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STYLING | 7 out of 10
looks handsome in sedan form but positively stylish as a two-door coupe
Car and Driver
shares only one piece of sheetmetal, the hood, with its sedan sibling
precise and artful rendering of the interior
The styling is fresh and stands out against its competitors the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla
fresh, modern styling is definitely a strong point
The Forte was the first car to get the crisp new Euro-influenced look that has characterized all of Kia's latest cars—and it rightfully earned the Forte a new name, replacing the good but anonymous Spectra just three years ago. Even after much of the compact segment has been redesigned—Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic, and even its distant cousin, the Hyundai Sonata—the Forte somehow remains competitive.
On the outside, the look is smooth, clean, and uncluttered, with proportions that feel just right either up close or from a distance. Add to that an assertive stance, and a flowing, gently arced roofline. There simply aren't any awkward angles, and the sleek Koup (coupe) looks even better with its simple, swept-back appearance. You also have a five-door 'Forte 5-door' hatchback from which to choose, and we tend to think that model looks even better despite the truncated roofline.Inside, the Forte is simple and no-nonsense, with a look that's stylish but not all that trend-setting. Compared to both the instrument panel of the larger Optima and smaller Rio, that of the Forte (which came earlier in the development of Kia's new style) is smoother, more organic—with more in common with the Soul and its distinctive and functional teardrop center stack.
The 2013 Kia Forte is straightforward and good-looking, but inside especially it's more plain than charming.