Ad Radar

2012 Kia Forte

  • 2012 Kia Forte EX Hatchback
    • MAX MPG
      36
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      156/144
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
      $18,100
  • 2012 Kia Forte EX Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      36
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      156/144
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
      $17,600
  • 2012 Kia Forte LX Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      36
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      156/144
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
      $16,200
  • 2012 Kia Forte SX Hatchback
    • MAX MPG
      32
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      173/168
    • ENGINE
      2.4L I4
    • MSRP
      $19,600
  • 2012 Kia Forte SX Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      32
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      173/168
    • ENGINE
      2.4L I4
    • MSRP
      $19,100
Get A Dealer Quote

Compare Dealer Clearance Prices and SAVE

  • Review

2012 Kia Forte Review

Good, but not class-leading

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview
Now in its third year on sale, the Kia Forte replaced the forgettable Spectra as Kia's compact sedan offering. Available in two-, four-, and five-door configurations, the Forte elevated Kia's role in the market from a bit player to a serious competitor in the Civic/Corolla/Focus compact segment.

The Range

Body styles: Sedan, four-door hatchback
Engines: 2.0-liter inline-4, 2.4-liter inline-4
Transmissions: six-speed manual, six-speed automatic
Models: LX, EX, SX

What's New

The Forte carries over largely unchanged from 2011. The few exceptions include the fact that the Forte hatchback is no longer available with a manual transmission, and EX models now have a telescoping steering wheel as standard equipment. In EX models with the technology package, the Forte adds its signature Supervision meter cluster as part of the gauges.

Exterior

With chiseled lines and a sporty appearance, the Forte brings a touch of sophistication to the compact class. The Forte gets 15-inch wheels as standard equipment; 16-inch wheels come equipped on EX models, and 17-inch wheels and tires are optional on top-level SX models, accenting the crisp look of the Forte.

Interior

Clean and straightforward, the Forte's interior comes with a standard 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 top-level SX models, paddle shifters are standard equipment. A four-speaker audio system is standard on LX models, but a six-speaker unit with steering wheel-mounted controls comes in EX and SX models.

Performance & Handling

Expect anemic performance with the base 2.0-liter engine and the automatic transmission. The manual transmission boosts performance significantly, as does the much larger 2.4-liter engine. The 2.0-liter engine with the available fuel economy package on the EX yields a Forte-best 37 mpg on the highway, but the low-friction tires don't do any favors for the car's handling.

Safety

Dual front airbags, dual front seat-mounted side airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags are standard. Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, brake assist, and electronic brake-force distribution, stability control, and traction control are also standard.

EPA Fuel Economy

LX (manual): 25 city/34 highway mpg
LX, EX (automatic): 26 city/ 36 mpg highway; 27 city/37 highway mpg (fuel economy package)
SX: 23 mpg city/32 mpg highway

You'll Like

  • Crisp styling
  • Great value
  • Spacious rear seats
  • Solid structure

You Won't Like

  • Body roll
  • Air conditioning optional
  • Sluggish base engine

Sum Up

Good, but not class-leading

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Honda Civic
  • Mazda3
  • Ford Focus
  • Toyota Corolla

See the New 2015 Forte.

Front & Driver Side View
close