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As a small sedan, this version of the Forte is a good notch below the best in the class, though it handles responsively and comes with standard electronic stability control. The interior feels airy, controls are simple, and rear-seat space is quite good. Fuel economy is competitive as well. Downsides include a stiff ride, noisy engine and mediocre driving position.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2010 Kia Forte has been recalled 2 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years *Redesign year
Worse Better
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Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
NA
Engine Minor
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
Transmission Major
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
Drive System
NA
Fuel System
NA
Electric System
NA
Climate System
NA
Suspension
NA
Brakes
NA
Exhaust
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
Body Integrity
NA
Body Hardware
NA
Power Equipment
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 500,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2018 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2010 Kia Forte owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

“The company has not kept up with the changing phone and media systems, so my current phone does not work in their AV system any longer (no plug)”

Grant M., AR (2010 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

“Phone would intermittently connect with the Bluetooth. On occasion it would disconnect during a call”

Peg O., OH (2010 Kia Forte Unsure Unsure)

“If I'm playing a music CD and I press the up/down button to restart the track or advance to the next, sometimes the radio engages - a little maddening/annoying, but not a terrible thing. It usually straightens out after one re-try, sometimes two. Dealer said I'd need t replace the entire CD/DVD/radio module - that sounded a little ridiculous. I didn't ask what the cost would be but it is something I can live with”

Anonymous, NC (2010 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Voice control commands

“the buttons that control the phone for answering and hanging up the phone are starting to not function consistently.Have had issues with cruise control twice due to recall and afraid to take it in to Kia dealership due to bad service with this particular one”

Anonymous, AL (2010 Kia Forte SX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Premature brake wear

“pads separated long before worn out”

Anonymous, NS (2010 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Rotors

“Very rusty and scored”

Anonymous, NS (2010 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“With the limited mileage I place on the vehicle (less than 7500 per year) I didn't expect the rotors to need replacement at 52000 miles. My driving habit is not that aggressive but there is primarily city/stop and go driving, which might explain that”

Anonymous, NC (2010 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

“Internal engine failure”

Anonymous, VA (2010 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

“hard to start and check motor light on”

Anonymous, TX (2010 Kia Forte LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Oil leaks

“Had to replace the timing cover gasket and seal to stop an oil leak. $110 parts and $360 labor. Extended warranty paid for all but $100 deductible”

Bruce L., NM (2010 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

“Several rattles I cannot pinpoint but are annoying”

Sherry F., AZ (2010 Kia Forte Unsure Unsure)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

“Noisy clutch, dealer says whole compressor needs replacement”

Anonymous, VA (2010 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

“Paint on door handle cracked and faded”

Anonymous, LA (2010 Kia Forte LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Wiper motor or washer

“Wiper motor”

Anonymous, BC (2010 Kia Forte EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Electronic ignition

“Fuel injectors clogged with carbon. After treated it was fine. Caused reduced acceleration”

Anonymous, IL (2010 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

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This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
AIR BAGS: AIR BAG CONTROL MODULE
Jun 01 2018
If the frontal air bags and seat belt pretensioners are disabled, there is an increased risk of injury to the vehicle occupants in the event of a vehicle crash that necessitates deployment of these safety systems.
Summary:
Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain 2010-2013 Kia Forte, Forte Koup, 2011-2013 Kia Optima and 2011-2012 Kia Optima Hybrid and Sedona vehicles. In the event of a crash, the air bag control unit (ACU) may short circuit, preventing the frontal air bags and seat belt pretensioners from deploying.
What should you do:
Kia will notify owners. For model year 2011 Sedona vehicles, Kia will instruct dealers to verify the ACU part number and, if necessary, install an extension wire harness kit between the ACU Connector and the Vehicle Harness Connector. For all other affected vehicles, Kia will instruct dealers to install the extension wire harness kit. The recall began September 28, 2018. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia's number for this recall is SC165.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 18V363000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 507587
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:SWITCHES:BRAKE LIGHT
Apr 01 2013
Failure to illuminate the stop lamps during braking or inability to disengage the cruise control could increase the risk of a crash. Additionally, when the ignition is in the 'ON' position, the transmission shifter may be able to be moved out of PARK without first applying the brake. This may lead to unintentional movement of the car which may increase the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Kia Motors Corporation (Kia) is recalling certain model year 2007-2010 Rondo, model year 2007-2011 Sedona, Sorento and Sportage, model year 2010-2011 Soul, model year 2008-2011 Optima, model year 2010 Forte, model year 2007-2009 Amanti, and model year 2009 Borrego vehicles. Originally, in April 2013, Kia recalled 623,658 model year 2007-2010 Rondo and Sportage, model year 2007-2011 Sorento, model year 2007 Sedona, model year 2010-2011 Soul, and model year 2011 Optima vehicles. In September 2013, Kia informed the agency that it was adding an additional 356,719 vehicles to this campaign. The total number of vehicles being recalled is now 980,377. In the affected vehicles, the stop lamp switch may malfunction. A malfunctioning stop lamp switch may cause the brake lights to not illuminate when the brake pedal is depressed or may cause an inability to deactivate the cruise control by depressing the brake pedal. Additionally, a malfunctioning stop lamp switch may also result in intermittent operation of the push-button start feature, affect the operation of the brake-transmission shift interlock feature preventing the shifter from being moved out of the PARK position and cause the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) malfunction light to illuminate.
What should you do:
Kia will send an interim notification to owners in May 2013. When parts are available, owners will receive a second notification and dealers will replace the stop lamp switch, free of charge. Owners may contact Kia at 1-800-333-4542. Kia's recall campaign number is SC098.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 13V114000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 980377
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