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2019 Kia Forte Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 8.5

The 2019 Kia Forte has an upscale interior quality, especially in higher trims. Passenger accommodations are good, with comfortable front seats and a decent amount of rear-seat space. The Forte has one of the largest trunks in its class. Its infotainment features are straightforward and user friendly.

  • There's still plenty of plastic around, but the important bits are all soft to the touch and feel ergonomic. One funny part though -- the dash appears to be stitched leather until you touch it and learn that it's plastic. Kia even included a fake 'stitch' going across the entire dash for appearance purposes." -- Autoweek
  • "Much like the exterior, the Forte's interior has echoes of the upmarket Stinger, such as the spoked round air vents and climate controls. The dash is predominantly horizontal with a large touchscreen mounted on top. With the LXS trim and above, soft-touch dash and door panels replace the harder plastics in the base trim. It looks and feels better than what you'd expect for an economical compact sedan." -- Edmunds
  • "Inside, some Stinger influence is again present in the circular air vents implemented into an intuitive cabin layout. Note the clearly marked HVAC controls and ample soft-touch materials on the dashboard and door panels -- this all makes the Forte look and feel more premium than some of its competitors." -- CNET

Seating

The Kia Forte seats five people on standard cloth upholstery and six-way manually adjustable front seats. The top trim level features leatherette upholstery, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, and heated and ventilated front seats. The Forte has two complete sets of LATCH connections, but the system hasn't been evaluated for its ease of use. The Forte's front seats are comfortable and provide plenty of side and lateral support. Rear-seat space is adequate for taller riders.

  • "Overall, the cabin is comfortable. The leatherette seats in my range-topping EX test car are cushy and provide just the right amount of side support -- after a long drive through Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, I'm free of fatigue. It's a quiet cabin, too, with thicker front door glass keeping the cabin hushed, even over rough stretches of road." -- CNET
  • "The extra 0.8 inches of width inside the Forte is much appreciated, as is the additional rear legroom. The front seats, which are all-day comfortable, go back plenty far for taller drivers, and their new frames are said to be stronger, yet two pounds lighter than before. Also, the hip point of the split-folding rear seat has been raised slightly to give Forte passengers a better view of the outside world. Small side windows aft of the rear doors help to improve the driver’s view to the rear three-quarter, such as when changing lanes." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "With the EX, you get convincing simulated-leather upholstery as well as ventilated seats, which kept us feeling fresh on a humid afternoon. The cushioning is soft in the right spots for comfort and firm on the sides for lateral support. There is an abundance of adjustment travel with the telescoping steering wheel, which will be particularly good news for taller drivers. The rear seats are spacious enough for the average-size adult, with just enough headroom and more than enough legroom." -- Edmunds

Interior Features

The 2019 Forte comes standard with dual-zone automatic climate control and an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system with a four-speaker stereo, a USB port, Bluetooth, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, driver attention monitoring, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. Optional features include remote start, proximity key entry, push-button start, a sunroof, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a six-speaker stereo, a seven-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound stereo, satellite radio, voice recognition, two additional USB ports, navigation, HD Radio, and wireless phone charging. Optional safety technologies include adaptive headlights, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, reverse parking sensors, pedestrian detection, and adaptive cruise control.

The Forte's infotainment system is quick at responding to inputs as well as switching between menus. Large physical buttons below the screen provide alternate means for changing audio or climate settings. Critics appreciate the Forte's long list of standard and optional safety features.

See 2019 Kia Forte specs »

  • "Standard on all models is an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, as well as both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities. The system offers clear imagery, snappy response to commands and quick switching between different menus." -- CNET
  • "The touchscreen and row of buttons just below provide some redundancy, but overall the look is refreshingly clean. Old-school temperature readouts are the only thing that betray modernity." -- Motor Trend
  • "With the new Forte, Kia continues the industry trend of bringing more and more active safety technologies into the realm of more affordable entry-level cars. This makes good sense on a Forte, which may be a first-time car, for say, high school or college students." -- Kelley Blue Book

Cargo

The 2019 Forte has 15.3 cubic feet of trunk space, which is one of the largest in the class. A split-folding rear seat and hands-free power trunk are optional.  

  • "Spaciousness also applies to the trunk, which can hold 15.3 cubic feet. The Forte's trunk capacity barely edges out the Honda Civic's 15.1 cubic feet and handily beats the Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla by at least 2 cubic feet." -- Edmunds
  • "The all-new Forte has grown by 3.2-inches lengthwise adding to rear legroom and the available 15.3 cubic-feet of cargo space makes it one of the most generous in this segment." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The trunk's 15.3 cubic-feet of space is the largest in the class, edging out the 15.1 cubes found in the Honda Civic and Nissan Sentra." -- CNET
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