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2015 Kia Forte Review

The 2015 Kia Forte sits near the top of the compact car class. It boasts an upscale cabin, straightforward technology, and snappy available engines. However, it also has a stiff ride and limited standard and available features.     

Pros & Cons

  • Premium interior
  • Easy-to-use infotainment system
  • Powerful engine options
  • Firm ride
  • Few advanced safety features




Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 7.3
Interior: 8.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 8.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Kia Forte Overview

Is the 2015 Kia Forte a Good Used Car?

The 2015 Kia Forte is a great compact car, and it’s available as a sedan, coupe, or hatchback. This Kia’s simple interior design wouldn’t look out of place in a pricier car, and passengers have plenty of space in both rows. It also has sporty driving dynamics and three engine options. On the other hand, the Kia Forte’s features list is limited, and there are few available options. It’s also less than ideal as a daily commuter car because of its stiff suspension.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our used car rankings and reviews are based on our analysis of professional automotive reviews, as well as data like crash test scores, reliability ratings, and ownership expenses. We researched 35 Kia Forte reviews to help you decide if it’s the right used car for you.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2015 Kia Forte?

Our site has about 950 listings for the 2015 Kia Forte, with an average list price of $12,100. Prices range from $9,000 to $15,000, depending on the vehicle’s trim, mileage, location, condition, and features.

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How Much Does the 2015 Kia Forte Cost to Own?

The 2015 Kia Forte’s five-year estimated costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs come to $23,960, which is among the lowest estimates in the class.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Kia Forte?

The fully redesigned 2019 Kia Forte starts at $17,690, and the top trim begins at $21,990. There are some advantages to choosing the 2015 Forte. In addition to saving you several thousands of dollars, the 2015 offers a hatchback body style that the 2019 lacks. Beyond this difference, however, the 2019 is the better buy. It comes standard with a long list of standard features, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as active safety features like lane keep assist, automatic emergency braking, and driver attention monitoring. The 2019 Forte also has a longer wheelbase, giving passengers even more legroom. Go with the 2019 Forte if it’s in your budget.

Read about the new Kia Forte »

If the 2019 Forte is out of your price range, but you still want a new car, you’ll need to step down to the subcompact car class. The 2019 Kia Rio starts at $15,390. It’s also a sporty handler, and it has available Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Other options in this class include the 2019 Chevy Sonic and the 2019 Ford Fiesta.

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Which Model Year of the Kia Forte Is Best?

The 2015 Forte is part of a generation that includes models from 2014 through 2018. There are few differences between the 2014 and 2015 models – Kia added remote keyless entry to the 2016 model. We recommend the 2017 Forte, which received refreshed exterior styling and a more fuel-efficient engine. It’s available with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, as well as a few safety features like forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and adaptive headlights. The 2018 model did not see any updates.

If you want the hatchback model, you’ll need to buy a 2014, 2015, or 2016 model. The hatchback was discontinued for 2017.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Forte »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Kia Forte?

The 2015 Forte earns an above-average reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.  

Read more about Forte reliability »

2015 Kia Forte Recalls

As of this writing, the 2015 Kia Forte has no reported recalls.

See more information on Kia Forte safety recalls »

Which Used Kia Forte Model Is Right for Me?

Available as a sedan, hatchback, or coupe (Koup), the 2019 Forte has three trims: LX, EX, and SX. The sedan-only Kia Forte LX is sparsely equipped with satellite radio, a CD player, a USB port, and Bluetooth. The Forte EX is a better value than the base model, and it’s available in all three body styles. It comes with a more powerful engine than the EX, automatic on/off headlights, and a cooling glove box.

The Forte SX (coupe and hatchback only) has the best performance and the most features in the lineup, including a turbocharged engine, a sport-tuned suspension, Kia’s UVO infotainment system, a rearview camera, and proximity keyless entry. The Forte SX is also available with heated and ventilated seats, navigation, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

See 2015 Kia Forte trims and specs »

What Does Kia's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Kia offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 60,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Kia’s certified pre-owned vehicles receive the balance of the original 10-year/100,000-mile new-car powertrain warranty as well as a one-year/12,000-mile comprehensive Platinum warranty on non-powertrain parts. Every CPO Kia must pass a 164-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Kia warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Kia has one of the best CPO programs among affordable car manufacturers.

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How Safe Is the Forte?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2015 Forte sedan an overall rating of five out of five stars, with four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests and five stars in the side crash tests. The Forte hatchback received four stars in the rollover test and five stars in the side crash tests. The NHTSA did not evaluate the Forte Koup.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2015 Forte sedan the highest rating of Good in four out of five tests. The sedan received the second-lowest rating of Marginal in the driver-side small overlap front test.

The Forte is available with a rearview camera, but that’s the extent of its driver assistance features. Most rivals offer a number of other options, like blind spot monitoring and forward collision warning.

See Forte safety scores »

2015 Kia Forte Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Kia Forte or 2015 Kia Rio?

The 2015 Kia Rio is a subcompact car that’s available as a sedan or hatchback. Both models have quality cabins with user-friendly technology, and both are short on features. They also have sporty handling and firm rides. Go with the Rio if you want a nimble, lightweight car with snappy acceleration and excellent fuel economy. Choose the Forte if you need more trunk space and adult-friendly back-seat space. 

Which Is Better: 2015 Kia Forte or 2015 Honda Civic?

Available as a coupe or sedan, the 2015 Honda Civic is another good compact car. In this comparison, choose the car that best fits your needs. The Civic’s roomy cabin has a handsome design, and it’s made with premium components, including many soft-touch surfaces. While the Kia has one more engine option than the Honda, the base Civic’s engine has better fuel economy in the city than the base Forte. The Honda also features a more balanced, comfortable ride than the Kia, so it’s better for daily driving. However, if you need cargo space, the Forte is a better choice. It also has a higher reliability rating than the Civic.

Compare the Forte, Rio, and Civic »

2015 Kia Forte Performance

How Does the 2015 Kia Forte Drive?

The 2015 Kia Forte has three available four-cylinder engines. Base Forte LX models come with a 145-horsepower 1.8-liter engine that delivers zippy acceleration around town. Forte EX models have a 173-horsepower 2.0-liter engine, and SX models have a 201-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter engine.

Front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission are standard; a six-speed automatic transmission is available. The manual transmission performs well, but the automatic occasionally shifts too quickly. The Forte feels composed around sharp corners despite its somewhat numb steering. Additionally, its firm suspension makes for a rough ride on harsh roads, particularly in the sport-tuned Forte SX.

Does the 2015 Kia Forte Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Forte earns decent gas mileage for the class: 26 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway with the automatic transmission and base engine.

Read more about Forte performance »

2015 Kia Forte Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 Kia Forte Seat?

The 2015 Kia Forte’s upscale cabin features plenty of space for five. The dashboard has a straightforward design and first-rate materials that are befitting of a higher-end vehicle. The front seats are comfortable, supportive, and well-contoured. The rear seats can comfortably accommodate two adults. Cloth upholstery is standard. Leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, and a ventilated driver’s seat are available.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Kia Forte?

The rear outboard seats have full sets of LATCH child-seat connectors, while the middle seat has an upper tether anchor. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this LATCH system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use.

2015 Kia Forte Features

All Forte models come with a CD player, a USB port, satellite radio, and Bluetooth. Available features include keyless entry, a sunroof, and a 7-inch UVO touch screen with navigation, voice recognition, roadside assistance, and parental controls for teen drivers.

The dashboard’s simple design makes it easy to reach and use the standard audio and climate controls. The available navigation system is also user-friendly, and it features straightforward menus and large on-screen controls.

See 2015 Kia Forte specs »

Read more about Forte interior »

2015 Kia Forte Dimensions

Kia Forte Cargo Space

The Forte sedan has 14.9 cubic feet of cargo space, which is about average for the class. The Forte Koup has 13.3 cubic feet of trunk space, and the Forte5 hatchback provides 23.2 cubic feet. All models have 60/40 split-folding rear seats.

2015 Forte Length and Weight

The 2015 Kia Forte measures between 14.3 and 15 feet. Its curb weight ranges from 2,820 to 3,122 pounds.

Where Was the 2015 Kia Forte Built?

Kia assembled the 2015 Forte in Mexico and South Korea.  


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