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8.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 7.3
Interior: 8.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.4
Safety: 8.8
Reliability:
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2015 Kia Forte Review

The Kia Forte has a luxurious and spacious interior, user-friendly features, and potent engine options. However, its firm ride quality and below-class-average safety scores push the Forte to the middle of a very competitive class.

Pros & Cons

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

2015 Kia Forte Overview

Is the 2015 Kia Forte a Good Used Car?

The Kia Forte is a solid option if you’re shopping for a used compact car. Available as a sedan, coupe (Koup), or hatchback (Forte5), the Forte offers a balance of style and practicality to fit most tastes. It also impresses with an upscale and airy cabin, easy-to-use tech features, and a lengthy certified pre-owned warranty. That said, the Forte is overshadowed by class leaders, many of which offer better fuel economy, a smoother ride, and more advanced safety features like blind spot monitoring.

Used 2015 Kia Forte Performance and Interior

The Kia Forte is available with three four-cylinder engine options. Forte LX models have a 1.8-liter engine with 145 horsepower. This engine provides reasonably quick acceleration, and fuel economy is a respectable 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. Forte EX models have a 2.0-liter engine with 173 horsepower, and SX models have a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine with 201 horsepower. Both feel zippier and offer better passing power than the 1.8. Fuel economy doesn’t suffer with the 2.0 (25/35 mpg), but it dips to 22/29 mpg with the 1.6 turbo.

The Kia Forte is front-wheel drive and available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The manual transmission is well-mannered, but the automatic tends to up- and downshift too readily during normal driving conditions. The Forte feels stable and composed in tight corners. Its steering is somewhat numb, however, and its ride quality feels too firm on bumpy roads.

Read more about Forte performance »

The 2015 Kia Forte has five seats and boasts an upscale and roomy cabin. The dashboard is cleanly styled, features quality materials, and wouldn’t look out of place in a more expensive vehicle. The Forte’s front seats are comfortable, supportive, and nicely contoured. The rear seats can accommodate two adults with room to spare. Cloth upholstery is standard. Leather, heated front and rear seats, and a ventilated driver’s seat are available. There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats. The Forte Koup and sedan have a spacious 13.3 and 14.9 cubic feet of trunk space, respectively. The Forte5 hatchback yields a larger 23.2 cubic feet of space. All models have 60/40-split rear seats, which can fold to increase cargo space.

Kia equips all Forte models with a CD player, a USB port, satellite radio, and Bluetooth. Available features include Kia’s 7-inch UVO touch screen, keyless entry, a sunroof, and navigation. The standard climate and audio controls are logically placed and user-friendly, but the available UVO system makes accessing features even easier, thanks to its simple menus and large on-screen buttons. Additional UVO features include voice recognition, roadside assistance, and parental controls for teen drivers.

Read more about Forte interior »

Used 2015 Kia Forte Prices

The price of a used 2015 Kia Forte sedan ranges from about $10,200 for Forte LX models to around $12,300 for Forte EX sedans. The price will vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 31 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve researched 31 Kia Forte reviews, as well as data like safety scores and the total cost of ownership, to help you make the best car buying decision possible.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs for a decade, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of automotive industry experience combined. While we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to giving helpful consumer advice. To ensure our reviews remain impartial, we refuse expensive gifts and trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2015 Kia Forte?

The Kia Forte has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average. This score matches top competitors like the Mazda3, but lags the higher-rated Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

Read more about Forte reliability »

How Safe Is the Forte?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Forte sedan a Good score – the highest possible – for roof strength, seat safety, side impact safety, and moderate overlap front crash safety. It received a Marginal rating for small overlap front crash safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Forte sedan a perfect five-star rating for overall and side impact testing, as well as four stars for front and rollover crash safety.

Despite these good scores, the Forte lacks advanced safety features like forward collision warning and blind spot monitoring, which rivals such as the Mazda3 and Chevy Cruze offer.

See Forte safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used Forte?

The 2015 Forte marks the second model year of the vehicle’s second generation. There were no major changes for 2015 so you may find similarly equipped 2014 models at a much lower price.

Compare the 2014 and 2015 Forte »

Which Used Kia Forte Is Right for Me?

The Kia Forte is available in three trims: LX, EX, and SX. The Kia Forte LX (sedan only) has satellite radio, a CD player, a USB port, Bluetooth, power windows and doors, and cloth seats. Cruise control and keyless entry are available. The Forte EX (sedan, coupe, and hatchback) has a more powerful engine, automatic on/off headlights, and a cooling glove box. The Forte SX (coupe and hatchback only) has a turbocharged engine, sport-tuned suspension, the UVO infotainment system, a rearview camera, and proximity keyless entry. Available features include ventilated and heated seats, navigation, and dual-zone climate control.

You may also want to shop for a certified pre-owned Forte. Kia’s certified pre-owned vehicles receive the balance of the original 10-year/100,000-mile new-car powertrain warranty, plus a one-year/12,000-mile Platinum warranty for non-powertrain parts. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Kia warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

2015 Kia Forte and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2015 Kia Forte or 2015 Hyundai Elantra?

The 2015 Forte and Hyundai Elantra share the same vehicle platform, as well as many other attributes. Both compact cars have luxe and roomy interiors, the same 1.8- and 2.0-liter engines, hatchback and sedan body styles, comparable used car prices, and similar fuel economy and predicted reliability ratings. The core differences are styling and performance. The Elantra has a smoother ride quality; the Forte feels a bit sportier and is available with a turbocharged engine and a coupe body style.

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

The 2015 Honda Civic is an excellent option for used car shoppers. Used models are often much more expensive than comparable Forte models, but the Civic offers a similarly luxe interior, a nicer balance between ride comfort and zippy handling, higher fuel economy (up to 31/40 mpg), and a superior predicted reliability rating. The Honda is the better pick.

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

If you’re considering a Forte sedan, you may want to give the midsize 2015 Kia Optima a look too. The Optima has a more composed ride quality, quicker acceleration from its available turbocharged engine, and better safety features like blind spot monitoring. However, used Optimas are typically pricier.

Compare the Forte, Elantra, and Civic »

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