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2013 Kia Forte Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2013 Kia Forte was new.


Interior: 8.0

If you’re looking for an affordable small car with tech features that are easy to use, reviewers say the 2013 Kia Forte should be at the top of your list. Critics are divided over its interior quality. Some say the fit and finish is outstanding, while others say it pales in comparison with top competitors. Test drivers add that the Forte’s front seats are comfortable, but as with many small cars, the rear seats are cramped, especially in the coupe model. 

  • "The 2013 Kia Forte is given a visually appealing dash and seat setup, with lots of colorful instruments, a big LCD screen for the audio and plenty of soft-touch materials throughout the cabin." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The quality of the interior is certainly acceptable, but it's a noticeable step down from what you'll find in a Focus, Elantra or Volkswagen Golf. Some Forte test cars we've sampled have also suffered from haphazard construction." -- Edmunds
  • "Fit and finish on our Forte EX was excellent. Interior ergonomics -- ease of sight and ease of use of gauges and controls -- were better than those found in many rival cars." -- The Washington Post (2010)


In the 2013 Forte, passenger comfort varies by body style. Test drivers report that overall, the cabin is quiet and that driver and front passenger comfort in the sedan and hatchback is what they expect from a small car. Those in the front seats will have good head- and legroom, and the driver benefits from good forward visibility. Although the rear seats offer less room for passengers, reviewers say the amount of space available in the sedan and hatchback is on par for the class. However, test drivers say that the coupe is tight for adults. They suggest limiting rear passengers in this model to two.

  • "Front seats are generously bolstered, while the rear seats are what you'd expect in a compact coupe; roomy enough to carry two adults (Kia classifies it as a three-passenger rear) only on short trips." -- Motor Trend (2010)
  • "Most drivers will likely appreciate the Forte's ability to prevent wind, engine or road noise from making their ways into the cabin." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Kia Forte's interior is a fairly comfortable place, with good room up front and backseats with legroom that, while not great, is about par for the category. One notable exception is the coupe's rear seat, which is a tight squeeze by anyone's standards." -- Edmunds
  • "Hatchbacks have good legroom. Headroom is fine beneath the housing of the optional sunroof, provided you don't raise the seat too much. Most folks shouldn't need to, though, because Forte benefits from a tall seating position that aids visibility." -- Consumer Guide (front seats, 2012)

Interior Features

The 2013 Kia Forte comes standard with tech features that are optional in many competitors. The base sedan comes with satellite radio, USB and auxiliary audio jacks, steering-wheel mounted audio controls and Bluetooth. Higher trims offer features such as a navigation system with a rearview camera and push-button start.

Reviewers have few issues with the Forte’s interior features. Most are impressed with the number of standard tech features, and one thinks the optional six-speaker stereo is outstanding. Test drivers also appreciate that the Forte’s climate and technology controls are easy to use. One reviewer mentions that the some of the touch-screen navigation system’s features, such as the voice controls, are hard to use.

See the full 2013 Kia Forte features and specs »

  • "On the upside, interior controls are very user-friendly." -- Edmunds
  • "Every 2013 Kia Forte boasts a flexible AM/FM/CD/MP3/satellite audio system with USB and auxiliary ports. When matched with the upgraded speakers, it's among the best sound systems in the segment." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The gauges are large and clearly legible, but we would like the engine temperature readout to be a separate display rather than incorporated into the trip computer. The climate controls are within easy reach. … The optional navigation system absorbs some audio functions, but its large touchscreen compensates. Some navigation functions, such as turning off voice guidance, are a bit fiddly." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
  • "This has to be one of the most loaded small cars on the planet." -- The Detroit News (2010)


Reviewers are fairly consistent in their praise for the 2013 Kia Forte sedan’s trunk, which has 14.7 cubic feet of space. If you get the coupe, however, the amount of available space decreases to 12.6 cubic feet. At 19.4 cubic feet, the hatchback has the most cargo space with the rear seats up. With the rear seats folded, that number increases to 53.1 cubic feet. Test drivers also appreciate the Forte’s interior storage options, which include a spacious glovebox and center console.

  • "Both the coupe and sedan have a good amount of cargo room, with 12.6 cubic feet and 14.7 cubic feet, respectively." -- Edmunds
  • "Interior small-item storage is also very good with a roomy center console and glovebox, along with useful door pockets." -- Consumer Guide (2012)

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