Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • Midsize Sedan Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • Compact Car Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $35,000
Go

2010 Kia Forte

Overview
Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2010 Kia Forte Review

By

The Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla are the co-captains of the compact sedan segment. Refined over several decades and many generations, they've been the two best-selling cars in the category for what seems like forever. But today there are more viable alternatives than ever, and one of the very latest is the 2010 Kia Forte. More than a replacement for the Kia Spectra, the stylish and solid Forte represents a giant leap for Kia as an automaker. The lineup started with a sedan, continued with a coupe and should eventually grow to include a wagon.

You'll Like This Car If...

If stylish, tech-savvy and affordable are among your key compact car wants, give the 2010 Kia Forte a spot on your short list.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Although it has sporty style and class-leading horsepower, the 2010 Kia Forte isn't as engaging as category performance standouts like the MAZDA3 or Mitsubishi Lancer.

What's Significant About This Car?

With the introduction of the 2010 Forte, Kia has moved another chess piece across the threshold of style and perceived quality that typically separates a category's successful veterans from its revolving name-changers.

Driving the Forte

Driving Impressions The 2010 Kia Forte is most impressive on the highway, least impressive when pushed hard and pretty darn good at all points in between. Out on the open road, we've...

found it to be one of the category's quieter and more comfortable cruisers. On tighter, twistier asphalt, the Forte is quick when pushed and corners confidently, but isn't as fun to drive as competitors like the MAZDA3 or VW Jetta. Even in the more powerful, sport-tuned SX version, the Forte's steering, pedal and shifter feel don't really promote or reward enthusiastic driving. We'd also give up some of the SX's class-leading horsepower for a little more low-end torque and off-the-line response. Around town, the Forte simply drives like the solid little compact sedan it is, with our biggest complaint being a larger-than-average blind spot that can make backing out of parking spaces a bit dicey.

Comprehensive Audio System
Every 2010 Kia Forte boasts a flexible AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat/Aux/USB audio system. When matched with the upgraded speakers, it's among the best sound systems in the segment.

iPod Bin
The 2010 Kia Forte features the same great iPod connection point we first loved on the Kia Soul: An open bin, in plain view and within easy reach, with readily accessible power and connection ports.

2010 Kia Forte Details
2010 Kia Forte photo Interior

Stylish sheetmetal isn't enough: To compete with the best compact sedans today you also must have an interior with contemporary style and an absence of overtly cheap materials. The Forte's impressive passenger compartment goes even further than that, adding the roomiest interior in its class (more room than a Nissan Maxima, in fact) and a bigger trunk than the BMW 7 Series. Seat comfort is improving across the Kia line but continues to be a weak point for some folks of various sizes, so you might want to pay attention there.

Exterior
2010 Kia Forte photo

If you want to play with the big boys, you've got to look the part. Fortunately for Kia, the 2010 Kia Forte is among the most attractive cars in its class. The signature design element is a unique character line that drops down from the side mirror and extends all the way to the rear. We like the Forte's wide, low-profile stance, which adds to the sporty character and helps it stand out in a crowd of ever-taller compact cars. The Forte EX and SX trims sport side mirrors with integrated turn signals - a nice touch - and even the base LX has body-color side mirrors and door handles instead of the black plastic features you'll find on some base-level compact sedans.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Kia is quick to point out that even the cheapest 2010 Kia Forte includes Bluetooth phone connectivity, iPod integration and an impressive suite of safety equipment including six airbags, electronic stability control and a sophisticated brake system. Don't expect to pay base price, though, if you want power windows, remote keyless entry or air conditioning.

Optional Equipment

The 2010 Kia Forte is among the growing number of compact sedans that offers leather seating. Unlike many of its competitors, however, the Forte does not offer a navigation system. Other amenities available for a price include a sunroof, heated seats, cruise control, steering-wheel audio and cruise buttons, upgraded speaker system and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat.

Under the Hood

The front-wheel-drive Forte offers a 156-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that can be matched with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. The top-line, sport-tuned SX trim features a 173-horsepower, 2.4-liter four matched with a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic with manual control. The mid-trim EX is also offered with a Fuel Economy Package that includes the five-speed automatic plus Motor Drive Power Steering, a load-managing "smart" alternator, high-silica low-rolling-resistance tires and unique aero enhancements to boost its EPA numbers to 27/36 mpg and deliver class-leading city/highway combined fuel economy of 30 miles per gallon.

2.0-liter in-line 4
156 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
154 horsepower @ 6200 rpm (SULEV)
144 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
138 lb.-ft.of torque @ 4600 rpm (SULEV)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/34 (5-speed manual, 4-speed auto), 27/36 (5-speed auto)

2.4-liter in-line 4 (Forte SX)
173 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
165 horsepower @ 6000 rpm (SULEV)
168 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
161 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm (SULEV)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/32 (6-speed manual), 23/31 (five-speed auto)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2010 Kia Forte Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 226 Ratings for the 2010 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.6/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

LOVE this car!!!

By on Thursday, May 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I absolutely am in love with this car, I've had it for two years now and would not complain one bit about it. It is small and compact and very fast. It is gorgeous to look at and a joy to drive :)"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Great car for the money.

By on Thursday, May 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Fuel economy, roomy, good value, sport shift"

Cons: "Thin sheet metal. Acorns are my enemy."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is a great car. Pretty powerful with the 2.4L engine in the SX model. Very roomy compared to other cars in its class. We see a combined MPG of 28 consistently in the city. Car also seems to hold its value relatively well. Since we bought the 2010 model, it was a brand new design. I'm sure the new Fortes are just as good if not better."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

2013 Kia Forte LX review

By on Tuesday, May 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Pros: Mileage, design, comfort of chairs, car space, trunk space is huge, mine contained all of the following (2 12v ports, 1 usb, 1 Aux, Bluetooth), switch transmissions from automatic to automatically manual, volume and CC on steering wheel, automatically contracting side mirrors, other miscellaneous features. Cons: Radio (even at max volume) is pretty quiet. You cannot drive on the highway with the windows rolled down and listening to the radio. Air conditioner blows air even turned to 0 (This may just be my car). Not being able to turn off the air conditioner and as I drive 60 miles to work (with my windows rolled down when I can, I enjoy the air), not being able to turn off the AC and listen to the radio effectively were huge drops for me. I also paid a bit high for the car, but that could have been the dealership I went with. With those two features adjusted I would have rated 9/10 for the value as it was slightly on the higher end."

Great little "run-around" car

By on Saturday, May 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Love the remote start during extreme weather."

Cons: "Small, little storage, lots of road noise."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"Love that I only fill the gas tank every 2 weeks. Small interior and noisy ride. Not at all a luxury car, but good, basic transportation"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Kia is a surprisingly great product

By on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Excellent handling, peppier than expected, fun to"

Cons: "Head lamps replaced frequently"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Lil Forte has more pep than expected and turned out to be a great purchase. The vehicle is highly dependable, great in varying weather elements, fabulous on fuel-which was great since I passed it on to newly licensed teen! Highly recommend this to anyone considering purchasing. We had to replace some headlights pretty frequently for a while, but that is the only minor issue we have had with the vehicle."

I love this car.

By on Sunday, April 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "A remarkable 173 horse engine that's a blast."

Cons: "NONE"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Everything about this car is perfection from the track to the paddle shifters this baby goes like a rocket and handles like a sports car. I haven't had this much fun behind the wheel in 50 years."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?