android, 2023 kia forte: south korean compact sedan still has the goods

We understand why crossovers and SUVs are the most desirable in the eyes of modern consumers, but new compact sedans like the 2023 Kia Forte are begging us to reconsider. Kia gave the 2022 Forte a significant redesign with new front and rear fascias, new safety tech, and an available 10.25-inch infotainment system, all at under $21,000. It also has a user-friendly and ergonomic cabin with enough room for five in a pinch.

2023 Kia Forte: What’s New?

The 2023 Kia Forte is entering the U.S. market virtually unchanged from the outgoing variant after receiving a moderate sprinkling of exterior and interior updates for 2022. It includes a redesigned “tiger nose” front grille, reshaped headlights, new wheel designs, and an updated list of advanced safety features. That list includes lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, lane following assist, forward collision mitigation, and driver attention warning.

Meanwhile, the base FE trim from last year has given way to the Forte LX, and the range-topping GT remains available with a manual transmission to pair with the gutsy 1.6-liter turbo engine.

Engine & Transmission

The 2023 Kia Forte is available with two engine choices. The Forte LX, LXS, and GT Line have a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine with 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft. of torque. The engine sends power to the front wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). It will not take your breath away during acceleration, but the 2.0-liter four-banger returns 35 in the city and 41 on the highway.

Meanwhile, the Forte GT has a more potent 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine that churns out 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft. of torque. It’s available with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox or a six-speed manual stick. The automatic returns 27 in the city and 35 on the highway, while the manual returns a combined 26 mpg.

android, 2023 kia forte: south korean compact sedan still has the goods
android, 2023 kia forte: south korean compact sedan still has the goods
android, 2023 kia forte: south korean compact sedan still has the goods
android, 2023 kia forte: south korean compact sedan still has the goods
android, 2023 kia forte: south korean compact sedan still has the goods
android, 2023 kia forte: south korean compact sedan still has the goods

Kia Forte Trim Levels & Pricing

Kia has applied mild price hikes across all trim levels of the 2023 Forte, but it remains a cheap and cheerful compact sedan overall. The pricing info below is inclusive of the $1,095 destination fee. Our free and easy search tools* show which Kia dealerships have inventory in your area.

Forte LX

The base Kia Forte LX starts at $20,585. It has 15-inch wheels, steering wheel controls, cruise control, an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a four-speaker audio system.

Forte LXS

The Kia Forte LXS has a $21,085 starting MSRP. It has all the standard equipment from the base LX but adds 16-inch alloy wheels, unique interior trim, and 60/40 split-folding rear seats.

Forte GT-Line

The mid-level GT-Line starts at $22,785. It has 17-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, LED taillights, LED foglights, heated side mirrors, dual-zone climate control, and a leather-wrapped and flat-bottom steering wheel. It also has a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen, navigation, a six-speaker audio system, keyless entry, push-button start, and sport cloth seats.

Forte GT

The top-of-the-line GT starts at $25,285 (automatic) and $25,985 (manual). Standard features include 18-inch wheels wrapped in performance rubber, sport suspension, a sport-tuned exhaust system (with dual exhaust tips), LED headlights, rear A/C vents, wireless charging, and leather/cloth seats with red stitching.

In addition, Forte GT with the DCT automatic gearbox includes the FCA Fusion package that includes front collision cyclist alert, highway driving assist, navigation-based smart cruise control, and an electronic parking brake.

android, 2023 kia forte: south korean compact sedan still has the goods

2023 Kia Forte interior layout. Photo: Kia Motors America.

2023 Kia Forte Factory Warranty

All Kia Fortes come with a standard five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, and a five-year/100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty. Depending on how much you drive, an extended warranty may benefit you. This overview of extended warranty coverage for Kias will help you better understand what is and isn’t covered.

Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.

Photos & Source: Kia Motors America.

*Although always free for you, Automoblog and its partners may receive a commission when you use the services provided through that link. MSRP figures are subject to change.

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