There's a lot to like in the Kia Forte for those in the market for a small car. Unassuming in nature, yet considerably more refined than previous Kia compact sedans, this iteration of the Forte feels mature and solid, thanks to a quiet cabin and one of the most comfortable rides in its class. The spacious, nicely finished interior also wins praise. Braking performance is excellent too.
Alerts
There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Emissions
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A 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.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
NA
2011
NA
2012
NA
2013
NA
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A 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.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
NA
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard.Side and head air bags standard.
Road Test

There's a lot to like in the Kia Forte for those in the market for a small car. Unassuming in nature, yet considerably more refined than previous Kia compact sedans, this iteration of the Forte feels mature and solid, thanks to a quiet cabin and one of the most comfortable rides in its class. The spacious, nicely finished interior also wins praise. Braking performance is excellent too. Overall, the Forte is now one of the top-rated cars in the category.

Controls are quite simple -- which is impressive for a car brimming with the latest connectivity features. The 1.8-liter engine provides adequate power. Stepping up to the EX trim level adds a bigger 2.0-liter engine plus available luxury-class options, like a heated steering wheel and ventilated seats, that are uncommon in this class.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door hatchback
coupe
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 1.6-liter 4 turbo (201 hp)
  • 1.8-liter 4 (148 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 (173 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2014 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

Backup or other camera/sensors

"camera ceased working and was replaced under warranty"

Norman B., PA (2014 Kia Forte LX 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Backup camera failed due to moisture intrusion. The cost for this specific Kia model is ridiculously expensive compared to other Kia vehicles. It is EASY to replace, however, so definitely DIY."

Anonymous, CT (2014 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen goes blank

"Radio display screen went blank, but the radio still worked. The back up display was also disabled"

Anonymous, NV (2014 Kia Forte EX 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"Whenever I use the built-in USB port to stream music through my phone, or use bluetooth, the system crashes, and I need to do a hard re-set. Other times, it doesn't work at all. Now, I've started to use the cigarette lighter to charge my phone, and stream my music wirelessly. It's the only way that I can get it to work. UVO may be a model of simplicity, but reliability-wise...it SUCKS!!!!"

Steve B., NJ (2014 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"The Bluetooth works intermittently. It tells us the Bluetooth is not ready please wait and 20 minutes into a drive, it will suddenly connect. Or it won't."

Tyronne H., CA (2014 Kia Forte LX 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Dealership maintenance downloaded an update to the sound system. Since then the system is unable to pair by blue tooth with cell phones. We waited too long to take it back to the dealership to get it fixed and they were unable to fix it"

Anonymous, WA (2014 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"When trying to make a phone call, the system makes an annoying squawk that completely interferes with the phone call. Happened after the warranty was up. Dealer tried a couple of fixes that didn't work. since the warranty was up, I have to purchase an after market fix that I haven't been willing to pay for."

Anonymous, WA (2014 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"A couple of months ago the bluetooth completely stopped working on my factory radio. It will not pair for calls or audio streaming. When I try to turn on the bluetooth the display says bluetooth not ready."

Tyronne H., CA (2014 Kia Forte LX 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"it pairs with the phone but loses the pairing with the music portion of my iphone"

Anonymous, WI (2014 Kia Forte)
Radio

"Radio display locked up and channelcould not be changed or seen in display."

Anonymous, NV (2014 Kia Forte EX 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"AM band not working"

Anonymous, ON (2014 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"AM band stopped working."

Anonymous, ON (2014 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

Air or water leaks

"At around 45,000 miles I began to notice a musty smell coming from the trunk. Upon further investigation, I realized that the carpet just behind the back seats was wet. It happened every time we had a substantial rain or when we went through the car wash. The trunk seal seems to be in perfect condition so I'm not sure where the water is actually getting in. I even went so far as to lay in the closed trunk while running the hose over the back window and trunk lid, with the rear seats down of course!"

Tyronne H., CA (2014 Kia Forte LX 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaks or rattles

"Depending on the weather, there are some flapping noises in the dashboard--they aren't too bad and overall aren't nearly as bad as the noises in my 2011 Infiniti EX35. The noises are a distraction but not a major one and they don't happen all the time"

Edward E., MO (2014 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"There are simply noises in the dashboard area that are somewhat annoying. Not as annoying as my previous 2011 Infiniti EX but somewhat annoying. Cannot be fixed cost-effectively. Attribute them to lack of quality of manufacturing or assembly."

Edward E., MO (2014 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Very noisy going over bumps on road.. can feel every little bump"

Anonymous, AB (2014 Kia Forte EX 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wind noise

"VERY bad noise - sighted in MANY reviews. wind / road noise and nothing can be done"

Anonymous, (2014 Kia Forte Unsure 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

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

What Owners Say

Cylinder head

"Had to replace engine on this 5 yr old car."

Anonymous, IL (2014 Kia Forte)
Engine rebuild or replacement

"See comments on engine knock. The engine knock was the clue that led to the engine replacement."

Anonymous, WA (2014 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Oil pump began failing. The result was an engine replacement with a salvaged engine because it was cheaper than replacing the oil pump."

Anonymous, GA (2014 Kia Forte)

"lower bearing on crank shaft came lose. Repair covered by basic warranty."

Anonymous, (2014 Kia Forte Unsure 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Burning oil, started Jan 2019, repaired August 2019"

Anonymous, GA (2014 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"engine light comes on frequently"

Henry Z., ON (2014 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Engine knock or ping

"Oil light came on with a knocking sound. Turns out the engine lost all oil pressure and had to be completely replaced. Was still under warranty so Dick Hannah Kia replaced the engine at no cost to us, as well as a loaner vehicle for the two weeks it took."

Anonymous, WA (2014 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Heard pinging about a month before we had it looked at at 2 different repair places. The last place finally diagnosed the the engine needed replacing. Engine would stall after braking to pull into a parking stall."

Anonymous, IL (2014 Kia Forte)
Oil leaks

"Three years ago had to have engine block replaced on warranty because oil pressure went to zero. One of the replaced seals developed a leak. Took it back to the dealer mechanic and they fixed it at no charge including a follow up check 1,000 miles later."

Anonymous, WA (2014 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Normal routine brake wear

"Back brakkes replaced at 54500 miles"

Anonymous, NJ (2014 Kia Forte)
Premature brake wear

"There was a recall on the brakes etc.and took it in,there is also one on the electrial but have naturally heard nothing more of it."

Anonymous, WA (2014 Kia Forte)
Pulsation or vibration

"It knocks and noisy always especially in idle and it shakes when driving"

Anonymous, WA (2014 Kia Forte)
Squeaking

"Had KIA replace front Brake Pads and from that point on had a squeaky noise , took it back 3 times and it still does it on occasion. Over all it's a wonderful car."

Anonymous, NC (2014 Kia Forte EX 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose interior trim or moldings

"lOOSE SCREW UNDER PASS. SEAT"

J D., QC (2014 Kia Forte LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"I have paint chips that are unexplainable. They are located on the drivers side trunk area and around to the passenger door. The dealer took a look at them and couldn't do a thing about it. It seems to be an anomaly"

Edith K., FL (2014 Kia Forte LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

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

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"When starting out slowly and having to let off the gas peddle, like going around a curve, the transmission goes into limbo. Car feels like it is coasting. Once you press the gas peddle the transmission suddenly shifts and the car jerks ahead. Have to be careful in traffic so you don't bump into another car in front of you."

Anonymous, PA (2014 Kia Forte LX 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Slipping transmission

"Explained slipping under rough shifting"

Anonymous, PA (2014 Kia Forte LX 1.8-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)

"One exterior marker light burned out way before it seems it should have. It was inexpensive to fix though."

Edward E., MO (2014 Kia Forte EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Keyless entry

"The trunk used to _unlock_ (not open) by proximity to the keyfob (i.e., no button pushing). This stopped working recently and the Kia dealer has been unable to figure out why."

Anonymous, PA (2014 Kia Forte EX 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"Air bag system inside the steering column had to be replaced"

Anonymous, TX (2014 Kia Forte SX 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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.

What Owners Say

Springs or torsion bars

"Poor springs. Car uncomfortable, feel any little bump on the road"

Anonymous, AB (2014 Kia Forte EX 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

Fuel pump

"Took many visits to the dealer, first looking at fuel cap and corrosion around filler, before identifying fuel pump as the issue. fuel cap etc. was covered by the dealer although the warranty had expired. I had to pay for the fuel pump issue."

Anonymous, ON (2014 Kia Forte SX 2.0-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

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"The battery needed replaced without warning. Uncool!"

Edith K., FL (2014 Kia Forte LX 2.0-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

Driveshaft or axle

"A device at the base of the steering column broke and had to be replaced. Steering was clunky and turning was noisy until this apparatus was replaced"

Anonymous, TX (2014 Kia Forte SX 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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 first time we turned our air conditioner on after the winter season, it did not cool. We took it to a dealer who was unable to repair it because of damage to the car from a recent accident. When I started the car to take it away from the dealership, the air conditioner worked and has since! Self-healing A/C!"

Cynthia S., CO (2014 Kia Forte)

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

Mirrors

"pASS.SIDE MIRROR doesn't open or close at times"

J D., QC (2014 Kia Forte LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

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

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