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SAFETY | 5 out of 10
Four stars overall; three stars frontal, five stars side
'Good,' frontal, side, rear impact; 'good,' roof strength; 'poor,' small overlap frontal
Visibility is a mixed bag, but not in the traditional way of obstructive pillars. Over-the-shoulder visibility to the sides is actually great, with additional quarter windows added to the rear doors. The rearward visibility is minimized because of the high trunk line and short rear window.
all-around visibility from inside is spectacular
Kia had said that one of its primary goals is to bring all of its cars up to five-star ratings, but those results weren't accomplished for the Forte.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awards it four stars overall, with an unsatisfying three-star rating for front impacts, but a five-star rating for side impacts.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the Forte 'good' ratings in most categories, but it achieves a worrisome 'poor' rating in the new small overlap frontal test.All Forte sedans come with six airbags and stability control, as well as Bluetooth, a feature we connect to safety because of the talk-and-drive habits of the vast majority of drivers. A rearview camera can be ordered, but only on the Forte EX.
The NHTSA's three-star front-impact score is concerning; the Forte comes with standard Bluetooth, but a rearview camera is an option only on the EX.