2012 Kia Forte

The 2012 Kia Forte earned a high ranking among similar sized and priced vehicles.

The Forte has many standard features, making it ideal for those seeking a small, affordable car.

The front wheel drive vehicle offers consumers a small, fuel-efficient car with several option packages.


General Info
Vehicle Type: Sedan Base Price: $15,200.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 13.7 gallons (51 liters) MPG: 25 city / 34 hwy
Length: 178.3 in. (452.8 cm) Wheel Base: 104.3 in. (264.9 cm)
Height: 57.5 in. (146 cm) Width: 69.9 in. (177.5 cm)
Curb Weight: 2729 lbs (1238 kg) Ground Clearance: 5.9 in. (14.9 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 14.7 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Engine: 2.0L Inline 4 DOHC Compression Ratio: 10.5: 1
Horsepower: 156 HP Max RPM: 6200 RPM
Torque: 144 lb-ft @ 4300 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed Manual OD
Available Trims & Engine
Option:Forte Koup MSRP: $17,200; MPG: 24 city / 33 hwy
Option:Hatchback MSRP: $18,100; MPG: 26 city / 36 hwy
Option:EX 2.0L AT MSRP: $17,600; MPG: 26 city / 36 hwy
Option:SX 2.4L AT MSRP: $19,100; MPG: 23 city / 32 hwy

Engine & Performance

The downside of the Kia Forte is its engine size and performance. While adequate, the Forte does not have a zippy or powerful engine. However, excellent fuel economy may offset the lack of power for many buyers. The Forte is available in both manual and automatic transmissions. The four-cylinder engine performs efficiently and provides good fuel economy but does not offer significant power.

The Forte handles well and features speed-sensitive steering and a comfortable suspension, making it easy for drivers to handle on a variety of roads. The combination of easy handling and good fuel economy make it ideal for commuters.


The Kia Forte comes in three different body styles. Available in sedan, hatchback or coupe, the Forte offers buyers the choice of body style best suited to their needs and preferences. Base model color choices are limited, although additional colors are available with some of the enhanced trim packages.

The Forte also has several different trim packages for each body style, allowing buyers to select a combination of features. Options include a rear spoiler, upgraded wheel covers or wheels and upgraded tires.


The interior of the Forte includes a passenger compartment sized to seat four comfortably and plenty of cargo space. Passengers have adequate head and leg room, although long trips may be uncomfortable for adult passengers in the back seat.

Materials used are high quality and driver controls are ergonomically designed and comfortable to use. Additional standard features include satellite radio, Bluetooth and a USB port for music players or other electronic devices. You can also add on extra features such as a sunroof, navigation system, lighted vanity mirrors, reading lamps and steering wheel controls. Additional upgrades include material options such as leather or premium synthetic seats.


Multiple safety features come standard on the Forte, including air bags, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, child safety locks, traction control and an emergency trunk release. Additional safety features available include integrated turn signal mirrors and upgraded braking systems. The 2012 Forte scored well in crash tests and received a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.


When it comes to reliability, the 2012 Kia Forte stacks up well against competitors. Kia offers one of the longest and most comprehensive warranties available, including a five-year/60,000 mile 24 hour roadside assistance program.

The vehicle itself receives expected reliability scores and the warranty provides assurance the manufacturer backs the construction and reliability of the vehicle.

For buyers interested in a fuel-efficient and affordable new car, the 2012 Kia Forte offers many benefits. While the engine performance may be lacking in comparison with other similarly sized vehicles, the relatively low cost and fuel efficiency offsets the limitations of the engine.

The Forte offers numerous standard features unusual in small, affordable cars, making it an ideal choice for consumers wishing to maximize purchasing power.


Among the competitors of the Forte are the Toyota Corolla(MSRP $16,130; 27 city / 34 hwy), Honda Civic(MSRP $15,955; 28 city / 36 hwy), and the Ford Focus (MSRP $17,500; 26 city / 36 hwy).

Overall Rating
70 out of 100

What others say:

“The 2012 Kia Forte remains one of the better picks for performance in a rather crowded class of compact sedans, although with a host of other models introduced over the past model year, the competition is a lot tighter.”Car Connection

“The Forte is a competitive small car but lacks refinement. Handling is responsive but the ride is stiff.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“On the open road, the 2012 Kia Forte is the master of its domain – so long as the road to that domain remains straight and level.”KBB

“The 2012 Kia Forte is a bit outclassed by newer competitors, but it still has a lot to offer in terms of value and style.”Edmunds