Advertisement
Go
2014 Kia Forte Photo
7.4
/ 10
TCC Rating
How does the
TCC Rating work?
The TCC Rating is a clear numeric rating value based on a 10-point scale that reflects the overall opinion of our automotive experts on any vehicle and rolls up ratings we give each vehicle across sub-categories you care about like performance, safety, styling and more.

Our rating also has simple color-coded “Stop” (red), “Caution” (orange),
or “Go” (green) messages along with the numerical score so you can easily understand where we stand at a glance.

Our automotive experts then also collect and show you what other websites say about these different aspects of any vehicle. We do this leg work for you to simplify your research process.

Learn more about how we rate and review cars here.

?
Reviewed by Marty Padgett
Editorial Director, The Car Connection
BASE INVOICE
$15,599
BASE MSRP
$15,900
Quick Take
The 2014 Kia Forte finds better focus with well-rounded performance and grabby good looks, but its safety scores concern us. Read more »
Compare Dealer Prices
2014 Kia Forte
Why get price quotes?
  1. Compare multiple prices from home
  2. Dealers compete for your business
  3. Easier and faster than negotiating in person
Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web
Styling
Performance
Quality
Safety
Features
Mileage

The sheetmetal defining its revised dimensions is more sculpted along the sides, lending character to a profile that was previously pretty bland, and the overall shape is strongly reminiscent of a Honda Civic.

Car and Driver

The new styling exhibits a smart, attractive blend of curves and angular lines, and not too much of either.

Cars.com

Viewed in profile, the Forte's rakish A pillar and rapidly receding roofline conspire to create a visual illusion that's both sporty and on trend.

Autoblog

Like the Rio, Optima, and Cadenza, boxiness is out and sleekness is in; the first generation Forte looks positively plain by comparison.

Motor Trend

the Forte reminds us of the new Dodge Dart, putting a handsome face on a traditional compact car shape.

Automobile
Pricing and Specifications by Style
$15,900 $21,900
MSRP $15,900
INVOICE $15,599
Get Price Quote
4-Door Sedan Manual LX
Gas Mileage 25 mpg City/37 mpg Hwy
Engine Regular Unleaded I-4, 1.8 L
EPA Class Mid-Size Cars
Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity 5
Passenger Doors 4
Body Style 4dr Car
See Detailed Specs »
7.4 out of 10
The Car Connection
2014 Kia Forte
7.4
/ 10
TCC Rating
MSRP from $15,900
Get FREE Price Quote

Shopping for a new Kia Forte?

GET A FREE PRICE QUOTE
Sign Up

Save this car now, and view it in your Showroom!

Save to My Showroom

The Basics:

The 2014 Kia Forte impresses in most ways that matter for budget-conscious small-car shoppers. And with decent performance, an excellent feature set, three body styles, and plenty of style inside and out, it sounds like the right formula to battle best-in-class offerings from Ford and Mazda. But with the Forte's poor crash-test scores, we just can't recommend it.

The Forte's grown in most ways except height, and that plays out handsomely in its four-door shape. (A new two-door Kia Forte Koup and sleek five-door Forte hatchbackjoin the lineup later this year.) It has more in common than ever with the Hyundai Elantra, but kinship in styling is looser. Picture the relationship between the Optima and Sonata family sedans, and you'll have a better gauge for the distance between the Forte and its confident stance, smart detailing, and distinctive cockpit, compared to the Elantra's adventurous curves. The reworked cockpit in the Forte works better than ever, too--it's simple and straightforward, especially when it's compared to some of the screen-driven competition, and the finishes applied are universally better than before.

Since it's longer, with a lower roofline, the Forte has a little less user space than before. It's not noticeable in front, where the Forte has good passenger space. The seats could use more bottom bolstering, though. In back, the tallest passengers won't be happy, but the majority of adults and everyone smaller will find enough room in the outboard seats, and the doors are cut in a more passenger-friendly way. The cockpit's finished with higher-grade plastics, and the details are nicely underplayed throughout, from the round climate control knobs to the tambour-covered console storage.

A pair of drivetrains gives Forte shoppers a choice between a 1.8-liter, 148-horsepower four and a 2.0-liter, 173-hp four. We've just driven the stronger Forte EX, which comes only with a six-speed automatic, and not the five-speed manual alternative offered on the lower-output LX. If nothing else, the Forte's drivetrain reminds us of the better 1990s-era compacts, with a high-winding, mostly vibration-free four delivering moderate acceleration to the front wheels with an easy-shifting transmission interpreting the results. Not quick, the Forte's doesn't lag too far behind the faster Focuses, at least until you factor in the high-performance models.

Ride and handling strike a balance between the cushy responses of a Corolla and the firm resolve of the Focus. The Forte's gotten better at absorbing roads gone wrong, an effect of a longer wheelbase that lingers even when bigger 17-inch wheels and tires are chosen. The electric steering's lifted from the Hyundai Elantra GT, and comes up with three driver-selectable modes; normally we think of these setups as frills, but the sport setting helps the Forte track better on highways, though we'd leave it in lighter modes for everyday work.

The 2014 Forte is a newly redesigned vehicle, yet that doesn't add up to top-notch occupant protection here if you go by U.S. crash tests. The NHTSA gives the Forte four-door four stars overall; three stars for front-impact protection isn't great, but five-star side-impact protection is. Factor in the Forte's 'poor' rating in the new small overlap frontal test, and this likely isn't one of the small cars we'd recommend for the most safety-conscious shoppers.

Every Forte comes with power windows, locks, and mirrors; air conditioning; satellite radio (with three months' free trial service); and steering-wheel audio controls. The EX gets a rearview camera and a new version of UVO that ditches Microsoft's software for smartphone-connected links to Google maps--a light, forward-thinking solution we hope becomes the norm. On the Forte EX, you'll even find options for leather trim, a ventilated driver seat, pushbutton start, and LED taillamps. It's a new layer of refinement to a car that has made steady progress against our best-rated compact sedans. It doesn't have the sharp handling of the Focus or its lavish list of options, but now the Kia Forte has more well-rounded performance, as well as proof--proof that good looks do run in families.

 

 

Likes:

  • One of the best-looking compact cars
  • A well-finished, smartly laid out interior
  • Better road manners
  • Smoother drivetrain (2.0)
  • New UVO points to the future

Dislikes:

  • Front seats need more support
  • Back seat head room is slim
  • Three-mode steering is more for show
  • Acceleration is moderate
  • Safety ratings are lower than expected
Next: Interior / Exterior »

Would You Prefer a Free Dealer Price Quote?

With competitive price quotes from multiple dealers, you will be prepared when you meet your local car dealer. Please tell us how to contact you so that dealers can compete for your business!
There are no dealers in our network that are located near the ZIP code. Please change your ZIP code or see cars for sale near you.
Update ZIP Code
2. Tell us a little bit about yourself
Palo Alto, CA 94301 Change ZIP Code
We are committed to your privacy. By submitting this form you agree the phone number you provided may be used to contact you (including autodialed or pre-recorded calls). Consent is not a condition of purchase.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Other Choices Read More
8.8
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.0
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.4
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.0
/ 10
TCC Rating
7.6
/ 10
TCC Rating
New Car Price Quotes
Update ZIP
We are committed to your privacy. By submitting this form you agree the phone number you provided may be used to contact you (including autodialed or pre-recorded calls). Consent is not a condition of purchase.
Try My Showroom
Save cars, write notes, and comparison shop with hi-res photos.
Add your first car
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
Advertisement

 
© 2014 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Send us feedback.