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This revised version of the Kia Forte is a good notch below the best in this class. On the plus side, the Forte handles responsively and comes with standard electronic stability control. Further, 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 2011 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 2011 Kia Forte owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

“The compressor had a part that needed replacing. We had to run it on max all the time to get any cold air”

Anonymous, TN (2011 Kia Forte SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Blower (fan) motor

“The number 3 position never worked on the fan control. It is being repaired”

Anonymous, TN (2011 Kia Forte SX 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

“Knock in lower engine (block). Was covered by MFG warranty”

Jeff P., IL (2011 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Wear in one cylinder causing ticking sound, I was told that to repair it would take a new short-block and cost ~6K apparently the engine could last a week or years with no problems... I have an extended warranty so I need to look into if I can get this covered under the warranty”

Anonymous, NS (2011 Kia Forte Unsure 2.0-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

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

“the left turn signal is flashing rapidly. I've also had to replace two bulbs in the tail lights two different sockets. One a brake light the other a turn signal light (different sides of car). Also, the AC will sometimes turn the heater on and I have to move the the temperature knob to the coldest setting before it will kick on. Basically, overall this car has electrical issues”

Seth S., TX (2011 Kia Forte EX Unsure)

“One of the wires leading to the third (trunk) brake light broke. It was a dealer installed "factory" option”

Anonymous, LA (2011 Kia Forte Unsure 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

“lots of squeaks around the back lift door area”

Ed T., VA (2011 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“worn front suspension”

Anonymous, CA (2011 Kia Forte EX 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

“pad wear excessive”

Anonymous, CA (2011 Kia Forte EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

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

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

“The AC sometimes will turn on the heater unless I turn the knob to the coldest setting and turn it back. The left turn signal only goes hyperfast and I have had to replace to two taillight bulbs one a driver side turn signal and the other passenger side brake light. Basically, the electrical on the car isn't very good”

Seth S., TX (2011 Kia Forte EX Unsure)

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.

What Owners Say

Sunroof

“The sliding sunroof tracks are plastic that breaks”

Scott W., CA (2011 Kia Forte EX 2.4-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

Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

“The problem showed up 2000 miles after the warranty was up”

Scott W., CA (2011 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

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.

Paint/Trim

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

Engine Minor

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

Transmission Minor

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

Engine Cooling

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

Exhaust

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

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.

Compare 2011 Models

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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
POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION:COOLING UNIT AND LINES
Feb 05 2016
If enough transmission fluid leaks out, the transmission may not function properly and the vehicle may stop moving, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain model year 2011 Forte vehicles manufactured August 27, 2010, to November 11, 2010. The affected vehicles have a transmission fluid cooler hose that may have been improperly manufactured, resulting in a transmission fluid leak.
What should you do:
Kia will notify owners, and dealers will replace the transmission cooler hose, free of charge. The recall began March 30, 2016. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia's number for this recall is SC129.
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: 16V070000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 10240
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