2017 Kia Forte Reviews and Ratings

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J.D. Power Verified Consumer Reviews (22)
Overall Rating
  3.8 / 5
Reliability
  4.1 / 5
Interior
  3.7 / 5
Exterior
  3.8 / 5
Driving Dynamics
  3.8 / 5

By Ashleigh 10/5/2017 4:41:15 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
  5 / 5
My car gets great gas mileage which is exactly what I was looking for in my car when I bought it. Along with the low price.
Reliability
  4.5 / 5
Interior
  4.5 / 5
Exterior
  4.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
  4.5 / 5

By Tyler 10/4/2017 10:19:39 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
When I bought this car, I bought it to replace something that was costing me over $600 a month plus a $200 payment to keep on the road. Since I’ve bought this car, I’ve only had to change the oil once, as it is every 5k miles which is a plus. I also had a lot of Colors to choose from to include the one that I picked which was deep sea blue. I love the color and, the car itself is well worth the value. The gas mileage is great, the engine runs smooth, the transmission is smooth, so that’s all I ask for. All in all, this car is a good little car and I love mine. :)
Reliability
   4.5 / 5
Interior
   3.5 / 5
Exterior
   4 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Rita 10/4/2017 1:53:12 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
It is very reliable, and drives smooth. I like the Sirus Radio and the stereo system. I also like the different gears it has when driving in the snow or ice.
Reliability
   4 / 5
Interior
   4 / 5
Exterior
   4 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4.5 / 5

By Courtenay 10/3/2017 3:58:52 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4 / 5
Wonderful vehicle. Only costs 26$ to fill up the tank in my area. Comfortable seats - road trip tested. Easy to use technology. Safe, reliable vehicle. I wish that I would have given Kia a chance sooner. Not designed for excessive speeds on the highway, as the rear starts to 'float' at 85. My car keeps me going smoothly at safe speeds. Recommended to all my friends. Thanks, Kia!!
Reliability
   4.5 / 5
Interior
   4 / 5
Exterior
   4 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   3.5 / 5

By Robert 9/16/2017 3:13:27 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   1 / 5
After onloy5 months, engine failed, after 25 days to date Kia will not replace, will never buy another Kia.
Reliability
   0.5 / 5
Interior
   0.5 / 5
Exterior
   0.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   0.5 / 5

By Nicole 9/6/2017 3:06:16 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
It's a good car has great gas mileage. It's a dependable car. My kids enjoy it and they loved it there day I came home in it. It's a little bigger then my last car but hey anything that's reasonable and dependable saves on gas a lot.
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Samuel 9/2/2017 3:24:37 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4 / 5
Overall the Forte is an excellent vehicle. I do have some issues however. The CVT does take a little getting used to, and you have to change some driving habits in order to fully appreciate its benefits. My biggest concern is the lack of a spare tire and its associated accessories (jack, lug wrench, ect). Sorry, but an air compressor and can of fix-a-flat is not a viable option. I will sacrifice some small amount of MPG for peace of mind in that regard. If I had it to do over, I would insist on a Full Size Spare (Not a Factory May-Pop)! A spare tire is an essential safety feature. Other than that, my Forte is a joy to drive and trust.
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4.5 / 5

By Melissa 8/30/2017 4:59:58 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4 / 5
My vehicle has automatic windows and mirror adjustments, which I find very helpful. It also has Bluetooth connection, which I enjoy. The one thing my Kia model doesn't contain is cruise control which isn't a necessity, but it would be nice under certain circumstances. I get very good gas mileage in my Kia. It drives very smooth and for a four door vehicle it is very roomy. The interior is black and for me I prefer black so its not easily ruined.
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   4 / 5
Exterior
   4 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By John 8/29/2017 11:33:36 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4 / 5
Four for the price. Cheep and good on gas. I'm doing about 40mpg. not much acceleration. YOu gain a bit using the cluchless shifting
Reliability
   4 / 5
Interior
   1.5 / 5
Exterior
   1.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   3 / 5

By Sheryl 8/28/2017 2:45:58 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   2 / 5
"Not heavy enough and has little acceleration ability. Exterior styling is minimal. Exterior color choice was minimal."
Reliability
   2 / 5
Interior
   2 / 5
Exterior
   2 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   1.5 / 5

By Lidia 8/28/2017 2:09:00 AM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
Basically, any brand new car off the lot is always great. Its nice and shiny, drives well and smooth, and even has that new car smell. I just happen to prefer the Kia brand. I take a liking to it. My old car was a Kia Rio and it lasted me 9 years. It was a great little car.
Reliability
   4 / 5
Interior
   4 / 5
Exterior
   4 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4 / 5

By Anonymous 8/27/2017 6:39:48 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4 / 5
In eco mode there is hesitation on acceleration. can be frustrating while in traffic. I have not had time to take it in for a service check yet
Reliability
   3.5 / 5
Interior
   3.5 / 5
Exterior
   3 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   3.5 / 5

By Mary 8/27/2017 2:40:40 AM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
Great Car , Great Company! I got a 2017 Kia Forte, and I love it !
Reliability
   4.5 / 5
Interior
   4.5 / 5
Exterior
   4.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4 / 5

By Shamara 8/25/2017 10:18:14 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
I have a great dependable car, very reliable amd stylish. My car is great on mileage and travel. I am very satisfied with my new vehicle.
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By I.H. 8/23/2017 1:50:54 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4 / 5
I give my car a four star, a four star for me. It's nice, drives great, very affordable and it's just me. I'm simple and it's simple, but I get alot of positive comments on it. I got a great deal from Kia. Price wise I feel it could been a little better seeing other offers after my purchase but over all it's all been great. This is my second brand new Kia vehicle. First being a Sportage and this being a Forte. I would buy another. I really love my car.
Reliability
   4 / 5
Interior
   2.5 / 5
Exterior
   3 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   2 / 5

By Roy F. 8/23/2017 12:27:22 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4 / 5
The forte is perfect for my family, and has just the right amount of power that I like in a vehicle.
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   3.5 / 5
Exterior
   3.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4 / 5

By Paul T. 8/23/2017 6:53:49 AM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
I love way my vehicle handles on the road and the 90 degree turning rang it has and of course the gas millage I get is great.
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Scott 8/23/2017 12:41:05 AM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4 / 5
car is great for my 50 mile day commute. I love the handsfree for the phone and the steering wheel controls for the radio. My Forte gets great gas milage, has the room I want for people and gear for camping. The only drawbacks are intermittent hesitation at lower speeds and not great at acceleration at higher speeds.
Reliability
   3.5 / 5
Interior
   3 / 5
Exterior
   3.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   2 / 5

By Connie 8/22/2017 11:56:11 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4 / 5
My 2017 KIA Forte has very good workmanship. Its performance and gas mileage is excellent. It has good trunk space. The pricing was very good from KIA Corp. It fit my situation over the 2016 KIA RIO I traded in. Over all I am completely satisfied I purchased the vehicle.
Reliability
   2 / 5
Interior
   3 / 5
Exterior
   3.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4.5 / 5

By Christi M 8/22/2017 9:43:00 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
Great GAS Mileage. I love the fact that it has the ECO mode function and the SPORT mode function. The little back up camera is nice to have as well.
Reliability
   4 / 5
Interior
   3 / 5
Exterior
   4 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4 / 5

By Crystal H. 8/22/2017 8:39:53 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
The car is awesome to drive. Great fir the teenagers.
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Ray 8/22/2017 3:22:49 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
2017 Kia Forte Sedan S - looks great in black with black interior. Widh it had a sunroof. Not one mechanical problem, as expected. Love the new anti-accident features - blind spot warning, rear cross traffic warning, car cannot rear end another... amazing. Gets 421 mpg in highway driving, 32 combined - excellent. Good audio system, backup camera and Bluetooth. Couple very minor rattles come and go. Dealer Preston Kia in Burton Ohio is the best
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   4.5 / 5
Exterior
   4.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4.5 / 5


Expert Reviews ( 1 )

2017 Kia Forte
New Car Test Drive

Introduction

The Kia Forte offers a full family of compact cars, with three distinct body styles and two engines. The Forte was last redesigned for the 2014 model year.

The 2017 Kia Forte sedan models feature freshened styling, and a new Forte S trim level has joined the lineup. The 2017 Kia Forte S is a modestly sportier sedan that this year fits between the entry-level Forte LX and top-end Forte EX trim levels. The 2017 Forte sedan has a redesigned front bumper cover and a new tiger nose grille lower and blending into the headlights. Taillights have been reworked, with LEDs optional. Upholstery is upgraded for 2017, also.

Two-door Forte Koup and five-door Forte hatchbacks retain the previous platform and look, though a redone hatchback should be coming soon.

Beneath LX and S sedan hoods, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, developing 147 horsepower and 132 pound-foot of torque, has edged aside the prior 1.8-liter four. EX versions get an aluminum-block 2.0-liter with direct injection, producing 164 horsepower and 151 pound-feet. A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard with LX trim. Most Fortes come with the 6-speed automatic transmission, which is optional for LX and standard otherwise.

The current design has been around for several years, but it’s still a handsome vehicle, sharply detailed and topped by a dramatic roofline. Standard equipment has increased, making the Forte an even greater value. Cabin trim and materials have moved well ahead of early models.

Forte S and EX models come with a 7-inch touchscreen, as part of a new UVO3 system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality, to access smartphone functions.

Kia now offers some active-safety features as options, but a rearview camera is standard only on S and EX trim levels. Safety ratings score no better than average in crash-testing. Finally, Forte has earned an overall five-star score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Structural revisions for 2015 raised the previous crash-test score from a miserable three stars to an acceptable four-star rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety now ranks the Forte sedan Good, due to raising its small-overlap test score from Poor to Marginal.

Newly available safety features include autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, frontal collision warning, lane change assist, and dynamic bending lights. For the LX model, a rearview camera is part of an option group. All-disc brakes are standard.

Model Lineup

Forte LX ($16,490) comes with the 147-horsepower engine and manual gearbox or automatic ($1,010). Standard equipment includes cloth upholstery, keyless entry, air conditioning, power windows/locks, power mirrors, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and steering-wheel audio controls. The Popular Package for LX includes 16-inch wheels, keyless entry, and cruise control.

Forte S ($19,200) comes with automatic and a sport-tuned suspension. Included are 16-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, LED positioning lights, and a rearview camera. Special black cloth seats feature contrast stitching.

Forte EX ($21,200) gets the 164-horsepower engine and automatic, leather upholstery, heated front seats, ventilated driver’s seat, cooled glovebox, dual-zone automatic temperature control, pushbutton start. The EX Premium Package adds leather upholstery, a power ventilated driver’s seat, heated front/rear seats, a sunroof, pushbutton start, 17-inch wheels, and navigation.

Options include UVO infotainment system, true on-board navigation, and LED taillights.

Walkaround

Styling was mildly updated for 2017, featuring Kia’s latest, more shapely, neatly raked front-end design. The sedan’s gracefully arched profile and elongated roofline above sculpted bodyside sheetmetal, help retain appropriate proportioning.

Almost-vertical trim elements behind side glass serve as brackets for the passenger compartment. Windows dip ahead of outside mirrors, while the back end narrows. When redesigned for 2014, the Forte grew a bit wider and longer, but not taller, resulting in the handsome profile.

Interior

Clean and simple, the Kia Forte cabin conveys a sporty note. Better-quality plastics and a tasteful layout help establish a mildly upscale feel, enhanced by soft-touch materials. On the dashboard are big climate-control knobs, augmented by hooded analog instruments. Below is a split-style console that avoids looking bulky. Upper trim levels add a covered console.

Seats offer average comfort. Though supportive, front seats could use more side bolstering. Tall drivers might consider the seat bottoms a bit short. Kia’s intuitive and readily effective infotainment system ranks with the best, though noise can be an issue.

Headroom falls short in back, thanks to the low, relatively long roofline. Space is tighter yet if a sunroof is installed. The roof profile also tends to impede easy entry/exit, despite wide-opening doors. Riders might find themselves in knees-up mode on rather low seat cushions, though legroom is satisfactory. Outward visibility is somewhat restricted.

Kia’s compact sedan offers plenty of storage, including a screened bin ahead of the gearshift lever. Not only does the trunk’s capacity (14.9 cubic feet) top nearly all rivals, its wide lid eases loading.

Driving Impressions

In both handling and performance, the Kia Forte is unremarkable. Failing to stand out, it’s reminiscent of several top 1990s compacts.

Its four-cylinder engines rev readily, with little vibration and a perky nature, though they can grow noisy. The larger of the two engines is tuned for a more relaxed road experience. Neither is particularly powerful. Updated for 2017, the automatic transmission delivers sluggish shifts, as if it’s making a deliberate, thoughtful choice each time. Not too many buyers are likely to specify the manual gearbox that’s standard with LX trim.

Although a Forte falls short of the sportier Ford Focus and Mazda3, Kia’s sedan steers and handles well enough. The suspension irons out a certain amount of coarse pavement, but harsh spots can transmit more sound to occupants than is typical nowadays. Body motion is more noticeable than expected.

Some models offer selectable steering boost, with Normal, Sport, and Comfort modes. Sport mode can help the Forte track neatly on highway stretches.

In short, the Forte isn’t exactly top-rung in refinement, but it’s a capable contender in a crowded market category.

Fuel economy is good, but no better than average for the Forte’s class. Thriftiest versions by far are the LX and S with automatic, EPA-rated at 29/38 mpg City/Highway, and 32 mpg Combined. The more powerful EX model is EPA-rated at only 25/38 mpg City/Highway, and 32 mpg Combined.

Summary

Kia Forte offers a good value, but does not stand out in its class. Stylish, extroverted design and a spry nature add to its appeal. Safety hasn’t been a strong point. Active-safety features are optional, including a rearview camera for the base sedan. Selling price and the deal are key factors here.

Driving impressions by John Voelcker, The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.


J.D. Power Rating
Overall Quality 5 / 5
Overall Quality - Mechanical
5 / 5
Powertrain Quality - Mechanical
3 / 5
Body & Interior Quality - Mechanical
5 / 5
Features & Accessories Quality - Mechanical
5 / 5
Overall Quality - Design
5 / 5
Powertrain Quality - Design
3 / 5
Body & Interior Quality - Design
3 / 5
Features & Accessories Quality - Design
5 / 5

Overall Dependability Not Available
Powertrain Dependability
Not Available
Body & Interior Dependability
Not Available
Feature & Accessory Dependability
Not Available

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J.D. Power Rating Legend
Among the Best
5 / 5
Better than Most
4 / 5
About Average
3 / 5
The Rest
2 / 5

* The J.D. Power Ratings are calculated based on the range between the car manufacturer or car model with the highest score and the car manufacturer or car model with the lowest score. J.D. Power generates a rating of a five, four, three, or two. If there is insufficient data to calculate a rating, “Not Available” is used in its place.

J.D. Power Ratings may not include all information used to determine J.D. Power awards, visit the Car Ratings page to learn more about awards and ratings.

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