Impressive modern styling, a comfortable technology-filled cabin with plenty of room for rear passengers and cargo, decent fuel economy, and one of the best warranties in the business, make the 2016 Kia Forte sedan a compact well worth considering.

Pricing and Equipment

The 2016 Kia Forte is offered in two trim levels, each powered by a different engine and standard transmission.

  • The LX model employs a 1.8-liter inline-four that produces 145-horsepower and 130 pound-feet of torque. LX trims arrive with a standard six-speed manual transmission, an electronically controlled six-speed automatic is optional. A fuel saving active eco system, Bluetooth connectivity, and remote keyless entry are all included in the $15,990 starting price.
  • The EX model gains a more significant 2-liter inline-four engine that makes 173-horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. Gear changes are handled by the standard six-speed automatic. Chrome touches, power-folding mirrors, 17-inch alloy wheels and fog lights dress up the exterior. Inside, the technology party is in full swing with options that include a 7-inch touchscreen navigation system, Kia's proprietary Uvo entertainment system, and a 4.2-inch color information screen located in the middle of the gauge cluster. EX pricing starts at $19,990.

The Forte is also offered in a 5-door hatchback (Forte5) and coupe (Forte Koup).

Performance Pros

2016 Kia Forte Driver Side

The 2016 Kia Forte offers a nice, compliant ride in a comfortable, relatively quiet cabin. While neither trim completely lives up to the Forte's sporty styling, acceleration is decent, especially in the larger engine EX model.

Kia's Flexsteer Driver-selectable steering assist is easily engaged by a small button on the steering wheel and allows the driver to set the basic parameters of the electronic steering box. I found the “comfort” setting helpful on long stretches of highway, while the sport setting takes some of the work away from more demanding driving situations.

The LX model with the six-speed automatic is the miles-per-gallon sweetheart, earning 26 mpg city, 39 mpg highway, and 31 mpg combined. Manual-equipped LX trims lose a little at 25 mpg city, 37, mpg highway, and 30 mpg combined, and EX models trade a little muscle for efficiency, churning out 24 mpg city, 35 mpg highway, and 28 mpg combined.

Performance Cons

Although the driving performance offered by the Forte is more than acceptable, the sedan comes up short when directly compared to many rivals in the segment.

Interior Pros

2016 Kia Forte Trunk

The 2016 Kia Forte is a style leader, inside and out. Packed with standard features assembled in an attractive package, the Forte's interior is thoughtfully designed to fit the needs of today's commuters and provide some weekend fun when the work is done.

The sporty standard tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel is home to a bevy of audio, hands-free phone, and cruise control buttons. We like a nifty roll-top that covers the USB and power ports, providing a nice place to stash your portable tech from the eyes of would-be thieves.

Front and rear seat passengers can enjoy a warm derriere on cold mornings when equipped with the Forte's optional all-around seat warmers.

Interior Cons

Much of the most impressive interior equipment is optional even in the top trim EX package.

Most Pleasant Surprise

The gigantic trunk, especially for its class, is big enough to accommodate luggage for a family of four.

Least Pleasant Surprise

The electronic steering is a nice feature but we find it robs the driver of the feedback that make rivals like the Mazda3 more exciting to drive.

Bottom Line

2016 Kia Forte

The 2016 Kia Forte sedan offers modern sporty styling, excellent fuel efficiency, a comfortable ride, and one of the best warranties in the business. If you love the looks and enjoy the modern interior's ample tech features, rest assured that the Forte has no major glaring or hidden flaws that should steer you away from adding it to your potential purchase list.