FE 4dr Sedan
2020 Kia Forte

2020 Forte Photos
It’s slim pickings out there for sport compact buyers. Just a decade ago, inexpensive sporty cars were relatively plentiful. Now? Not so much. If there’s any silver lining, it’s that the few remaining small enthusiast sedans and hatchbacks are by and large quite decent little cars, this 2020 Kia Forte GT included. They also seem to be coming from the darndest places. Back when Mazda and Mitsubishi were still building cars like the Mazdaspeed3 and the Lancer Ralliart, Hyundai and Kia were effectively nowhere to be found in the sport compact segment. Yeah, the Tiburon existed; what more do you want us to say? Today, these Korean juggernauts are producing several affordable, enthusiast-friendly models. While it’s no Stinger, the Forte GT boasts some reasonably credible specs. For starters, it’s powered by a 201-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbo-four that also produces 195 pound-feet of torque. It can be ordered with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The GT also gets bigger brakes up front (12-inchers rather than the 11-inch discs on the base car) and larger wheels with optional Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer performance tires. Plus, it ditches the base Forte’s twist-beam rear suspension in favor of a multi-link setup, which improves both ride quality and handling. There’s a weight penalty to all this added kit, of course. The GT checks in at 2,989 pounds with the six-speed and 3,079 with the dual-clutch unit, amounting to about 300 pounds of added heft compared to a plain-Jane Forte.  The dearth of alternatives in this segment makes it somewhat difficult to put these numbers into context, but the best analogs (aside from the equivalent Hyundai Elantra) would be the VW Jetta GLI and the Honda Civic Si. Volkswagen and Honda have been in this game for decades, and it shows; the GLI has the Forte GT beat by just about every measurement save one – curb weight. The VW is as much as 300 pounds heavier depending on equipment, which is noteworthy considering their dimensions are otherwise just about identical. The Civic is lighter but otherwise goes pretty much spec-for-spec with the Forte GT. The Honda’s edge comes from a helical limited-slip differential and an adaptive suspension, neither of which is found on the Kia. We sampled a loaded-up 2020 Forte GT with the dual-clutch automatic, and for better or worse, we found its real-world performance lined up just about perfectly with its spec sheet. While 200 horsepower is hardly the stuff of modern performance cars, in this relatively lightweight sedan it more than gets the job done. The GT’s dual exhaust is demonstrably louder than that of the base car’s, but we wouldn’t necessarily call its tone alluring. As with many small-displacement, turbocharged engines (Honda’s included), it’s a bit coarse and thrashy, especially when pushed. We were more satisfied with the seven-speed DCT, which gets the job done just fine. We experienced no hesitation or otherwise finicky behavior. In fact, we barely noticed it operating at all, which is high …
Full Review
It’s slim pickings out there for sport compact buyers. Just a decade ago, inexpensive sporty cars were relatively plentiful. Now? Not so much. If there’s any silver lining, it’s that the few remaining small enthusiast sedans and hatchbacks are by and large quite decent little cars, this 2020 Kia Forte GT included. They also seem to be coming from the darndest places. Back when Mazda and Mitsubishi were still building cars like the Mazdaspeed3 and the Lancer Ralliart, Hyundai and Kia were effectively nowhere to be found in the sport compact segment. Yeah, the Tiburon existed; what more do you want us to say? Today, these Korean juggernauts are producing several affordable, enthusiast-friendly models. While it’s no Stinger, the Forte GT boasts some reasonably credible specs. For starters, it’s powered by a 201-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbo-four that also produces 195 pound-feet of torque. It can be ordered with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The GT also gets bigger brakes up front (12-inchers rather than the 11-inch discs on the base car) and larger wheels with optional Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer performance tires. Plus, it ditches the base Forte’s twist-beam rear suspension in favor of a multi-link setup, which improves both ride quality and handling. There’s a weight penalty to all this added kit, of course. The GT checks in at 2,989 pounds with the six-speed and 3,079 with the dual-clutch unit, amounting to about 300 pounds of added heft compared to a plain-Jane Forte.  The dearth of alternatives in this segment makes it somewhat difficult to put these numbers into context, but the best analogs (aside from the equivalent Hyundai Elantra) would be the VW Jetta GLI and the Honda Civic Si. Volkswagen and Honda have been in this game for decades, and it shows; the GLI has the Forte GT beat by just about every measurement save one – curb weight. The VW is as much as 300 pounds heavier depending on equipment, which is noteworthy considering their dimensions are otherwise just about identical. The Civic is lighter but otherwise goes pretty much spec-for-spec with the Forte GT. The Honda’s edge comes from a helical limited-slip differential and an adaptive suspension, neither of which is found on the Kia. We sampled a loaded-up 2020 Forte GT with the dual-clutch automatic, and for better or worse, we found its real-world performance lined up just about perfectly with its spec sheet. While 200 horsepower is hardly the stuff of modern performance cars, in this relatively lightweight sedan it more than gets the job done. The GT’s dual exhaust is demonstrably louder than that of the base car’s, but we wouldn’t necessarily call its tone alluring. As with many small-displacement, turbocharged engines (Honda’s included), it’s a bit coarse and thrashy, especially when pushed. We were more satisfied with the seven-speed DCT, which gets the job done just fine. We experienced no hesitation or otherwise finicky behavior. In fact, we barely noticed it operating at all, which is high …
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Retail Price

$17,890 MSRP / Window Sticker Price

Smart Buy Price

NA Nat'l avg. savings off MSRP
Engine 2.0L I-4
MPG 27 City / 37 Hwy
Seating 5 Passengers
Transmission 6-spd man w/OD
Power 147 @ 6200 rpm
Drivetrain front-wheel
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