2020 Kia Forte

MSRP $17,790

Ranked #14 in Sedan

7.2

Overall Rating

2020 Kia Forte Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: September 13, 2021

Amratya Nigam's image
Amratya Nigam 

Automotive Journalist


The 2020 Kia Forte is available for sale at a starting price of $17,890. The S trim has been discontinued and in its place, the GT-Line trim has been added. The trim line now consists of FE, LXS, GT-Line, and EX. It comes with a 2.0L four-cylinder that makes 147 hp and 132 lb-ft. of torque. Available in just FWD configuration, the Forte has a stellar fuel economy and offers decent acceleration. 

2020 Kia Forte three-quarter view

The cabin of the Forte is attractive and features good quality materials. It is quite spacious and hosts an easy-to-use infotainment system. The Forte also offers ample safety features as standard and has also received top safety ratings. The Forte receives challenges from well-equipped rivals such as the Honda Civic, the Toyota Corolla, and the Hyundai Elantra

See detailed review »

Pros

Plenty of standard features

Impressive fuel economy

Generous warranty coverage

Comfortable ride quality

Spacious interior

Cons

Stiff suspension setup

Noise intrusions into the cabin

Sluggish four-cylinder motor

What's New?

New GT-Line trim

S trim discontinued


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$17790

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

122 cu.in.

horsepower

147 hp @ 6200 rpm

torque

132 ft-lb. @ 4500 rpm

transmission

6 speed manual

chassis

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension

suspension rear

Semi-independent rear torsion beam suspension

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.

towing capacity

9800 lbs.

payload capacity

931 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

8.2 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

16.3 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

27/31/37 mpg

warranty

basic warranty

5 yr./ 60,000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

10 yr./ 100,000 mi.

powertrain warranty

10 yr./ 100,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./100,000 mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

FE$17,790 onwards

Colors and Styles

2020 Kia Forte in Aurora Black color
Aurora 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

7.0

Features

8.2

Engine and Performance

5.7

Fuel Economy

7.0

Interior

8.2

Exterior

7.0

Safety

8.0

Competition

6.0

7.2

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.2

Overall Rating


Redesigned just last year, the Kia Forte is one of the most compelling small sedans around- Edmunds

The Kia Forte remains unchanged from yesteryear and frankly, it was already ahead of time back then. Even today, many of its rivals still struggle to match the feature list of Kia. Peek under the hood, and you'll be acquainted with a four-cylinder motor that is smooth but lacks the excitement. As compensation though, it gets you stellar fuel economy along with an intuitive infotainment system. A slew of active safety features is also offered. 

However, when it comes to ownership, the Forte's value is higher than its rivals. The true cost to own it is roughly $5,700 per year for its maintenance, repair, fuel, depreciation, etc. Thanks to its stellar fuel economy, the average cost per mile is $0.38, which is really great. The Forte leads the class by earning top reliability ratings. It scored 84 out of 100 in the J.D Power reliability test and ranks on the top of the list.

2020 Kia Forte Front Three-quarter View
2020 Kia Forte Rear Three-quarter View

8.2/10
Features

5.7/10
Engine and Performance

7.0/10
Fuel Economy

8.2/10
Interior

7.0/10
Exterior

8.0/10
Safety

6.0/10
Competition


2020 Kia Forte Buying Advice

The GT-Line trim is our choice as it adds more features for a lesser price tag and dresses up the interior to look sporty. This model adds a leather flat-bottom steering wheel, sport cloth seats with leatherette side bolstering and contrast stitching, LED DRLs, LED taillights, fog lights, power and heated side mirrors, a push-button start, and two additional speakers. Safety features such as blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert and lane change assist. 

2020 Kia Forte three-quarter view

2020 Kia Forte Features

8.2/10

The 2020 Kia Forte is well-equipped as standard and near luxurious in top-tier forms, all for under $24,000- The Car Connection

This year, Kia has added a new trim to the lineup called GT-Line and renamed LS to LSX. The other trims include FE and EX. The Forte can be purchased as low as $17,890, without adding a destination fee tag of $995. For such a low price tag, Kia offers many standard technologies and safety features, keeping itself competitive in the segment.  Along with that, Kia also offers several optional packages and accessories for the Forte.

2020 Kia Forte side angle view

Among the trim levels, the LSX trim is one such trim that is oddly priced. It does not add any comfort or technological equipment but has a price tag of $19,290. The $1,500 GT-Line Premium package adds an 8-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, power sunroof, satellite radio, voice recognition, UVO eServices, two USB ports, dual illuminating vanity mirrors, and wireless charger. Remote start is available in the LSX trim for $495. 

Trims

FE

LXS

GT-Line

EX

MSRP (FWD)

$17,890

$19,290

$20,490

$22,990

Key Features

8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Adds/ Upgrades to FE trim Adds/ Upgrades to LX trim Adds/ Upgrades to S trim

 

4-speaker stereo

16-inch alloy wheels

LED DRLs & taillights

10-way power driver's seat q/ power lumbar support

 

Rearview camera

60/40 split-folding rear seat

Leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel

Heated & ventilated front sport seats

 

Bluetooth connectivity

Gloss Black Bumper

Power adjustable & heated exterior mirrors Dual-zone automatic climate control
  Lane keep assist Drive Mode Select (DMS) Push-button start Satellite radio
  Forward collision avoidance   6-speaker stereo UVO eServices
  Driver attention monitoring   Sport cloth seats with leatherette side bolstering Two additional USB ports
  15-inch alloy wheels   Fog lamps  
  Automatic climate control      

Also Read:

2020 Kia Forte Engine and Performance

5.7/10

We’re already impressed with the sedan’s suspension tuning. It’s firm, but comfortable. Its high-speed stability is extraordinary- Autoweek

Every Kia Forte comes with a 2.0L four-cylinder engine that produces 147 hp and 132 lb-ft. of torque. The base variant comes with a six-speed manual transmission while a CVT is optional. Higher spec models come with a standard CVT. The shifts of the CVT are seamless and power is evenly distributed over the whole rev range. It does a good job of mimicking a traditional 6-speed automatic.

2020 Kia Forte engine

The ride quality provided by the MacPherson struts and a torsion beam in the rear is firm but comfortable. In return for that stiffness, it handles pretty well. One thing counting against it is the rear torsion beam suspension. It tends to be a little nervous over mid-corner bumps. That is the case with the Forte but not at objectionable levels. The car feels stable on the highway, yet willing to change directions when the road starts to curve.

2020 Kia Forte takes 8.7 sec to reach 60 MPH

Acceleration in the Forte is linear and it takes 8.7 seconds to accelerate from 0-60 MPH. It further sprints to cover the quarter-mile flag in 16.6 seconds and tops at 115 MPH. For a compact sedan, these figures are pretty decent. The Forte’s brakes are firm with short pedal travel. They are easy to modulate in stop-and-go traffic and also on tight curves. The 125 feet stopping distance from 60-0 MPH is above average. 

Models

2020 Kia Forte

2020 Toyota Corolla

2020 Honda Civic

2020 Hyundai Elantra

MSRP

$17,890

$18,700

$20,250

$19,300

Engine

2.0L Inline-4

1.8L Inline-4

2.0L Inline-4

2.0L Inline-4

Drivetrain FWD FWD FWD FWD

Transmission

6-Speed Manual

CVT

6-Speed Manual CVT

Power

147 hp @ 6,200 RPM

139 hp @ 6,100 RPM

158 hp @ 6,500 RPM

147 hp @ 6,200 RPM

Torque

132 lb-ft. @ 4,500 RPM 126 lb-ft. @ 3,900 RPM

138 lb-ft. @ 4,200 RPM

132 lb-ft. @ 4,500 RPM
0-60 MPH 8.7 sec 9.9 sec 8.2 sec 9.5 sec
Quarter Mile 16.6 sec 17.2 sec 16.3 sec 17.3 sec 
Top Speed 115 MPH 115 MPH 120 MPH 115 MPH

With more power than the Forte, the Honda Civic has the best performance stats in this competition. Also, it is the only vehicle here to offer a standard manual transmission like the Forte. Although equally powered as the Forte, the Hyundai Elantra uses a standard CVT, and hence, its acceleration becomes sluggish. Its kind of the same story as the Toyota Corolla and has the worst acceleration numbers here. 


Also Read:

2020 Kia Forte Fuel Economy

7.0/10

With the various engine and transmission options, the Forte is a mixed bag for fuel economy- Carbuzz

The Kia Forte’s engine employs the Atkinson cycle, which results in better fuel economy. A base Forte, fitted with the 6-speed manual transmission, delivers an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 27 MPG in the city, 37 MPG on a highway, and 31 MPG combined. The other trims employ a CVT transmission for better fuel economy. 

2020 Kia Forte side driving view

 The fuel ratings include 29 MPG in the city, 40 MPG on a highway, and 33 MPG combined. All the trims come equipped with a 14-gallon fuel tank. At its full capacity, the Forte can deliver 448 miles in mixed proportions with a manual transmission while models with CVT transmission raise the bar to 483 miles, which is great for a compact sedan. 

Models

2020 Kia Forte

2020 Toyota Corolla

2020 Honda Civic

2020 Hyundai Elantra

MPG (City)

27

30

28

31

MPG (Highway)

37

38

36

41

MPG (Combined)

31

33

29

35

Fuel Tank Capacity (Gallon)

14.0

13.2

12.4

14.0

Range (City/Highway/Combined; Miles) 378/518/448 396/502/449 310/446/378 434/574/504

The Hyundai Elantra has the best fuel estimates thanks to the CVT transmission that it comes standard with. The Toyota Corolla also boasts great efficiency and delivers 2 MPG combined more than the Forte. The Honda Civic doesn't stay put as it also has good efficiency but its small tank results in less driving range than other class rivals. 


Also Read:

2020 Kia Forte Interior

8.2/10

You won't think you're in a luxury car, but the Forte's cabin is still nice- Autotrader

The Kia Forte will remind you of the Optima from inside, or, in other words, it's good-looking and well equipped. The minimalistic design, with a wide horizontal theme and beautifully contoured dash, can be compared with an entry-level Audi. Soft-touch materials adorn the front door panels and armrests while leather-textured black plastic decorates the dashboard. The front seats, which provide ample comfort throughout the day, are well suited for taller drivers.

2020 Kia Forte dashboard

The driver's seat is 10-way power-adjustable on the EX trim and up . This trim also adds heated and ventilated front seats. Likewise, the rear seats are pretty comfortable too. The rear row is decent in terms of legroom and headroom. The middle armrest is around an inch higher and longer than the previous variant, which improves it much for, well, lavishly resting your arm. The Forte’s outward visibility is excellent due to the well-designed A & C pillars.

2020 Kia Forte infotainment system

The 8-inch touchscreen sits high on the dash, within easy view of the driver. Even on the base trim, both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are offered, which is really great. The interface is intuitive and processes command quickly. There are clearly labeled physical buttons and knobs to adjust audio and cabin climate settings. The standard sound system includes a four-speaker stereo on lower trims. Some trims add two more speakers but an 8-speaker Harman Kardon audio system is available. 

Models

2020 Kia Forte

2020 Toyota Corolla

2020 Honda Civic

2020 Hyundai Elantra

Passenger Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

38.8/56.1/42.2

38.3/54.0/42.0

39.3/57.0/42.3

40.3/56.2/42.2

Second Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

37.5/55.3/35.7

37.1/51.7/34.8

37.1/55.0/37.4

37.3/55.3/35.7

Cargo Space (cu-ft.)

15.3

13.1

15.1

14.4

The Forte has one of the largest trunks in its class. Once you pop up the trunk, you will see 15.3 cubes of cargo space. The rear seats can be folded down to make more space for storing your articles but not in the base variant. Also optional is a hands-free power trunk, which pops open when you stand behind the car with the smart key on your person. The trunk has a wide opening and the flat loading lip ensures easy loading of items. Some main cabin features of the Forte are:

  • Tilt & telescopic multi-function leather steering wheel 
  • 10-way power driver's seat
  • Heated & ventilated front seats
  • Cloth seats with contrast stitching
  • Hands-free trunk
  • Push-button start
  • 12V power outlet
  • Dual illuminating vanity mirrors
  • 8-inch touchscreen display with Apple Carplay and Android Auto
  • 8-speaker Harman Kardon audio system
  • Wireless charging
  • Satellite radio

Also Read:

2020 Kia Forte Exterior

7.0/10

There’s a hint of Stinger about the Forte, which is a good thing- Kelly Blue Book

The Kia Forte has one of the most favorite designs in the compact sedan segment. It is a very mature and handsome-looking vehicle. It received a complete refresh last year and continues with the same changes. the Kia Forte gets a more appealing exterior, with edgier lines and the prominent tiger grille upfront. Taller and wider than the previous generation, the Forte has a more imposing presence than ever before. Although it's far from the Stinger's twin, the Forte adopts some of the most prominent features from the sporty hatch, such as the long hood, fastback profile, and sweptback headlights.

2020 Kia Forte three-quarter view

Speaking of headlights, they have a butterfly-like design that is halogen throughout the range. You get LED DRLs and fog lamps from the GT-Line trim onwards. The wheel arches house 15, 16, and 17-inch alloy wheels depending on the trim level. The Forte flaunts slightly high ground clearance for a sedan, which is good enough to escape those high bumps on the road. Its wheelbase is on par with its rivals, which indicates a spacious interior. At the back, the taillights feature a full-length LED strip, which keeps the design relevant for 2020. Overall, the Forte has a pleasant face and looks modernish. 

Models

2020 Kia Forte

2020 Toyota Corolla

2020 Honda Civic

2020 Hyundai Elantra

Curb Weight (lbs)

 2,707

2,910

2,762

2,844

Length (in)

182.7

182.3

182.7

181.9

Width (in)

70.9

70.1

70.9

70.9

Height (in)

56.5

56.5

55.7

56.5

Ground Clearance (in)

5.6

5.1

5.6

5.3

Wheelbase (in)

106.3

106.3

106.3

106.3

The Toyota Corolla sits 0.5 inches lower than the Forte. This helps to get in and out of the vehicle easily. The Hyundai Elantra weighs slightly more than the Forte and hence, its on-road performance isn't that great. The Honda Civi along with the other rivals on the table share the same wheelbase with the Forte. However, the Civic's rear row boasts more legroom than the others. Some main exterior features of the Forte are:

  • Halogen headlamps
  • LED DRLs
  • LED taillights
  • Fog lamps
  • Puddle lamps
  • Black grille with chrome surround
  • Chrome window trim
  • 15, 16 & 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Chrome exhaust tips

Also Read:

2020 Kia Forte Safety

8.0/10

Kia offers a handful of standard and optional driver-assistance features- CarAndDriver

The Kia Forte was well-received by both the safety agencies. NHTSA gave four out of five stars for its performance in all the crash tests. Meanwhile, IIHS awarded the vehicle with the second-highest Top Safety Pick designation for its extraordinary results. Therefore, there's no running away from the fact that the Forte is a safe vehicle. 

2020 Kia Forte IIHS crash test

In view of safety features, Kia adds a few of them under the standard list. To get access to all the safety features, you need to either buy the top trim level or upgrade to an optional package. Moreover, a total of eight airbags are installed in the cabin of the Forte. All these features can avoid getting into an accident. Some of the safety features are:

  • Rearview camera
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Driver attention & drowsiness monitor
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Auto high-beams
  • Reverse parking sensors
  • Pedestrian detection

2020 Kia Forte Competition

6.0/10

2020 Kia Forte vs 2020 Honda Civic

The Forte is a better value product because of the lower price tag but the Honda Civic offers a spacious cabin. The Civic also has athletic handling along with a comfortable ride. Choosing between these two may just come down to whether you want more amenities at a cheaper price with the Forte or better overall performance with the Civic. The Forte has an upper hand thanks to heaps of standard infotainment amenities.

2020 Honda Civic

2020 Kia Forte vs 2020 Hyundai Elantra

The Hyundai Elantra has one of the lower base prices in the segment, but it lacks enough standard safety features. The Elantra offers three engine options while the Forte sticks to two. The Elantra's trunk volume is less, which makes the Forte a better option. The Elantra offers a better fuel economy even in the base trim as it uses a CVT transmission. The Elantra is a good car but it does not stack up well against the Forte.

2020 Hyundai Elantra

2020 Kia Forte vs 2020 Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla is an excellent daily driver but is a bit dreary to drive. You will get less of everything, such as cargo space, rear-seat room, and infotainment features except fuel economy. The Forte is still a better alternative in this aspect. Where the Corolla beats the Forte is in terms of safety and reliability. The Corolla packs more standard safety features but in terms of overall performance, the Kia Forte is a sure winner.

2020 Toyota Corolla

2020 Kia Forte Final Verdict

The 2020 Kia Forte may not be athletic but it does a lot of things well. It falls on the shopping list of nearly every compact car buyer as it is spacious, comfortable, and well-equipped at an economical price tag. With upmarket material and a long list of standard features, this Kia proves to be a compelling choice. The ride quality may not be aspiring like the Mazda 3 or Honda Civic but its turbocharged engine is a blaring deal. By all means, the Forte is a much better alternative to many subcompacts like the Corolla.

2020 Kia Forte front angle view

2020 Kia Forte FAQs

What kind of problems does the Kia Forte have?

According to the complaints registered on NHTSA, the Kia Forte suffers from engine knocking sounds, rough engine operation, overheating exterior lights, and airbag light issues. 

Which 2020 Kia Forte has a sunroof?

A power sunroof is not a standard feature in the Kia Forte. It is available as an optional feature for the GT-Line trim. 

Does the Kia Forte have a turbocharger?

No, the Kia Forte is powered by a 2.0L four-cylinder engine. 

What is the difference between GT and GT-Line trim?

The main difference is the engine. The GT-Line gets a 2.0L inline-4 whereas the GT trim is equipped with a 1.6L turbo-4 engine. Being the top-of-the-line model, the GT trim also adds some unique comfort and safety features to the list.

How long does the 2020 Kia Forte last?

If maintained properly, the Kia Forte has a lifecycle of up to 300,000 miles. 

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