Kia's Upstart Becomes a Contender
Kia is a brand on the rise; like its big brother Hyundai, it is carving out a bigger slice of the consumer market every year by offering unexpected refinement, impressive features and an outstanding warranty. The 2015 Kia Forte is designed to take on the leaders in the compact sedan segment, and in doing so makes a stronger case for itself than ever. Those looking at cars like the Ford Focus, Mazda3, or even the venerable Honda Civic should take some time to consider the 2015 Forte; it may not offer the same level of refinement they do, but what it does offer is impressive for the money.
The 2015 Forte isn't going to win any drag races, but those looking for a comfortable ride will find a lot to enjoy. From our review: "The Forte has good power and a decent suspension, but it's not as fun to drive as competitors like the Mazda3 and Volkswagen Jetta. However, if you're among the 99 percent of buyers who just want a solid daily driver, the Forte in sedan, coupe and hatchback are all excellent choices." Read our full review of the 2015 Kia Forte.
KBB.com reader and Forte owner GMAC offered this: "Researched and compared Forte EX w/ Premium Pkg against Mazda 3s Grand Touring and Ford Focus Titanium. Mazda and Ford had isolated advantages over the Kia, albeit with an increased price tag. However, overall the Kia was the clear winner." Read more Kia Forte consumer reviews.
Build and Price
In its most stripped-down form, the 2015 Kia Forte starts around $17,000 including destination. That figure is a bit misleading, however: at that price, the Forte lacks many features (including an automatic transmission -- a $1,500 upgrade) and comes with smaller steel wheels. A fully loaded EX can top $25,000, but you have to get pretty option-happy to get there. Build and price your own 2015 Kia Forte right here at KBB.com to unlock its Fair Purchase Price, 5-Year Cost to Own and more.
2015 Kia Forte Gallery: Inside and Out
Shapes and Sizes
The 2014 Kia Forte is available in LX or EX trim, each with its own engine. The LX is powered by Kia's 1.8-liter inline 4-cylinder engine rated at 148 horsepower with 131 lb-ft of torque, while the EX gets a bump to a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 173 horsepower and 154 lb-ft of torque. Both Forte models are front-wheel drive and offer Kia's six-speed automatic transmission, though a six-speed manual is available for the LX.
KBB.com visitor kaicy recently purchased a 2014 Forte EX and has this to say: "1st time Kia owner and believe I made the right decision. I love the styling, the lines, the shape, even the led lights really give it a sporty look. The 173 hp engine has plenty of power...I purchased the EX to get the backup camera, the bigger engine, the extra UVO services and the extra trim...at right around $20K I believe I got a really great car for a very good price." Read more consumer reviews of the 2014 Kia Forte.
Other Compact Cars
With a bounty of compact competitors on the market (including its Hyundai Elantra cousin), the Kia Forte has some work to do to advance in its segment. The average 2014 Forte will enter a price bracket that includes stars like the Honda Civic and Mazda 3 -- no easy task, though the Kia's warranty, creature comforts, and smooth ride give consumers a lot to consider. Check out all your compact car options for 2014.
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