Buyer's Guide

2019 Kia Forte
Select a Different Model (7 Available): EX (Auto) Sedan
Zero to 60 $ 8.2 seconds
Fuel Economy 30 / 40 mpg
Safety (NHTSA) 4 Stars
Horsepower 164@6,200
See All Specs
Free Price Quote From a Local Dealer
2019 Kia Forte MODEL OVERVIEW

Pros

  • Lots of standard equipment
  • Well-appointed interior
  • Great fuel economy

Cons

  • Stiff ride
  • Unrefined powertrain
  • Dull driving experience

The Kia Forte was one of the cars that helped change the Korean brand's image when it replaced the unloved Spectra. Underpinned by a more rigid platform, the latest Kia Forte sports the automaker's latest design language, including the quad LED daytime running lights flanking the main headlight, and a clean interior layout. The sedan is now the only body style for the U.S.

What's New

  • Third-generation model with new exterior styling, upgraded infotainment system
  • Debut's Kia's first CVT, replacing the conventional six-speed automatic transmission

What We Think

Kia made the Forte more mature thanks to its clean looks and nicely executed interior. At MotorTrend's 2019 Car of the Year evaluations, the Forte received raves for its generous cabin appointments, neat touches like a tray specifically for your smartphone, and solid build quality.

Regrettably, the powertrain needs refinement. The CVT responds sluggishly even in Sport mode, sucking the life out of the driving experience. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder gets excessively loud at full throttle, making more noise than forward momentum. Ride comfort also disappoints because of the 2019 Forte's stiff suspension, which gets upset even over small road imperfections. Even so, the Forte's tech, design, and decent safety ratings help justify adding it to a shopping list.

Performance and Fuel Economy

The 2019 Kia Forte is powered by a 2.0-liter I-4 with 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. With the standard six-speed manual, EPA fuel economy ratings are 27/37 mpg city/highway. Models with the CVT are more efficient at 30/40 mpg for the S and EX trim, and 31/41 mpg in the miserly FE grade.

Safety

The 2019 Kia Forte received a four-star overall rating from the IIHS (out of five stars). The 2019 Forte also received the IIHS' 2019 Top Safety Pick + award, scoring Good on all crashworthiness tests and the headlight test when equipped with the optional LED headlights (Good is the highest score). Models with the standard halogen headlights received a Poor rating on the headlights test. On the front crash prevention test, the 2019 Forte received a Superior rating in the vehicle-to-vehicle test and Advanced on the vehicle-to-pedestrian test (Superior is the highest rating).

The 2019 Kia Forte comes with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and lane keeping assist. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are only available on the EX trim where they're standard equipment. Automatic high beams are available on the S trim via the S Premium package or the EX as part of the EX Launch Edition package. You can only get adaptive cruise control via the EX Launch Edition package.

Technology

Kia's UVO infotainment system is standard on the 2019 Forte with an 8.0-inch touchscreen, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. FE and LXS models get a four-speaker audio system while the S and EX have a six-speaker unit. The EX launch Edition package adds an eight-speaker Harman Kardon audio system and built-in navigation.

Trim Levels (Interior and Exterior Options)

2019 Kia Forte FE

Exterior: 15-inch steel wheels with covers, automatic headlights
Interior and Convenience: 3.5-inch instrument cluster display, cloth upholstery, single-piece folding rear seats, dual-zone climate control, 8.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, four-speaker audio system, keyless entry, USB port, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist

2019 Kia Forte LXS

Exterior: 16-inch alloy wheels, chrome exhaust tip
Interior and Convenience: 60/40 split-folding rear seats, drive mode selector

2019 Kia Forte S

Exterior: 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, gloss black grille
Interior and Convenience:
Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, six-speaker audio system, satellite radio

2019 Kia Forte EX

Exterior: Heated side mirrors, chrome window surrounds
Interior and Convenience:
Second charge-only USB port, Sofino leatherette upholstery, 10-way power driver's seat, heated and ventilated front seats, keyless start, hands-free smart trunk, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert

Available Options

S Premium package (S only): Sunroof, LED interior lighting, adaptive LED headlights, automatic high beams

EX Launch Edition package (EX only): 17-inch black alloy wheels, 4.2-inch instrument cluster display, built-in navigation, eight-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, auto-dimming rearview mirror, pedestrian detection, rear parking sensors, LED interior lighting, rear spoiler, adaptive LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, sunroof

Key Competitors:

2019 KIA FORTE SPECIFICATIONS
OVERVIEW
FEATURES
WARRANTY/RECALL
SAFETY
REBATES
Engine Name
Engine: 4-Cyl 2.0 Liter Nu 2.0 GDI
Transmission Name
Transmission, Sportmatic Continuously Variable Automatic
Trim
EX (Auto) Sedan
Class
Passenger Car
Horsepower
164@6,200
Standard MPG
30/40
Body Style
Sedan
Drivetrain
FWD
Fuel Type
Unleaded Regular
Seating Capacity
5/5
Package Invoice Retail
Show Full Specs
Corrosion Warranty Miles
100,000
Maintenance Warranty Months
none
Corrosion Warranty Months
60
Powertrain Warranty Miles
100,000
Full Warranty Miles
60,000
Powertrain Warranty Months
120
Full Warranty Months
60
Roadside Assistance Miles
60,000
Maintenance Warranty Miles
N/R
Roadside Assistance Months
60
IIHS Best Pick
1
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
4
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
Good
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
3
IIHS Front Small Overlap
Good
NHTSA Rating Front Side
5
IIHS Overall Side Crash
Good
NHTSA Rating Overall
4
IIHS Rear Crash
Good
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
5
IIHS Roof Strength
Good
NHTSA Rating Rollover
4
Amount Description Expiry Date
$500 Kia announces Lease Loyalty Cash on select models. 11-30-2020