2017 Kia Forte

MSRP $17,600 - $21,300

Ranked #6 in Compact Sedan


Overall Rating

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2017 Kia Forte Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 5, 2021

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

Kia Forte received a refresh for 2017, just short of a full redesign, the compact sedan is fairly good and likable. The 207 Forte offers fresh exterior styling, a new base engine, a sport-oriented S trim level, Apple Carplay, and Android Auto integration, and more available active safety tech. Starting from $16,600, the base Forte model is priced competitively but the range goes pricier at higher trims than some rivals. In an absolute sense, the Kia Forte offers good drive, spacious interiors, the best warranty in the class, and decent value for money.

Though in comparison to the rivals, Forte starts to fumble. With the compact class having greats like Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3, and Hyundai Elantra, the 2017 Forte's drawbacks come to light. The rivals offer a better ride quality and are more affordable. Though the 2017 Forte is a good car, let's find out if it's a relatively good buying option or not.

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Roomy interior and cargo capacity

Sporty exterior design

User-friendly infotainment system

Refined engine options

Available suite of driver assist safety features


Firm ride over road imperfections

What's New?

Refreshed exterior styling

New-for-2017 S trim level

Available android Auto and Apple Carplay

Available New Active Safety Features


vehicle bio

base price



4dr Sedan

passenger capacity


top speed

140 mph


front wheel drive

engine type


122 cu.in.


147 hp @ 6200 rpm


132 lb.-ft. @ 4500 rpm


6 speed Automatic



106 in.


180 in.


70 in.


56 in.

curb weight

2804 lbs.

ground clearance

5 in.


passenger volume

96.2 cu ft.

cargo volume

14.9 cu ft.

towing capacity

3500 lbs.

payload capacity

996 lbs.


zero to 60 mph

8.2 sec.

zero to 100 mph

17.9 sec.

rolling start 5-60 mph


standing 1/4-mile

16.5 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

176 ft.

fuel economy


29/32/38 mpg

highway range

501.6 mi.


basic warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

10 yr./ 100,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ 100,000 mi.

roadside assistance


Pictures & Videos


LX$17,600 onwards

S$19,300 onwards

EX$21,300 onwards

Colors and Styles

2017 Kia Forte in Phantom Gray color
Phantom Gray

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




Engine and Performance


Fuel Economy










Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide


Overall Rating

Kia Forte receives a lot of changes for 2017, as the new Forte sedan feature refreshed exterior styling including a new front bumper, revised grille, and headlights, and redesigned taillights. HID headlights and LED taillights are added to the roster. Inside, the Forte gains more multimedia features including Apple Carplay and Android Auto while you will sit on revised materials and colors. A new S trim level now slots between the base LX and top-spec EX trims.

Change of heart as Kia adds a new Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter I-4 which replaces the previous 1.8-liter unit. The optional 2.0-liter GDI engine carries over unchanged. For used cars buyers, the 2017 Forte’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are estimated at around $22,100, which is average for the compact class.


Engine and Performance

Fuel Economy




2017 Kia Forte Features


The 2017 Kia Forte is available as a sedan in LX, S and EX trim levels. The two-door Forte Koup has been discontinued for 2017. Kia priced the 2017 Forte at $16,600 for the base LX. The mid-range S starts at $19,300 and adds sports-tuned suspension, 16-inch alloy wheels, a 7.0-inch display screen with the UVO3, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and gearshift knob, and much more. The top-spec EX begins at $21,300 and comes nicely equipped with the upgraded 2.0-liter engine, 17-inch wheels, fog lights, rear LED lights, and more.

All Forte trims are front-wheel drives. Standard features on the LX 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. 

Trim LX S EX
MSRP (FWD) $16,600 $19,300 $21,300
Key Features 15-inch steel wheels Adds/upgrades to LX Adds/upgrades to S
  Remote Keyless Entry and Panic Button UVO eServices Infotainment with 7" touch-screen display 17-inch wheels
  Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column Fully Automatic Projector Beam Halogen Headlamps Rear LED lights
  Auto Off Projector Beam Halogen Headlamps 16-inch alloy wheels Dual-zone climate control with rear vents
  Four-speaker sound system with a CD player Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Push-start ignition with Smart Key
  Bluetooth wireless technology w/voice recognition Sport black cloth seat trim Heated leather-trimmed front seats
  SIRIUS satellite radio Leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob Perimeter approach lighting

We Recommend:

The top-spec Kia Forte EX trim is our recommendation as it gets a more powerful turbo engine and adds all the desired niceties equivalent to modern time. You will get leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, proximity keyless entry with push-button start, a hands-free trunk opener, and fog lights.

2017 Kia Forte Engine and Performance


"Most shoppers in this segment will likely be satisfied with the Forte's overall ride quality, but the Forte's suspension is occasionally a bit firm and unrefined"-Edmunds

2017 Forte Engine and Transmission

The 2017 Kia Forte has a new base engine shared with the Hyundai Elantra, an Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated 147 hp and 132 lb-ft. The engine is fuel-efficient, at least with the automatic transmission but don't expect a quick acceleration. The top-spec EX model gets a 2.0 GDI I-4 that produces 164 hp and 151 lb-ft and is paired exclusively to a six-speed automatic.

The base engine is available with a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. The automatic transmission provides quick shifts and is responsive during highway merging situations. Each engine moves the sedan confidently around the streets and offers decent passing power at higher speed, thanks in part to the Forte’s refined transmissions. 

Models 2017 Kia Forte 2017 Toyota Corolla  2017 Mazda3 2017 Hyundai Elantra
MSRP $17,600 $20,445 $18,895 $18,150
Engine 2.0L I4 DOHC D-CVVT MPI 1.8L I-4 DOHC Dual VVT-i 2.0L SKYACTIV-G DOHC 16-Valve 4-Cylinder 2.0L DOHC 16V 4-Cylinder D-CVVT GDI
Transmission 6-Speed Automatic CVT automatic 6-Speed Automatic 6-Speed Automatic
Horsepower 147 hp @ 6200 RPM 128 hp @ 4400 RPM 155 hp @ 6000 RPM 147 hp @ 6200 RPM
Torque 132 lb-ft. @ 4500 RPM 132 hp @ 6000 RPM 150 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM 132 lb-ft @ 4500 RPM

By comparison, even the 2.0-liter GDI doesn't offer excess power than the standard engines in the rival sedans. If you’re looking for high performance, Opt for the Forte5 SX model, which has a turbocharged engine. The base engine in the Mazda 3 sedan is rated at 155 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque and is priced way lower than the Forte EX sedan. 

2017 Forte Acceleration

The front-wheel-drive 2017 Forte EX does the 0-60 MPH run in 8.4 seconds and does the quarter-mile in 16.5 seconds, which is below average in the class. The Mazda 3 with the base engine does the same run in under eight seconds. 

Models 2017 Kia forte 2017 Toyota Corolla  2017 Mazda3 Sport 2017 Hyundai Elantra
0-60 MPH 8.4 sec 9.5 sec 7.9 sec 9.3 sec
Quarter mile 16.5 sec 17.4 sec 16.2 sec 16.9 sec
Engine 2.0L GDI 1.8L 2.0 2.0L

Though the Forte sedan has a refined transmission, it's the lack of power that restricts the car. Kia's corporate sibling, Hyundai Elantra has identical motor and power ratings and performs similarly with more than nine seconds 0-60 mph time. 

2017 Forte Braking Performance

With almost 2800 curb weight, the 2017 Forte stopped from 60 mph in 127 feet, which is average in the compact class. Kia specced every 2017 Forte model with anti-lock disc brakes and stability control, while the brake rotor size is ahead of the rival sedans, rated at 11-inch front rotors and 10.3-inch rear rotors. The brakes are responsive and adequately firm.

Model 2017 Kia Forte 2017 Toyota Corolla 2017 Mazda3  2017 Hyundai Elantra
Brake Front  11" 10.8" 11.02" 11"
Brake Rear 10.3" 9" 10.43" 8.0"
Curb Weight  2,804 lbs 2,885 lbs 2,967 lbs 2,812 lbs
60-0 MPH 127 ft. 126 ft. 126 ft. 116 ft.

Mazda 3 has a heavier curb weight and more power still stopped from 60 mph in 126 feet, which is a good performance. The 2017 Corolla's braking performance matches the Mazda but the Toyota has much less power. 

2017 Forte Ride And Handling

Though the Kia Forte's overall ride quality is decent, the suspension is unrefined and feels firm over the rough pavements. Where the rivals like Elantra and Corolla offer utmost comfort, the Kia Forte delivers a busy ride on rough roads.

Handling the Forte sedan is much easier and commendable. The body remains stable at highway speeds, but it's not particularly engaging like the Mazda 3 sedan. Kia equips the Forte with well-weighted steering which offers genuine feedback around the turns.

2017 Kia Forte Fuel Economy


The Forte LX with 147 hp 2.0-liter engine gets an EPA fuel economy estimated 32 mpg combined (29 city/38 highway) with the automatic transmission and a disappointing 28 mpg combined (25 city/34 highway) with the manual. The EX sedan gets a 164 hp 2.0-liter with the six-speed automatic and returns an EPA-rated 28 mpg combined (25 city/33 highway), which is unimpressive in comparison to the rivals.

Model 2017 Kia Forte 2017 Toyota Corolla 2017 Mazda3 2017 Hyundai Elantra
MPG (city) 29 28 28 29
MPG (highway) 38 35 37 38
MPG (combined) 32 31 32 33

The Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra, both returns similar ga mileage which is average in the small car class. The 2017 Mazda 3 with more than 150 horsepower returns 1 mpg less than the base Forte sedan. 

2017 Kia Forte Interior


"The 2017 Kia Forte is much more than just an economy car stuffed with gadgets. Boasting a handsome cabin furnished with quality materials, especially in the higher trim levels, the Forte gives other top compacts a run for their money  -Edmunds

2017 Forte Seating and Comfort

The 2017 Forte sedan has five seats with generous head- and legroom in both rows. In front, seats are wrapped in cloth and are comfortable, and nicely contoured for lateral support. The rear bench offers similar comfort and accommodates two adults with room to spare. Moving on to higher trims will fetch you heated, ventilated, and leather seats.

The Forte’s cabin is filled with high-quality materials with soft-touch plastic and padded surfaces. The interior design and styling are up to modern standards and aren't boring. The dashboard in top trim levels matches the quality of much more expensive vehicles.  

Model 2017 Kia Forte 2017 Toyota Corolla 2017 Mazda3 2017 Hyundai Elantra
Passenger capacity 5 5 5 5
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 39.1/56.1/42.2 38.0/54.8/42.3 38.6/57.2/42.2 38.8/56.2/42.2


(Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

37.3/54.9/35.9 37.1/54.8/41.4 37.6/54.4/35.8 37.3/55.3/35.7

Front-seat legroom measures 42.2 inches and rear-seat legroom at 35.9 inches, almost similar to the Hyundai Elantra and Mazda 3. However, the Toyota Corolla offers the most space in thereat with legroom rated at 41.1 inches. The 2017 Forte is more than an economy car and is stuffed with technology and features, giving other top compacts run for the money.

2017 Forte Trunk Volume

The Forte sedan offers a very generous trunk with a cargo capacity of 14.9 cubic feet, which is more than the class average. Its rear seats can fold in a 60/40 split to fit longer items.

Model 2017 Kia Forte 2017 Toyota Corolla 2017 Mazda3 2017 Hyundai Elantra
Cargo Volume 14.9 ft.3 13.0 ft.3 12.4 ft.3 14.4 ft.3

In terms of interior and cargo space, the 2017 Kia Forte is the class leader. Also, for the price, it offers high-tech features inside the cabin. Let's see what you get.

2017 Forte Infotainment and Technology

Not only the 2017 Forte is stuffed with a lot of multimedia features, but all are well-designed and easy to use. Kia offers a 7-inch touchscreen interface with the UVO3 eServices infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the S and EX trims. The UVO infotainment system includes voice-command navigation and HD radio technology.

Standard features include a CD player, MP3 compatibility, SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth, a USB port, and can be had with an available 4.3-inch display. A six-speaker audio system is the upgraded one. Irrespective of the setup you choose, there are conventional physical buttons and knobs to control audio and climate.

2017 Kia Forte Exterior


Many of the Forte’s styling cues are inspired by the handsome Kia Optima. This is to the Forte’s benefit, as it looks much more grown up than some other cars in the class.- Caranddriver

2017 Forte Dimensions and Weight 

The 2017 Kia Forte sedan gets a mild exterior design update, adopting a new front fascia with redesigned headlights. With the last redesign, Forte gained a little width and length but not height. This works in favor of the sedan as the elongated roofline, and low profile offers an athletic look.

Though most compact sedans have adopted the same shape to reduce aerodynamic drag, Forte has it better. For 2017, Kia changed the bumper as well as shifted the “tiger nose” grille a bit lower. Taillights have also been redesigned and have optional LEDs.

Model 2017 Kia forte 2017 Toyota Corolla 2017 Mazda3 2017 Hyundai Elantra
Curb weight 2,811 lbs. 2,885 lbs. 2,967 lbs. 2,812 lbs.
Length 179.5" 183.1" 180.3" 179.9"
Width 70.1" 69.9" 70.7" 70.9"
Height 56.3" 57.3" 57.3" 56.5"
Ground clearance 5.3" 6.7" 6.1" 5.3"
Wheelbase 106.3" 106.3" 106.3" 106.3"

The Kia Forty arouses a sport-sedan feel in the perennial compact car segment. In terms of dimensions, the Forte sedan is 179.5 inches long and translates into a spacious interior and ample cargo.  The curb weight ranges between 2,811 and 3,029 pounds, depending on the trim you choose.

2017 Kia Forte Safety


The 2017 Kia Forte earns a Top Safety Pick+ award from IIHS, the agency's highest designation. The sedan also received the highest rating of Good in all five crash tests and the highest rating of Superior for the front crash prevention. The 2017 Forte received the highest five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA.

The 2017 Forte is available with a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive headlights. The S and EX trim additionally gain access to lane departure warning, lane keeps assist, and forward collision warning with brake assist.

2017 Kia Forte Competition

2017 Kia Forte Vs 2017 Toyota Corolla

The 2017 Toyota Corolla is a top-rated compact sedan but it also has some shortcomings. Starting with sluggish acceleration and uninspired handling, Corolla lacks popular tech features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Kia Forte is nimble and offers better driving dynamics. Also, the quality of the interior is much better in the Forte.

Still, the Corolla is worth considering as it comes with a standard suite of advanced safety features, including forward collision warning and lane departure warning. Also, it performs better in crash tests and predicted reliability.

2017 Kia Forte Vs 2017 Hyundai Elantra

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra is a corporate sibling of the Kia Forte and both these compact cars have more similarities than differences. Both Elantra and Forte sedans share engines, safety features, and user-friendly infotainment systems with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Both perform similarly good in safety and predicted reliability ratings.

Though the Elantra is a more tempting option as it starts at a lower MSRP and Hyundai fully redesigned it for 2017, boasting a smoother ride and sharper styling inside and out.

2017 Kia Forte Final Verdict

The 2017 Kia Forte is a fine choice if you are looking for a compact car. It is available in both sedan and hatchback body styles, and it offers high-quality materials in the cabin, roomy seating space, easy-to-use tech, and nimble performance. The Forte also rates well for predicted reliability and crash safety, making it a good and practical option in this class. Having said that, the Kia doesn't have a standout area. You should also consider other popular choices in the segment such as Honda Civic, Mazda 3, or Hyundai Elantra.

2021 Kia Forte FAQs

Is the Kia Forte expensive to repair and maintain?

Kia just like the Hyundai has a reputation for excellent reliability with an average of 0.2 visits to the workshop a year for unscheduled repairs and with average annual repair costs being as low as $474, they are not very expensive to repair and maintain.

How well do Kia Fortes hold value?

It is calculated that the Kia Forte depreciates 49% after 5 years which is about the industry average.

What is the price of the 2017 Kia Forte?

The 2017 Forte sedan prices range from $16,600 - $21,300. You can have a Used Kia Forte in three trim levels: LX, S, and EX.

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