2011 Kia Forte

MSRP ?

$14,995 - $18,895
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Smart Buy Market Avg. ?

N/A
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Engine Engine 2.0LI-4
MPG MPG 25 City / 34 Hwy
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2011 Forte Overview

A 5-Door That Looks Good, Lacks Refinement Two things have developed in the last decade: The compact segment has finally spawned vehicles we want to drive and Kia is no longer an automotive punchline. So why, when listing off top-notch C-segment vehicles like the Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze, Volkswagen Jetta, Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra, does the Kia Forte rarely make the cut? It's packing everything compact buyers are looking for, including a fuel efficient drivetrain and loads of tech and amenities that used to be reserved for far pricier models – just like the rest of the pack. What's more, it's available in five-door form and can carry an MSRP that's over $1,000 less than the competition. So why no love for the Forte? We spent a week with the new-for-2011 Forte SX 5-Door to find out. Our Titanium Silver tester carried SX trim and a $20,840 price tag after including the $750 freight and handling. That's a solid value for a top trim level of any vehicle in this segment, and Kia doesn't arrive at this price-point by cutting corners. Each SX model comes standard with a 173-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission (the six-speed automatic is $1,000 more). That's 17 more ponies than the 2.0-liter engine that comes standard in EX and LX models. Standard SX amenities include all the C-segment buzzwords like Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary input jacks, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and a six-speaker sound system with Sirius Satellite Radio. Our tester also included a power moonroof ($750) and the leather seat trim ($1,000), which includes heated front seats and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. For those who don't require the best of everything, there's clearly room here to trim off options and bring the price far below the $20K mark. Kia has always featured vehicles with a very competitive starting price and a bevy of standard features, but many models didn't quite measure up in the styling department. Take the Spectra. Please. It screamed "Do you have a job? Can you afford $199 a month?" The Forte, on the other hand, features sharp styling, especially in hatchback form. The lines are crisp and stylish, with the front end looking assertive and un-fussed-with, and the hatch equipped with attractive taillights and clean contours. Throw-in a set of 17-inch wheels mated to P215 45R17 Goodyear Eagle rubber, and the result is an attractive package, indeed. In fact, we'd go as far as to call the Forte more German than Korean when it comes to design inspiration, which should surprise nobody given the fact that former Audi designer Peter Schreyer has been at the helm of Kia design since 2006. Mr. Schreyer and his merry band did a bang-up job on the exterior, but it doesn't quite make it to the inside. The "clean styling" theme is carried to the Forte's roomy cabin, with large buttons and knobs that are very easy to find and operate. Seats are reasonably comfortable as …
Full Review

2011 Forte Overview

A 5-Door That Looks Good, Lacks Refinement Two things have developed in the last decade: The compact segment has finally spawned vehicles we want to drive and Kia is no longer an automotive punchline. So why, when listing off top-notch C-segment vehicles like the Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze, Volkswagen Jetta, Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra, does the Kia Forte rarely make the cut? It's packing everything compact buyers are looking for, including a fuel efficient drivetrain and loads of tech and amenities that used to be reserved for far pricier models – just like the rest of the pack. What's more, it's available in five-door form and can carry an MSRP that's over $1,000 less than the competition. So why no love for the Forte? We spent a week with the new-for-2011 Forte SX 5-Door to find out. Our Titanium Silver tester carried SX trim and a $20,840 price tag after including the $750 freight and handling. That's a solid value for a top trim level of any vehicle in this segment, and Kia doesn't arrive at this price-point by cutting corners. Each SX model comes standard with a 173-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission (the six-speed automatic is $1,000 more). That's 17 more ponies than the 2.0-liter engine that comes standard in EX and LX models. Standard SX amenities include all the C-segment buzzwords like Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary input jacks, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and a six-speaker sound system with Sirius Satellite Radio. Our tester also included a power moonroof ($750) and the leather seat trim ($1,000), which includes heated front seats and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. For those who don't require the best of everything, there's clearly room here to trim off options and bring the price far below the $20K mark. Kia has always featured vehicles with a very competitive starting price and a bevy of standard features, but many models didn't quite measure up in the styling department. Take the Spectra. Please. It screamed "Do you have a job? Can you afford $199 a month?" The Forte, on the other hand, features sharp styling, especially in hatchback form. The lines are crisp and stylish, with the front end looking assertive and un-fussed-with, and the hatch equipped with attractive taillights and clean contours. Throw-in a set of 17-inch wheels mated to P215 45R17 Goodyear Eagle rubber, and the result is an attractive package, indeed. In fact, we'd go as far as to call the Forte more German than Korean when it comes to design inspiration, which should surprise nobody given the fact that former Audi designer Peter Schreyer has been at the helm of Kia design since 2006. Mr. Schreyer and his merry band did a bang-up job on the exterior, but it doesn't quite make it to the inside. The "clean styling" theme is carried to the Forte's roomy cabin, with large buttons and knobs that are very easy to find and operate. Seats are reasonably comfortable as …Hide Full Review