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2013 Kia Forte

Overview
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2013 Kia Forte Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.2

Kia has been on a roll as of late, and nowhere is its momentum more obvious than in the 2013 Forte. Available as a sedan, 5-door hatch and coupe (Kia spells it "Koup"), the Forte takes direct aim at the segment leaders Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, and beats them in just about every category. While not as stylish or fun to drive as Ford's Focus or Mazda's Mazda3, the Forte nevertheless can hold its own against most compacts. It offers an impressive list of available features, including a navigation radio with rear backup camera, Bluetooth hands-free calling and keyless access with push-button start. There's also Kia's standard 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, which is still one of the best in the business.

You'll Like This Car If...

If your budget says mac and cheese, but your self-worth demands prime rib, one of the three 2013 Kia Forte compacts is sure to satisfy both demands. Good resale and reliability ratings should ease worries for first-time Kia buyers, as should the robust standard warranty.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Looks can sometimes be deceiving. While the 2013 Kia Forte LX and EX may appear sporty, their overall ride and handling aren't as tight or refined as the Ford Focus or VW Jetta. The exception here is the SX trim, which has a more responsive suspension and a stronger engine.

What's New for 2013

For 2013, the Kia Forte receives only minor changes. There are new 16-inch wheels for the Koup and 5-door, while power-folding side mirrors are added to the EX and SX trims. All models receive a low washer-fluid warning light, and LED daytime running lights are offered on the EX and made standard on the SX.

Driving the Forte

Driving Impressions On the open road, the 2013 Kia Forte is the master of its domain – so long as the road to that domain remains straight and level. Toss in a...

few curves, however, and the Forte LX and EX, with their smaller engine and wheel/tire combo, aren't as much fun to drive as the more powerful SX trim. Even in its most aggressive SX suit, the Forte won't deliver the kind of seat-of-your-pants cornering found in the Ford Focus or Mazda3, and its manual transmission is nowhere near as refined. Don't get us wrong; the Forte is not terribly slow or devoid of feedback to the driver, it's just that the sporty exterior had us hoping for a bit more performance. Most drivers will likely appreciate the Forte's ability to prevent wind, engine or road noise from making their ways into the cabin.

COMPREHENSIVE AUDIO SYSTEM
Every 2013 Kia Forte boasts a flexible AM/FM/CD/MP3/satellite audio system with USB and auxiliary ports. When matched with the upgraded speakers, it's among the best sound systems in the segment.

BLUETOOTH
An option reserved for most high-end models, Kia makes Bluetooth connectivity standard on every 2013 Kia Forte. Are you listening, competition?

2013 Kia Forte Details
Interior

The 2013 Kia Forte is given a visually appealing dash and seat setup, with lots of colorful instruments, a big LCD screen for the audio and plenty of soft-touch materials throughout the cabin. We think a bit more attention could have been paid to the seats, which lack support for the lower back and thighs. Despite its small size, the Kia Forte sedan and hatchback (and to a lesser degree, the Koup) provide surprisingly large cabins, with more interior volume than a Nissan Maxima. The big back seat offers lots of legroom, but headroom is cut short due to the low-slung roofline.

Exterior
2013 Kia Forte photo

In the compact car class, the 2013 Kia Forte's styling falls somewhere mid-pack. Not as modern or aggressively styled as the Ford Focus or Mazda3, the Forte easily outshines the tepid Toyota Corolla and Nissan Sentra. Although the Forte Koup steals the show, the sedan and hatchback both share the signature Kia grille and headlight design as well as handsome wheel choices. Base-model cars don't look the part, rejecting the unpainted bumpers, mirror caps and door handles of lesser cars and replacing them with properly painted parts for a more harmonious exterior statement.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Even the most basic Kia Forte for 2013 will include Bluetooth phone connectivity, iPod integration, an AM/FM/CD/MP3/SiriusXM 4-speaker stereo, color-keyed manual side mirrors, 60/40-split rear seat with folding armrest, a tilt steering wheel and an impressive array of safety equipment including six airbags and electronic traction and stability control. Unfortunately, if you want such simple pleasures as power windows, remote keyless entry or cruise control, you'll have to pony up a bit more cash and move up to the EX or SX trims, which also bring a 6-speaker AM/FM/MP3/SiriusXM audio head unit, heated power side mirrors and a tilt-telescopic steering wheel.

Optional Equipment

Options for the 2013 Kia Forte are limited to the EX and SX trims and include a number of packages as well as some stand-alone features. The Forte EX sedan offers a Premium Package that adds alloy wheels and a power sunroof, as well as a Technology Package (sedan/hatchback/Koup) that includes navigation with Sirius real-time traffic updates, a rearview camera, automatic climate control, smart-key entry with push-button start, foglights and automatic headlights. Options for the SX trim include leather seating surfaces, heated front seats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Under the Hood

The front-wheel-drive 2013 Kia Forte offers a 156-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that can be matched with a 6-speed manual or 6-speed Sportmatic automatic transmission. On top-line, sport-tuned SX trims the standard engine is a 173-horsepower, 2.4-liter engine. The Forte's automatic transmission has a manual-shift mode and is standard on SX and EX sedan and hatchback models, and available on the Koup. The mid-trim EX is also offered with a Fuel Economy Package that includes the 6-speed automatic plus Motor Drive Power Steering, a load-managing "smart" alternator, low rolling-resistance tires and unique aero enhancements to boost its EPA numbers to 27/37 mpg and deliver class-leading city/highway combined fuel economy of 30 mpg.

2.0-liter inline-4
156 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm (Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle [SULEV]: 154 @ 6200 rpm)
144 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm (SULEV: 139 @ 4600 rpm)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/34 mpg (manual), 26/36 mpg (automatic), 27/37 mpg (Economy Package), 24/33 mpg (manual, coupe), 25/34 mpg (automatic, coupe)

2.4-liter inline-4
173 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm (SULEV: 165 @ 6000 rpm)
168 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm (SULEV: 161 @ 4000 rpm)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/32 mpg (automatic, sedan), 22/32 mpg (manual), 23/31 mpg (automatic, Koup)

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2013 Kia Forte Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 225 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 :)"

1 person out of 1 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

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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

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