2018 Kia Forte


Ranked #10 in Compact Sedan

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Starting MSRP 

$16,800 - $21,700

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Key Spec of 2018 Kia Forte
fuel economy


fuel type

Regular Unleaded


147 hp @ 6200 rpm

basic warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

ProsConsWhat's New

Technology updates like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Poor Fuel Economy

Apple Car Play and Android Auto

Highly rated safety features

Lack of Ride Firmness

16-inch alloy wheel design

Advanced safety features

2018 Kia Forte Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: December 28, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

The 2018 Kia Forte sees several significant changes over the 2017 model year. The changes include enhancements in looks specifications and features. It comes with a lineup that consists of three hatchbacks and three sedans, this review covers the 3 sedans in detail and the hatchbacks are discussed separately. The Forte sedan versions are offered with a single powertrain, a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine priced at an MSRP range of $16,800-$21,700.

2018 Kia Forte

With phenomenal power output and acceleration performance to its name, it also delivers an average brake performance. It lacks in terms of fuel economy, where its rivals offer much better EPA readings. It further faces stiff competition in terms of the interior space, for passengers and cargo, and also in terms of the features offered therein. It manages to stand out in terms of safety with a perfect score/grade and outperforms the competition in the same. It faces rivalry from the 2018 Mazda 3, Hyundai Elantra, and the Toyota Corolla.

2018 Kia Forte Latest Updates

  • Nov' 18, 2022 : Cheapest Kia Cars You Can Buy In 2023 Read More »
  • Nov' 9, 2022 : Here's A List Of The Cheapest Sedans To Buy In 2023 Read More »
  • Sep' 22, 2022 : Fastest Cars You Can Buy Under $20,000 In 2023 Read More »

Trim wise pricing breakdown

NameInvoice PriceMSRPNumber of Listings
EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)$20529$2170028 Listings
LX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)$16415$179001199 Listings
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Over All Rating


Out of 10

Notable Rankings

#10 in Compact Sedan

#22 in Sedan

Pictures & Videos


LX$16,800 onwards

  • 15-inch steel Wheels
  • 60/40-Split folding rear seat
  • Air conditioning
  • Auxiliary audio jack
  • Four-Speaker sound system
  • Heated mirrors
  • Height-Adjustable driver seat
  • Tilt-And-Telescoping steering wheel

S$19,400 onwards

  • 16-Inch alloy wheels
  • 7-Inch touchscreen display
  • Adjustable drive modes
  • Black cloth upholstery
  • Chrome exhaust outlet
  • Led running lights
  • Sport-Tuned suspension

EX$21,700 onwards

  • 17-Inch alloy wheels
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Dual-Zone automatic temperature control
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Led turn signal indicators
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

Colors and Styles

Build Car
Aurora Black Pearl

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

The 2018 Kia Forte gets three trims and two powertrains to choose from. The standard one is a 2.0L inline 4-cylinder engine, the other offering is a 1.6L 4-cylinder turbo engine, offered only in the SX trim (hatchback). The price range of the same goes from $16,800 to $21,700. The three trims offered are EX, priced at $16,800, S priced at $19,400, and the EX priced at $21,700. With a phenomenal acceleration performance and an average brake performance to its name, the 2018 Forte lacks in the aspect of fuel efficiency.

2018 Kia Forte

it gets a spacious and comforting interior, packed with several infotainment features.  With 14.9 cubic feet of cargo room, the Kia Forte offers the best in the class storage area, in terms of passenger room it gets only 95 cubic feet, slightly lesser than the competition's offering. It gets a sporty exterior with a couple of features. It also comes with a perfect safety score as awarded by the NHTSA and the IIHS, this adds to the value of the offering. 


"The Forte has an upscale and roomy cabin, good safety scores, and easy-to-use features." - Cars.USnews

The 2018 Kia Forte gets three trims in its lineup, LX, S, and EX. The price range of the lineup goes from $16,800- $23,900, the difference between the trims has got nothing to do with the powertrain and drivetrain configurations, it has all the changes only with regard to interior features offered. The features offered get better as you go up the trim ladder.

Apart from these three trims on offer, there is yet another trim, the SX, however, this is a hatchback and it gets a different powertrain. The basic offering being a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine. The SX sees a 1.6L 4-cylinder turbo engine. The other hatchback trims are the EX and LX.

Trims LX S EX
MSRP $16,800 $19,400 $21,700
Features Bluetooth Wireless Technology LED Positioning Lights LED Rear Combination Lamps
  SiriusXM UVO w/ 7″ Color Touch-Screen Display Leather Seat Trim w/ Heated Front Seats 
  Projector Beam Headlights Android Auto and Apple Car Play Smart Key w/ Push-Button Start and Immobilizer
    Sport-tuned Suspension  

We recommend

At a price point that is just within the $20,000 mark, we would recommend you to go in for the S trim. Including all the features that are available in the basic LX trim, you would also get a 7-inch color touchscreen display and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay on the inside and sport-tuned suspension on the outside.

Engine and Performance

“The 2018 Kia Forte is available with three four-cylinder engines, but none of them are as energetic as some class rivals’ offerings. Handling tells a similar story, as the Forte is composed but not as athletic as competitors. Fuel economy is average for the class, and ride quality is generally fine.”- Cars.USnews

Engine and Transmission of the 2018 Kia Forte

The sedan versions of the 2018 Kia Forte get only one powertrain option, a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine. This engine is capable of generating only 147hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. This power is transmitted via a 6-speed automatic transmission to the FWD in place. The engine is Naturally aspirated and feels equally smooth. At a base price of $16,800, these engine specifications make a wonderful deal.

Model 2018 Kia Forte 2018 Toyota Corolla 2018 Mazda 3 Sport 2018 Hyundai Elantra
MSRP $16,800 $18,600 $18,095 $18,850
Engine 2.0 L 4-Cylinder Naturally Aspirated 1.8 L 4-Cylinder Naturally Aspirated 2.0 L 4 Cylinder Naturally Aspirated 2.0 L 4 Cylinder Naturally Aspirated
Transmission 6-Speed Automatic Transmission CVT 6-Speed Automatic Transmission 6-Speed Automatic Transmission
Power (hp@RPM) 147 hp @ 6200 RPM 132 hp @ 6000 RPM 155 hp @ 6000 RPM 147 hp @ 6400 RPM
Torque (lb-ft@RPM) 132 lb-ft. @ 4500 RPM 128 lb-ft @ 4400 RPM 150 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM 132 lb-ft @  4500 RPM
Drivetrain Front-Wheel Drive Front-Wheel Drive Front-Wheel Drive Front-Wheel Drive

In comparison with competition, the 2018 Mazda 3 sport gets the most powerful engine despite having similar displacements as the Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra, it generates 155hp to top the charts. Hyundai and Kia being sister brands share the exact specifications. The 2018 Toyota Corolla gets a smaller engine, a 1.8 L 4-cylinder engine that generates only 132 hp and 128lb-ft of torque.

Acceleration of the 2018 Kia Forte

The 2018 Kia Forte also sees the podium with its acceleration performance, being the best in class as it goes from 0-60 mph in just 6.6 seconds. Its 147 hp proves to be fast enough on the tarmac. It further records a quarter-mile timing of 15.2 seconds, yet again the fastest sedan in consideration.

Model 2018 Kia Forte 2018 Toyota Corolla 2018 Mazda 3 Sport 2018 Hyundai Elantra
0-60 MPH (seconds) 6.6 sec 9.5 sec 7.9 sec 7.8 sec
Quarter mile (seconds) 15.2 sec 17.4 sec 16.2 sec 16.2 sec
Engine 2.0 L 4-Cylinder Naturally Aspirated 1.8 L 4 Cylinder Naturally Aspirated 2.0 L 4 Cylinder Naturally Aspirated 2.0 L 4 Cylinder Naturally Aspirated

When compared with its competition, the closest rival to the Kia Forte is its sister brand, Hyundai Elantra, measuring 0-60 mph in 7.8 seconds and a quarter-mile in 16.2 seconds. The other rivals take a bit longer. The Mazda does it in 7.9 seconds while the Toyota Corolla takes as much as 9.5 seconds to go from 0-60 mph. The quarter-mile timing for the same order.

Handling and Steering of the 2018 Kia Forte

Equipped with a front-wheel drive, the acceleration and a pull of the car are clearly experienced inside the cabin, but the drive experience feels safe and comfortable. Further, fitted with a set of sport-tuned suspensions, all the jerks and jolts are taken care of. The thrust and acceleration are further enhanced with the several driving options available, one can choose from Standard, Sport, and Comfort mode. Despite being a sedan of significant length the Kia Forte gets in and out of corners quite easily.

Braking of the 2018 Kia Forte

Equipped with 11.0-inch rotors for the front wheels and 10.3-inch rotors for the rear wheels, the 2018 Kia Forte gets a 4-wheel disc brake setup. Further, equipped with an Anti-lock braking system along with active sensors, helps bring the 3880-pound car to a standstill in just 176 feet.

Model 2018 Kia Forte 2018 Toyota Corolla 2018 Mazda 3 Sport 2018 Hyundai Elantra
Brake Front(in) 11 10.8 11.02 11
Brake Rear(in) 10.3 9 10.43 10.3
Curb weight(lbs) 3880 lbs. 2885 lbs. 2967 2900 (~)
70-0 MPH (ft.) 176 ft 183 feet 173 ft 168 feet

In comparison, Kia ranks third for its brake performance, losing to the 2018 Mazda3 sport, which ranks second as it weighs significantly lesser and has larger rotors. Ranking in the first position is the 2018 Hyundai Elantra, which gets exactly the same size of rotors as we find on the Kia. It performs better probably due to its curb weight that is lesser. The Toyota Corolla ranks in the last position with a stopping distance of 183 feet.

Fuel Economy

"The Forte5 hatchback uses the 164-hp 2.0-liter I-4 paired to the six-speed automatic in the base LX and EX trims and comes rated at 25/34 mpg." - Motor Trend

The 2018 Kia Forte manages to return only an average figure in terms of its fuel economy. Probably due to its unprecedented acceleration performance, this aspect gets compensated. It manages to return only 25 miles to a gallon for city drives, 28 miles to a gallon as its combined reading, and highway mileage of 34. Even its sister brand performs better despite having a similar engine configuration.

Model 2018 Kia Forte 2018 Toyota Corolla 2018 Mazda 3 Sport 2018 Hyundai Elantra
MPG (city) 25 28 28 28
MPG (highway) 34 36 38 37
MPG (combined) 28 32 31 32

The other rivals in consideration offer similar mileages across the three aspects we look into. Ranking slightly higher we have the Hyundai Elantra with the best mileage to deliver, it is closely followed by the 2018 Mazda 3 sport and subsequently followed by the 2018 Toyota Corolla. When you go to look into the numbers you wouldn't even rank them after each other as the difference between them isn't really significant.


“The 2018 Kia Forte has a quiet interior, even at highway speeds. The cabin looks good, and it features more high-quality materials than you’ll find in some rivals. Both rows of seats are comfortable and fairly roomy, and cargo capacity is good for the class in both sedan and hatchback body styles.”- Cars.USnews

Seating and Comfort of the 2018 Kia Forte

The 2018 Kia Forte gets a better interior offering, one with more comfort and that features high-quality materials. In terms of passenger space availability, the Kia Forte seems to be ahead of its competition only by a short margin. Since all the cars in consideration accommodate 5 individuals, we will have to look into the dimensions and consider even the small margins with which the Kia forte seems to be leading.

Model 2018 Kia Forte 2018 Toyota Corolla 2018 Mazda 3 Sport 2018 Hyundai Elantra
Passenger capacity 5 5 5 5
Passenger Volume(ft cube) w/ sunroof 95 97.1 96.3 95.8
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
Second (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

In comparison, the Kia Forte gets the most comfortable seats, ones which include a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, and all the seats come clad in leather. One could also choose to get the seats wrapped in cloth instead of leather. Furthermore, one could also opt for a ventilated driver seat however this would come at an additional charge.

Interior Features of the 2018 Kia Forte

  • Heated Front Seats
  • 10-way power-adjustable driver seat
  • UVO Infotainment System
  • Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control
  • Sunroof
  • Apple Car Play and Android Auto
  • Lane Change Assist

Infotainment System of the 2018 Kia Forte

Featuring a 7-inch high-resolution color-touchscreen display and a user-friendly infotainment interface, the 2018 Kia Forte gets a good package of infotainment features.

  • Bluetooth
  • Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
  • Four-speaker stereo,
  • Satellite radio
  • USB port

Cargo and Capacity of the 2018 Kia Forte

After offering a generous passenger room, the 2018 Kia Forte also offers a fine cargo room. The cargo room measures 14.9 cubic feet, an extremely large offering for an average sized sedan. Even when compared with its closest competitor, the Hyundai Elantra, the offering of the Kia is superior.

Model 2018 Kia Forte 2018 Toyota Corolla 2018 Mazda 3 Sport 2018 Hyundai Elantra
Cargo Space (ft cube) 14.9 13.0 12.4 14.4

The 2018 Hyundai Elantra offers a room of 14.4 cubic feet and ranks second behind the 2018 Kia Forte. The 2018 Toyota Corolla makes use of its extended body length to offer a better cargo room than its peers, measuring 13.0 cubic feet. The Mazda 3 Sport offers the least, with a cargo room that measures 12.4 cubic feet.


“The 2018 Forte and Forte5 are also lookers, with tight bodywork, LED accent lights and athletic proportions. Kia also gets the stance right, and the Forte looks right on the road. Although the two body styles share a nose, the Forte5 hatchback is the better-looking of the two with its short rear overhang and rear spoiler.”- Kelley Blue Book

Dimension and Weight of the 2018 Kia Forte

The 2018 Kia Forte comes with a magnificent and elegant exterior body design. it also features a set of 17-inch wheels and LED Daytime running lights. As mentioned before, the Forte has a decent length but yet cuts corners pretty easily, this is majorly due to the amazing steering ratio offered.

Model 2018 Kia Forte 2018 Toyota Corolla 2018 Mazda 3 Sport 2018 Hyundai Elantra
Curb weight(lbs) 3917 2885 2967 2900
Length(in) 179.5 183.1 180.3 179.9
Width(in) 70.1 69.9 70.7 70.9
Height(in) 56.3 57.3 57.3 56.5
Ground clearance(in) 5.3 6.7 6.1 5.3
Wheelbase(in) 106.3 106.3 106.3 106.3
Track width(in) F/R 61.3/61.7 59.8/59.9 61.2/61.4 61.2/61.6

The Forte stands out as the heaviest vehicle, followed by the three other rivals which weigh close to each other. The 2018 Corolla is the longest car in consideration and we see the Mazda following in the second position. The Hyundai Elantra and the Kia Forte rank in the third position with the same measure. The Hyundai is the widest, while the Toyota and Mazda measure the tallest in class. All the vehicles measure the exact same wheelbase despite coming in various lengths.

Exterior Features of the 2018 Kia Forte

  • Daytime Running LED headlights and taillights.
  • HID headlights
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Power folding side-view mirrors
  • Hands-free trunk opener

"The 2018 Forte received a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA " - Motor Trend

Safety rating of the 2018 Kia Forte

 The 2018 Kia Forte bags a fine overall safety rating of five stars from NHTSA. It also scores five out of five stars in the aspect of a side crash. However, it gets only a four-star rating in the aspects of Frontal-crash and Rollover crash tests.

2018 Kia Forte Safety Crash Test, IIHS

As per the IIHS, the 2018 Kia Forte gets an overall grading of "Good", it further features the same grade in almost all aspects. However, in the aspect of Small overlap front: passenger-side, it gets an "Acceptable" safety grade, it also gets the same "Acceptable" grade in the aspect of LATCH ease of use. 

Safety Features of the 2018 Kia Forte

The 2018 Kia Forte comes with abundant safety features in areas of driving, collision avoidance and prevention, and mechanisms to reduce the impact of a collision.

  • Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) w/ 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
  • Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)
  • Side-Impact Door Beams
  • Front and Rear Crumple Zones
  • Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH)
  • Rear Child-Safety Door Locks
  • Impact-Absorbing Steering Column
  • Internal Emergency Trunk Release

The compact sedan is equipped with an Autonomous Braking System (ABS) that is exclusively designed to avoid an accident. This system will automatically apply the brakes and slow down the vehicle whenever it detects an upcoming collision risk.


2018 Kia Forte vs 2018 Toyota Corolla

The 2018 Toyota Corolla is priced at $18,600, $2200 more than what the Kia Forte charges. It gets an engine that is smaller than the Kia's and obviously generates less power and torque. This further translates to a slower acceleration performance and a sluggish brake performance too. However, it does deliver better than the 2018 Forte in terms of fuel economy. It offers a more spacious passenger room but fails to do so in terms of the cargo offering. Overall, Kia makes a better purchase option than Corolla.

2018 Toyota Corrola

2018 Kia Forte vs 2018 Mazda 3 Sport

The 2018 Mazda 3 comes priced at $18,095, it features identical engine specifications as the Kia Forte. It manages to offer better power and torque figures, but it is the 2018 Forte that delivers in terms of acceleration. With a close margin in terms of their brake performance, it is the Mazda that takes the lead. Despite its higher power production, Mazda delivers a better fuel economy. In terms of the interior and cabin space, both the vehicles offer similar passenger rooms, but the Kia goes ahead to offer a better cargo space. With better exteriors and an impeccable safety offering, Kia makes a better choice.

2018 Mazda 3 Sport

2018 Kia Forte vs 2018 Hyundai Elantra

Up against the 2018 Hyundai Elantra, which offers identical specifications across almost all aspects, we would recommend you for the Kia Forte. It gets premium interiors compared to the Elantra and also has better performance figures to its name despite getting the exact same engine. However, in terms of fuel economy, it is the Hyundai Elantra that outperforms its sister brand, the Kia Forte.

2018 Hyundai Elantra
Final Verdict

The 2018 Kia Forte is offered in 3 trims and is priced between $16,800-$23,900. With two powertrains on offer, it gets a 2.0L 4-cylinder naturally aspirated engine that generates 147 HP and 132 lb-ft of torque as standard. Paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission that helps the vehicle get into high speeds, it claims the best in class acceleration timing. With a fine interior on offer and an average fuel economy, we would recommend this vehicle.

2018 Kia Forte



vehicle bio
base price


body style

4dr Sedan

engine type

122 cu in

horse power

147 hp @ 6200 rpm


132 lb.-ft. @ 4500 rpm


6-Speed Automatic


180 in


106 in


70 in

curb weight

2908 lbs


56 in

Ground Clearance

5 lbs

passenger volume

96.2 cu ft

cargo volume

14.9 cu ft

passenger capacity

5 Seats

fuel economy

25/28/33 mpg

highway range

435.60 mi

basic warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

Kia Forte 5 year Cost To Own

Cash Price(MSRP)
5 Year Cost To Own
Total 5 year Cost To Own -  $33,848
Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5total
Financing Interest$809$651$481$302$109$2,352
Taxes and Fees$1,294$147$138$130$120$1,829
Total Cost-To-Own$7,634$6,196$5,890$6,562$7,566$33,848
Read more about Cost-To-Own »

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