GREEN CHOICE
GREEN CHOICE

Kia Forte

There's a lot to like in the Kia Forte for those in the market for a small car. Unassuming in nature, the Forte feels mature and solid, thanks to a quiet cabin and possessing one of the most comfortable rides in its class. The spacious, nicely finished interior also wins praise. Braking performance is excellent. Overall, the Forte is now one of the top-rated cars in the category.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

We expect the 2021 Forte will be much less reliable than the average new car. This prediction is based on data from 2019 models. Select the used car model year to see reported issues with those similar past models.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2018 Kia Forte has been recalled 2 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
Worse Better
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01
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10*
11
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14*
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19*
20
Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
NA
NA
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 329,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2020 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 2018 Kia Forte owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

"Constant air/wind leak in corner of windshield since getting the vehicle. Never solved by Kia"

Anonymous, (2018 Kia Forte S 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Air or water leaks was due to the leaking air conditioning system."

Anonymous, (2018 Kia Forte SX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Passenger window has a seal leak, but dealership was unable to confirm the leak."

Anonymous, TX (2018 Kia Forte LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Window strips needed replying/replacing."

Anonymous, NY (2018 Kia Forte S 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"Dash molding needed replying"

Anonymous, NY (2018 Kia Forte S 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

Blower (fan) motor

"A clicking sound led to warranty repair: fan-blade cowling and a fan-motor replacement."

Anonymous, AZ (2018 Kia Forte LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Condenser

"Leak of water from Condenser to carpet on passenger side front carpet. Brought car to Dealer for repair under warranty. Car was repaired, have not had issue repeated."

Anonymous, (2018 Kia Forte SX 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)

"Taillight went out a few times after having vehicle 12-14 mos. Kia Resolved the issue"

Anonymous, (2018 Kia Forte S 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Headlights

"The manufacture headlights are of the poorest quality for night driving. One is only able to drive 55/60 mph before over-driving the Forte's headlights. Tried replacing them with auto parts store replacement bulbs, did not work. Took the car to KIA dealership and they were unable to fix/change or have any suggestions on how to get them fixed/changed."

Anonymous, TX (2018 Kia Forte LX 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

Spark plugs or wires failure

"Piston on the 3rd cylinder was not firing"

Anonymous, NY (2018 Kia Forte 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

Cylinder head

"not sure if the head, but on the 3rd cylinder, the piston not firig"

Anonymous, NY (2018 Kia Forte 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

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.

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.

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.

Brakes

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

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.

Drive System

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

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.

Compare 2018 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
LATCHES/LOCKS/LINKAGES
Aug 09, 2021
A person inside the trunk compartment may become trapped, increasing their risk of injury.
Summary:
Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain 2016-2018 Forte 4-door, Forte Koup 2-door, and 2018-2019 Rio 4-door vehicles. The trunk latch may become damaged, preventing the opening of the trunk from the inside. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 401, "Internal Trunk Release."
What should you do:
Dealers will replace the trunk latch assembly, free of charge. Interim owner notification letters were mailed on October 5, 2021. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia's number for this recall is SC216.
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.nhtsa.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 21V622000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 253074
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING
Apr 13, 2021
A damaged engine may stall, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain 2017-2018 Forte vehicles equipped with a 2.0L Nu MPI engine. Foreign particles may stick inside the oil pump, which may cause an oil pump failure and engine damage.
What should you do:
Kia will notify owners, and dealers will replace the oil pan, free of charge. Owner letters were mailed August 16, 2021. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia's number for this recall is SC210.
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: 21V260000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 4069
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