Is Kia Forte Reliable?

Kia Forte Reliability

Kia has maintained an impressive reliability standard, so there are high hopes that the Kia Forte is a reliable car. Just as good as your guess, Kia Forte is a reliable car. They offer amazing gas mileage, user-friendly features, and good safety ratings, and you get to enjoy Kia’s 10-year warranty coverage.

The cost of maintenance on Kia Forte is low and retains high value. Even as a small car, Kia Forte has practical engineering principles and is highly durable. The low cost of ownership on the Kia Forte makes it a good first car buy.

Irrespective of the fact that the Kia Forte are great cars, there are some years that you should avoid. These bad Kia Forte years have low-reliability ratings, and this is also considering the fact that they are loaded with CVTs that will fail after 10,000 miles.

The Kia Forte car is one of Kia’s best-selling cars. You’ll have to stash out some cash for an oil change and ensure you don’t exert great pressure on them.

Here’s all you need to know about Kia Forte’s reliability and why we consider them reliable cars.

Is Kia Forte Reliable?

Kia Forte is super reliable; not the most reliable car in its class, but they have high-reliability ratings. According to Repairpal, Kia Forte has a reliability rating of 4.5/5.0, ranking 6th out of 36 compact cars. Cars US News rates the 2023 Kia Forte as the third ‘reliable’ car out of eleven compact cars.

Kia Forte has high overall reliability ratings across different sites. In 2021, Kia Forte earned a 90/100 score on JD Power’s quality and reliability rating, earning 4/5 stars from Kelley Blue Book reliability ratings, as the 4th most reliable car amongst compact cars in its category.

This is without failing to mention that the Kia Forte earned the highest award in JD Power’s Initial Quality amongst compact cars.

The reliability of the Kia Forte cuts across its impressive fuel economy, easy-to-use infotainment system, and nice cabin space. The Kia Forte has an average engine, but you can upgrade to the turbo-four engine. The interior designs are great, but the performance and drive dynamics are not the best in cars of its category.

The steering response is precise with agile handling, but there are few compact cars that achieve better ride quality. However, there are options to go for higher trim levels of Kia Forte, with better performance. For instance, the 2022 Kia Forte GT is regarded as one of the best-performance compact sedans.

Most importantly, you will spend less on the maintenance of a Kia Forte than you will do on most cars. The car has great build quality, nice materials, amazing throttle response, and options to achieve 201hp and 195lb-ft torque if you opt for the 4-cylinder turbocharged engine.

The designs are sporty and attractive, but there are slight changes in the trim levels that Kia offers.

Due to the reliability and durability of the Kia Forte, you will have fewer reasons to visit the repair shop for maintenance or repairs. Safety ratings of Kia Forte aren’t bad, although not good enough to earn it the IIHS Top safety pick (+) award.

Why Kia Forte is Considered Reliable

1. Fuel Economy

Kia Forte returns impressive gas mileage, making it one of the most fuel-efficient cars that Kia has ever produced. The Kia Forte returns a gas mileage of 31-41 mpg for the city and highway.

You must understand that there are variations in the fuel economy of the different trim levels and production years. For instance, the 2023 Kia Forte GT-Line and GT trim feature different engines.

The GT line has a 2.0L Inline 4-cylinder, while the GT has a turbocharged 1.6L Inline 4-cylinder engine. The GT trim returns a gas mileage of 27/35/30mpg for city/highway/combined, while the GT-line returns 29/39/33 mpg.

Both trims use the same fuel grade, Octane 87 or higher, and the same fuel tank capacity, but they differ in how well they perform with fuel. This is because Kia used different rear suspension and transmission systems for the trim levels.

2. Design

Since Kia Motors hired the ex-Audi lead designer as the first foreign president of the corporation, Kia’s designs have seen a lift.

The interiors and exteriors of Kia Forte adopt a bold design inspired by the need to achieve a dynamic personality aiming at an improved driving experience. There are widescreen navigation designs, sleek designs, and bold frames topped off with the tiger-nose grille.

Ensuring that users have a wide range of options to choose from to satisfy their needs, Kia provides different trim levels with different premium features.

You can go for the Kia Forte GT-Line if you want something more sporty, or you can settle for the base trim. Whichever version you choose, you’ll get a car your neighbors will want to take a second look at.

You must understand that reliable designs go beyond beauty and attractiveness. It includes how functional the designs are. Kia Forte adopts a five-seat design, 15.3 cu-ft cargo space, and 42.2/35.7 inches leg room. This includes an interior volume of 96.0cu-ft and a hiproom of 53.0/51.2.

The Kia Forte offers a larger cargo space than Mazda 3, but it is cheaper than the Mazda 3 and Civic. This proves that you are getting more value at a lesser cost.

3. Safety and Technology

Kia Forte has a good safety rating. The safety ratings of Kia forte are not too high to earn it multiple awards, but they are far above average.

According to IIHS, the 2022 Kia Forte has a good safety rating and overall protection on the driver’s and passenger sides, supporting head restraints and seatbelts. This includes a superb front crash prevention system against vehicle-to-vehicle impacts.

Although there is a drop in vehicle to pedestrian prevention system, it is on an advanced level. There are good safety systems for seat belt reminders and LATCH systems.

NHTSA gives the 2022 Kia Forte a four-star safety rating. This is low compared to the safety rating of its competitors. So, what went wrong with Kia Forte’s safety?

It doesn’t have superb side impact protection. Users will feel safe in these cars, but in the event of a collision, they will feel a level of impact, especially at crashes at 38.5mph. When it comes to the overall side crashworthiness ratings, the Kia Forte has a five-star rating.

From the 2023 Kia Forte, you will get advanced connectivity features, safety technology, and driver assistance systems.

Here are some of the standard safety features in the Kia Forte

  • Standard Auto Emergency Braking Technology
  • Blind Spot Detection, Collision, and Avoidance Technology
  • Navigation Based Smart Cruise Control w/ Stop & Go and Highway Driving Assist
  • Lane Keeping Assist and Lane Following Assist
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist
  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian and Cyclist detection

4. Repair and Maintenance Cost

It is cheaper to repair and maintain a Kia Forte. You should expect an annual average repair cost of $451 on your Kia Forte. This is cheaper than the $651 average cost of maintaining a vehicle.

You should also factor in the fact that in a span of three years, there is a 0.57 chance of encountering major maintenance with your Kia Forte. This is an impressive lead compared to what is achieved on most compact cars.

5. Engine and Performance

Kia Forte’s engines are not the best in the industry. They are reliable, but not as fast as expected. Compared to the Mazda 3 engine, Kia Forte takes up to 8.2 seconds to accelerate to 60mph. This is sluggish compared to Mazda, which takes only 7.0 seconds.

However, Kia makes provisions for turbo engines to achieve a higher Hp and torque. Nevertheless, what the Kia forte engine couldn’t achieve in speed, it achieved in fuel economy and durability.

You simply have to choose Kia Forte’s engine that matches your needs, with the assurance that it will always last up to 200,000 miles.

6. Durability

As long as you are consistent with oil changes and regular maintenance, your Kia Forte car will last long. These cars have a higher chance to last up to and even more than APC. You have a role in ensuring that your Kia Forte is durable; your driving conditions and maintenance habits are areas to consider.

Irrespective of how good Kia Forte cars are, there are a few Kia Forte years that you should not buy. These years are riddled with lots of problems. 2010 - 2017 are years of Kia Forte that you should avoid.

We do not wish to hide the fact that some of these Kia Fortes come with bad systems and issues. However, you must understand that the problems are less than those with other car brands in the class.

Kia Forte Reliability: PROS

  • Great Design
  • Great engines
  • Impressive Fuel Economy
  • Low Cost of Ownership
  • Nice Infotainment

Kia Forte Reliability: CONS

  • Stiff Ride
  • CVT issues
  • Safety Systems need an upgrade
  • No AWD System, strictly FWD
  • Driving Dynamics – Engine needs an upgrade


Kia Forte are great cars. With beautiful designs, nice fuel economy, and durable frames, there are many reasons to buy a Kia Forte.

These cars are also relatively cheap. If you do not mind a step down in the driving dynamics of your car, then the Kia Forte is the best choice for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will a Kia Forte last?

Kia Forte are great cars that can last more than 200,000 miles with an average lifespan. Kia also offers a 10-year warranty coverage to shield you and reduce in the event of damages.

What problems does a Kia Forte have?

There are a few problems that are synonymous with Kia Forte, and these include; software glitches, electrical malfunction, transmission failure, and engine failures, airbag issues, wiring problems.