
  • Wireless smartphone charger
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats
  • Sunroof
  • SOFINO upholstery
  • Heated front seats

What’s there to keep you entertained?

A wireless smartphone charging pad is optional on the GT-Line, EX, and GT trim. 

Chevrolet has given the 2021 Silverado 1500 with a 7-inch touchscreen. The screen is not too crisp, it has a grainy display and a choppy interface. The color and the contrast are low but it manages to do the job quite well without feeling too out of date. Both wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported on an 8-inch touchscreen display from the LT trim onwards. 

The 2021 Silverado 1500 comes equipped with a 6-speaker audio system. A 7-speaker Bose premium sound system is offered for the High Country trim but optional on the LTZ, RST, and LT Trail Boss trim. Some other infotainment features of the 2021 Silverado 1500 include:

  • Wireless charging
  • SiriusXM
  • HD radio
  • Voice recognition audio system
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Navigation system
  • In-vehicle apps
  • USB ports
  • AM/FM stereo

2021 Kia Forte Exterior

7.0/10

The 2021 Kia Forte design language makes sure it gets a great road presence, with its front design and the ready for any kind of job look. The front is distinguished with a massive grille with a black bar and the Chevrolet embossed in it.

2021 Kia Forte Sedan Front View

A pair of halogens in the headlamps gives an update to the exterior appearance from the front of the Crew Cab. The rear is also distinguished with LED lighting and large wheel arches for the big 17-inch wheels to fit in. 

Models

Kia Forte

Ford Ranger

Toyota Tacoma

RAM 1500

Curb Weight (lb)

4702

4627

4205

4971

Length (inches)

231.7

231.7

212.3

232.9

Width (inches)

81.24

79.9

74.4

82.1

Height (inches)

75.51

75.6

70.6

77.5

Ground Clearance (inches)

7.9

8.5

9.4

8.2

Wheelbase (inches)

147.43

145

127.4

144.5

The RAM 1500's wheelbase is 3 inches less than the Silverado. This conveys that the RAM’s interior is less roomy. At 5,180 lbs, the Ford F-150 stands as the heaviest pickup truck on the list. On the other side, the GM cars sit very close to the ground at 7.9 inches. Some of the highlight exterior features are:

  • Chrome mirror caps
  • LED cargo area lighting
  • Power tailgate
  • HID headlamps
  • Dual-exhaust tips
  • Chrome running boards
  • Chrome grille

2021 Kia Forte Safety

8.0/10

The Kia Forte comes with these features as standard and they would include Front and Rear Parking Assist, Proactive Rollover Avoidance System, Hill Start Assist, etc. The 2021 Silverado is sold with a list of safety features to provide safety and. Also, the six airbags provide the utmost protection during some kind of unfortunate incident. The highlights features offered in the Silverado include the following:

  • Proactive Rollover Avoidance System
  • Electronic Trailer Sway Control 
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Hitch Guidance
  • Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert
  • Front and Rear Parking Assist

2021 Kia Forte Competition

8.6/10

2021 Kia Forte vs 2021 Toyota Corolla

While being more expensive than the Forte, the Corolla does manage to offer a comfortable ride,spacious rear seat and a number of features as standard.

2021 Toyota Corolla

The Forte on the other hand seems balanced and is more value for money when compared to the costly but attractive and well equipped.Both these cars are a good deal and the deal is in the buyer’s choice.

2021 Kia Forte vs 2021 Mazda 3

The Mazda’s price point starts from where the KIa’s price point ends.That might seem a big negative right there but the Mazda does offer great performance and manage to look more premium than the rivals.

2021 Mazda 3

The Mazda is the better car in terms of looks,acceleration and the engine but the features are not plenty.However the Forte’s GT trim might be a good choice.

2021 Kia Forte vs 2021 Honda Civic

Once again a car that costs more than the Forte,the honda does offer a good Handling,a powerful engine and good space inside wil many trims to choose from.

2021 Honda Civic

The Kia will be seen as an alternative only based on the price you pay,considering that the Forte is clearly priced lower than the Civic.The Kia is still the most value for the money and won't disappoint considering it offers really good and advanced features great fuel economy.

2021 Kia Forte Final Verdict

The Kia might seem to be very much down on many things when compared to its rivals,but this car has it’s better points too and when it shines it does so with a good margin from the competition. The Kia Forte is still the most value for your money and still the great deal.If you do not have a problem with budget constraints the other three cars are no bad picks either.

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