The 2011 Kia Forte
is sold as either a sedan or a four-door hatchback in three trim levels. The front-wheel-drive Forte is equipped with a 2.0 liter, 156 horsepower engine paired to a four-speed automatic transmission or five-speed manual transmission. Alternatively, a 2.4 liter four-cylinder 173 horsepower engine coupled to a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission is available.
Affordability is a key term when it comes to the Kia Forte, and you do get great value for your money. The standard features are plentiful and most options are available. The Kia standard safety package is comprehensive and complete, while the Forte's safety ratings are top notch. The Kia Forte's EPA fuel economy rating in the 26 mpg city/36mpg highway range is quite impressive.
New for 2011
New for 2011 is the Kia Forte four-door hatchback, a version of the Forte sedan, with 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter engines, plus the option of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions. The hatchback is approximately the same size as the sedan and comes in the same three trim levels. Also with changes in 2011, the Kia Forte sedan that gets a few upgrades, including the six-speed manual or automatic transmissions as an option, paddle shifters, and navigation.
Engines: 2.0L I-4, 2.4L I-4
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 5-speed manual, 6-speed automatic, 4-speed automatic
Body Styles: Sedan, four-door hatchback
Trims: LX Sedan, EX Sedan, SX Sedan, LX Hatchback, EX Hatchback, SX Hatchback
On the Outside
Sporty and attractive, the Kia Forte trims are distinguished by high-quality styling cues one might find on a more expensive car. The Forte has 15-inch wheels as standard equipment, while the 16- and 17-inch wheels and tires are optional.
From the Inside
The Forte's base LX trim cabin presents a clean layout with standard features, such as auxiliary jack, Bluetooth, and tilt steering wheel. Go up one trim level to EX and air conditioning, power windows and locks, and six-speaker audio upgrade are standard.
With the 2.0-liter engine and four-speed automatic, the EX sedan scooted from zero to 60 in 10.3 seconds, which is slower than many cars in its class. A larger engine help, but so would a better manual transmission. Around turns, there's a bit of body roll, and handling could be greatly improved.
Standard safety features for the Kia Forte include dual front airbags, dual front seat-mounted side airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags are standard. Also standard are four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, brake assist, and electronic brake-force distribution, stability control, and traction control.
LX, EX: 25-27 mpg city/34-36mpg highway
SX: 22-23 mpg city/31-32 mpg highway
- Clean, crisp styling
- Very good value for your money
- Roomy rear seats
- Solid frame
- Body roll around turns
- Optional air conditioning
- Puny base engine
While not a driver's car, a good effort overall
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