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2019 Kia Forte Review

Experts largely praise the redesigned 2019 Kia Forte for its practicality and style. The sedan has a lower starting price than most of its competitors, earning it a spot in our cheapest cars under $20,000 list. All Kias come with one of the longest warranties in the industry: a five-year, 60,000 mile “bumper-to-bumper” warranty and a 10-year, 100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty. The Forte shouldn’t be confused with the Forte5, the pricier hatchback version which is set to return in 2020. 

2019 Kia Forte pricing and trims

These are Kia’s manufacturer recommended price (MSRP) for each trim of the Forte and what’s included in each. All trims build upon each other. For example the LXS will have or improve upon all the features of the FE, plus add new ones.

Trim FE LXS S EX
MSRP $17,790 $19,190 $20,290 $21,990
Standard Features 8″ Touch Screen, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, Power Windows, 15″ Wheels Automatic Transmission, 60/40 Split Folding Rear Seat, Drive Mode Select (Normal, Sport and Comfort), 16″ Wheels Navigation, Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel and Gear Shift, LED Daytime Running Lights, Fog Lights, 17″ Wheels Push-Button Start, Leatherette Seat Trim, Heated and Ventilated Front Seats, Dual USB Charging Ports

You do not necessarily have to pay MSRP for a vehicle. Shop around and use industry guides such as Kelley Blue Book or NADAguides to see what the fair market price is in your area.

What’s next? Once you pick out the car you want, a car loan is next. It doesn’t hurt your credit to apply to multiple lenders any more than it does to apply to one if you do all your applications within the rate shopping period of 14 days.

Potential lenders could include Kia financing, your bank, credit union or online lender. You could also fill out an online form at LendingTree to receive up to five potential auto loan offers from lenders at once, depending on your creditworthiness.

2019 Kia Forte safety

The 2019 Kia Forte earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives it four stars but notes a safety concern: During side impact crash tests, the left rear door struck the torso of the safety dummy in the backseat indicating a higher likelihood of thoracic injury.

All Kia Fortes, no matter the trim, come with passive safety systems, including airbags, Kia’s Brake Assist System, electronic stability control and more. They also come with four active driver safety features:

  • Lane Departure Warning. The vehicle can warn the driver visually and audibly that the vehicle is straying from the lane of traffic.
  • Lane Keeping Assist. If the vehicle senses it is drifting, it can make small adjustments to keep itself in the lane.
  • Driver Attention Warning. If the vehicle senses the driver is drowsy or fatigued, it can give a warning and prompt the driver to take a break.
  • Forward Collision Warning. The vehicle can apply the brakes to prevent or lessen the impact of a frontal collision. For an additional cost, you could upgrade this feature to include pedestrian detection.

These active driver safety features are included in the top trim of the Kia Forte and only on the top trim — they cannot be added to other lower trims even at extra cost.

  • Blind Spot Collision Warning. The vehicle can use visual and audio signals to warn the driver that a blind spot is occupied.
  • Lane Change Assist. The vehicle can detect and warn the driver when another vehicle approaches from behind.
  • Rear Cross Traffic Collision Warning. The car can warn the driver of another vehicle approaching to cross behind it when the car is in reverse.

If you’re looking for a safe car for a teen driver, you could also check out the 2019 best cars for teens.

2019 Kia Forte competitor comparison

The Kia Forte is built to go head-to-head with some popular car models out there. Before you decide to settle down with the Forte, here are some other options that may entice you. All of these vehicle models are 2019, four-door sedan, base trim models with manual transmissions (fuel economy may increase slightly with an automatic transmission).

 

Vehicle Model Kia Forte Honda Civic Chevrolet Cruze Subaru Impreza
Base MSRP $17,790 $19,450 $17,995 $18,595
Expert Scores 4 4.4 4.3 4
Standard Technology 8″ Touch Screen, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay Honda Sensing Safety Suite, Audio USB Port Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, 7″ Touch Screen All-wheel drive, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
Body Sedan Sedan, Coupe, Hatchback Sedan, Hatchback Sedan, Wagon
Fuel Economy Combined / City / Highway 31/27/37 29/25/36 33/30/38 26/23/31

*Chart data is for base 2019 models. Expert score averages Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and Edmunds expert ratings as available. Standard technology refers to features included in the lowest trim level for each model at no extra cost (not an exhaustive list). Fuel economy is as defined by the EPA for four-door base model trims with manual transmissions.

The bottom line on the Kia Forte

The base model of the Kia Forte might be a great choice if you’re looking for a solid car for everyday transportation and you’re not interested in frills. If you’re interested in active safety features however, most of them are only available on the top trim of the Kia Forte, which has an MSRP of $21,990, more than the base model of the Honda Civic ($19,450), which comes with active safety features included and is slightly higher rated by experts.

MSRPs in the article are accurate as of the date of publishing.

 

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