2012 Kia Forte

MSRP $15,200 - $19,100

Ranked #9 in Sedan

7.3

Overall Rating

2012 Kia Forte Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: July 30, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The 2012 Kia Forte sedan is one of the few cars in the compact sedan segment that also comes in a coupe and a hatchback body style. All three body styles received good market feedback, thanks to their affordable pricing and great cabin space. However, the car is now left behind by some of its rivals who have got considerable improvements.

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Pros

Spacious cabin

Simple but fashionable looks

Decent fuel economy

Extensive list of available features

Cons

Road noise

Low on legroom

What's New?

Tilt-and-Telescopic steering wheel on the EX trim


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$15200

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

132 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

122 cu.in.

horsepower

156 hp @ 6200 rpm

torque

144 lb.-ft. @ 4300 rpm

transmission

6 speed manual w/OD

chassis

suspension front

MacPherson strut front suspension

suspension rear

Semi-independent rear torsion beam suspension

dimensions

wheelbase

104.3 in.

length

178.3 in.

width

69.9 in.

height

57.5 in.

curb weight

2729 lbs.

ground clearance

5.9 in.

capacity

passenger volume

96.8 cu ft.

cargo volume

14.7 cu ft.

payload capacity

931 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

8.1 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

16.2 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

25/29/34 mpg

highway range

465.8 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

10 yr./ 100000 mi.

powertrain warranty

10 yr./ 100,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./100,000 mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

LX$15,200 onwards

EX$17,600 onwards

SX$19,100 onwards

Colors and Styles

2012 Kia Forte in Ebony Black color
Ebony Black

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 Feature

8.0

Features

8.0

Engine and Performance

7.0

Fuel Economy

7.0

Interior

6.0

Exterior

7.0

Safety

7.0

Competition

7.0

7.3

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.3

Overall Rating


The Forte sedan for the year 2012 gets very minor changes. The 2012 Kia Forte sedan is priced at $15,200 for the base model and comes with two engine options to choose from. This pricing makes it one of the most affordable and economical cars to choose from, and it goes up against the 2012 Ford Focus, the 2012 Toyota Corolla, and the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze.


8.0/10
Features

7.0/10
Engine and Performance

7.0/10
Fuel Economy

6.0/10
Interior

7.0/10
Exterior

7.0/10
Safety


2012 Kia Forte Features

8.0/10

The 2012 Kia Forte sedan is offered in three trim levels: LX, EX, and SX. Pricing for the car starts at $15,200 and goes up to $19,100 for the top trim. Standard features across all trims include a six-way adjustable driver’s seat, tilt steering column, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, Bluetooth, CD player, USB/iPod interface, and 4-speakers. 

Trim

LX

EX

SX

MSRP (Manual)

$15,200

N/A

N/A

MSRP (Automatic)

$16,200

$17,600

$19,100

Key features

15-inch steel wheels

Adds/Replaces features on the LX

Adds/Replaces features on the SX

 

Six-way adjustable driver’s seat

Keyless entry

2.4L engine

 

Tilt steering column

Cruise control

17-inch alloy wheels

 

60/40 split-folding rear seats

Tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel

Cloth upholstery

 

Bluetooth

Air-conditioning

Leather-wrapped steering wheel

 

CD player

Full power accessories

Sport-tuned suspension

The LX trim only gets air-conditioning as an optional extra. The EX trim gets a Fuel Economy package, a sunroof, and 16-inch alloy wheels as optional items. The SX trim gets a sunroof and leather upholstery with heated front seats as an optional extra. Optional Packages on the 2012 Kia Forte sedan include a Technology package available on the EX and SX sedan only. 

We recommend

The top of the line SX trim of the 2012 Kia Forte sedan is the one we recommend. It gets a more powerful 2.4L engine and comes with a smooth six-speed automatic. It’s also very well equipped in terms of interior features, and there are some good optional extras as well. The ride quality is good as well.

2012 Kia Forte Engine and Performance

7.0/10

The 2012 Kia Forte sedan gets two engine options. A 2.0L I-4 engine that outputs 156 hp and 144 lb-ft of torque and comes on the LX and EX trims. The SX trim gets a more powerful 2.4L engine that outputs 173 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque. The LX gets a six-speed manual transmission as standard, whereas the EX and SX get a six-speed automatic transmission as standard. This is available on the LX as an option.

The 2012 Kia Forte sedan comes with FWD. In terms of handling, it’s a mixed story. The handling on the LX and EX trims is not at all impressive and is slow and unresponsive. The suspension is soft, and some might say it’s too soft as well. However, on the SX trim, everything changes. The suspension is more firm, and the handling is very involving and responsive as well.

Models

2012 Kia Forte sedan

2012 Ford Focus sedan

2012 Toyota Corolla

2012 Chevrolet Cruze

MSRP

$15,200

$16,500

$18,820

$16,800

Engine

2.0L I-4

2.0L I-4

1.8L I-4

1.8L I-4

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

6-speed manual

5-speed manual

4-speed automatic

6-speed manual

Horsepower

156 hp @ 6200 rpm

160 hp @ 6500 rpm

132 hp @ 6000 rpm

138 hp @ 6300 rpm

Torque (lb-ft)

144 lb-ft @ 4300 rpm

146 lb-ft @ 4450 rpm

128 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm

125 lb-ft @ 3800 rpm

0-60 mph (sec)

8.1

8.2

9.9

9.5

Quarter mile (sec)

16.2

16.2

17.4

17.4

Top Speed (mph)

131

132

116

126

All cars come with an FWD setup as standard. The Kia Forte is the fastest off the line with its 0-60 mph time of 8.1 seconds. The Ford takes 8.2 seconds and is slightly behind the Forte. The Cruze takes 9.5 seconds, whereas the Corolla is the slowest at nearly ten seconds. In terms of power produced also, the Corolla has the least output.

2012 Kia Forte Fuel Economy

7.0/10

The 2012 Kia Forte sedan with the 2.0L engine returns 26 mpg in the city, 36 mpg on the highway, and 29 mpg combined. The automatic transmission increases the mileage by 1 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway. With the 2.5L engine, the fuel efficiency reduces slightly to 22 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg combined. The car has a fuel capacity of 13.7 gallons, which gives it a combined range of 397.3 miles.

Models

2012 Kia Forte sedan

2012 Ford Focus sedan

2012 Toyota Corolla

2012 Chevrolet Cruze

MPG (city)

26

26

26

25

MPG (highway)

36

36

34

36

MPG (combined)

29

30

29

29

Fuel tank capacity (gal.)

13.7

12.4

13.2

15.6

Range (City/Highway) (miles)

356.2/493.2

322.4/446.4

343.2/448.8

390/561.6

The Ford Focus is the most fuel-efficient car with a combined mileage of 30 mpg. All remaining cars return a combined mileage of 29 mpg. The Chevy is slightly behind in the city, whereas the Corolla’s mileage drops on the highway. In terms of range, the range on the Cruze is the most thanks to its 15.6-gallon tank at 390 city miles and 561 highway miles. The Forte has a range of 356 city miles and 493 highway miles.

2012 Kia Forte Interior

6.0/10

The 2012 Kia Forte sedan’s interiors are not the best in the segment. The interiors can use better quality materials, with improved fit and finish levels. The Kia’s interior is not as good as we see on some of the rivals. However, it is well laid-out and simple and even the controls and knobs are firm and robust.

The Forte is the only five-seater car left that stays true to its original shape and segment. The seating position is very good, but in terms of comfort, the car is behind the competition. The front seats offer good headroom and shoulder room with decent legroom as well, but in the rear, the legroom is less and it’s best for two people only. 

Models

2012 Kia Forte sedan

2012 Ford Focus sedan

2012 Toyota Corolla

2012 Chevrolet Cruze

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (head/shoulder/leg) (in.)

40/55.7/43.3

38.3/55.6/41.9

38.8/54.8/41.7

39.3/54.8/42.3

Second (head/shoulder/rear) (in.)

37.6/54.7/35

38/53.7/43.7

37.2/54.7/36.3

37.9/53.9/35.4

Cargo capacity with rear seats up(cu-ft.)

14.7

13.2

12.3

15.4

The 2012 Kia Forte sedan offers the most legroom in the front row and the most headroom as well. In the rear, it loses most of its tall headroom and a decent amount of its legroom as well. The Focus offers the best rear legroom space. The Toyota offers balanced seating comfort. In terms of cargo capacity, the standard carrying capacity is decent at 14.7 cu-ft on the Forte. The Cruze offers the most at 15.4 cu-ft. Some interior features are:

  • Cloth upholstery
  • Metallic interior trim
  • Adjustable driver’s seat
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • AIr-conditioning
  • Cruise Control

How intuitive is the 2012 Kia Forte’s infotainment unit?

The 2012 Kia Forte sedan’s infotainment unit is simple and pretty straightforward but has a long list of available features. Standard features on Forte’s infotainment unit include Bluetooth, AM/FM stereo, CD player, USB/iPod interface, auxiliary input, and a 4-speaker system. Higher trims get better features that are available as optional on the lower trims. Salient features include:

  • Trip computer
  • USB/iPod interface
  • Bluetooth
  • Satellite radio
  • CD player
  • Navigation system (opt)

2012 Kia Forte Exterior

7.0/10

The 2012 Kis Forte sedan is a good-looking car, but nothing is fascinating about its design language. The exterior is very simple, and though at first glance one might not like it, it tends to grow on one the more time is spent with the Forte. The design is clean, with large and wide headlamps, with the flowing hood and the overall continuous roof that integrates well with the rear. The rear part might feel somewhat punched in when viewed from an angle. 

Models

2012 Kia Forte sedan

2012 Ford Focus sedan

2012 Toyota Corolla

2012 Chevrolet Cruze

Curb Weight (lbs.)

2729

2857

2800

3093

Length (in.)

178

178.5

179

181

Width (in.)

70

71.8

69

71

Height (in.)

58

57.7

58

58

Ground clearance (in.)

6

N/A

6

7

Wheelbase (in)

104.3

104.3

102

105.7

The four cars are very similar in terms of their exterior dimensions, but on closer inspection, the Cruze is around 3 inches longer than the other cars. The Focus is the widest of all but is the shortest car as well. The Kia sits 6 inches off the ground, like its rivals. In terms of wheelbase, the Forte and the Focus have the same wheelbase whereas the Cruze has the most wheelbase at 105.7 inches. The Kia Forte is also the lightest of the lot. Some exterior features on the Kia Forte include:

  • Sport mirrors (SX trim)
  • Alloy wheels
  • Integrated turn signals on mirrors
  • Foglamps
  • Sunroof (opt)
  • Chrome exterior door handles (opt)

2012 Kia Forte Safety

7.0/10

The 2012 Kia Forte scored a rating of ‘Good’ from the IIHS and received a 4-star rating in the crash tests conducted by the NHTSA. Standard features include antilock disc brakes, stability control, active front head restraints, traction control, and airbags. The following safety features are available on the Kia Forte:

  • Tire Pressure Monitoring system
  • Ventilated front disc and solid rear disc brakes
  • Child seat anchors
  • Anti Lock brakes
  • Traction control
  • Stability control

2012 Kia Forte Final Verdict

The 2012 Kia Forte sedan does very well to perform as a daily driver and can also be a great companion on long journeys. The engine is smooth, and they do pack in a punch. It provides decent features on the inside and comes with pretty good safety ratings as well. It does lack in the development part where its rivals have gone ahead, but it still can be a fierce competitor. All in all, the Forte offers a great package for what you pay and is one of the best cars to get.

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