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2020 Kia Forte Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2020 Kia Forte?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2020 Kia Forte? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

The 2020 Kia Forte highlights Kia’s growth as an automotive brand. Although the new Forte is an affordable compact sedan, it definitely doesn’t have a cheap feel. You’ll appreciate this car’s excellent build quality. Furthermore, performance has improved dramatically this year. However, should you spend your money on a new 2020 Kia Forte? Let’s find out.

What’s New for 2020?

To help keep pace with rivals like the Honda Civic, Kia has updated the Forte lineup by introducing a more powerful GT model. A sporty-looking GT Line trim has arrived as well. Last year’s S trim has been discontinued for 2020.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2020 Kia Forte – The Pros

1. A Super Warranty Package Adds Value

Many car shoppers are drawn to the Forte’s great value. Not only does the Forte have a very affordable price tag, but it also benefits from one of America’s top warranties. Kia covers the sedan’s powertrain for 100,000 miles. This means you won’t have to worry about paying to replace a faulty engine or transmission. You’ll also drive home with a 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. Very few cars in the segment provide as much buyer protection.

2. Has the Ability to Deliver Good Gas Mileage

With a total output of 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, the Forte’s standard four-cylinder engine is potent enough to get the job done. However, it’s more focused on optimizing fuel economy. An optional continuous variable transmission helps the base Forte FE to return a solid 31 mpg in town and up to 41 mpg on the highway. While getting the Forte with a manual gearbox sacrifices some efficiency, you’ll still enjoy good gas mileage.

3. New GT Model Brings More Driving Fun

Performance with the base four-cylinder engine is just okay. To better satisfy drivers who have a need for speed, Kia has developed an all-new GT model. The 2020 Kia Forte GT definitely raises the performance needle. It comes equipped with a much stronger turbocharged engine, which is rated to push out 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. As expected, acceleration is much quicker with the Forte GT. Meanwhile, an upgraded suspension promotes tighter handling.

4. New GT Line Trim Has a Sportier Look

If you don’t desire the more powerful Forte GT’s turbocharged engine, check out the new GT Line trim. It has a sporty appearance that demands plenty of attention on the road. A gloss-black grille with red accents helps give the Forte GT a unique look. You’ll also notice the sedan’s 17-inch sport wheels. On the inside, this trim has a few raced-inspired touches. Sport alloy pedals and black sport seats help give the GT trim an exciting atmosphere.

5. Very Comfortable Car to Drive

Like most people in the market for a new compact car, you’ll probably be using it for commuting. Fortunately, the 2020 Kia Forte offers a high level of comfort. This sedan’s front seats are especially relaxing. Extra padding helps keep you comfortable throughout the day. Upper trims benefit from a power-adjustable driver’s seat with heating and cooling. While the new Forte is great for the everyday grind, you will also enjoy driving this car on long trips.

6. Quality, Well-Designed Interior

In the past, inexpensive economy cars sacrificed a great deal of quality. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case. The 2020 Kia Forte has a very well-built cabin. The various interior materials have a quality look and feel. This is also one of the quietest cars in the class, which attests to its solid construction. While you may hear some road noise on rough surfaces, it’s not bad at all. Easy-to-reach interior controls also help make the Forte a rewarding choice.

7. A Lot of Standard Equipment for the Money

With a low starting price of less than $18,000, the base 2020 Kia Forte is a heck of a bargain. Fortunately, purchasing the base model does not force you to miss popular features. Kia’s standard UVO infotainment system will likely become one of your most-liked features. It provides a large 8.0-inch touchscreen with full smartphone support. Most competitors don’t provide dual-zone automatic climate control as standard equipment. You’ll also enjoy automatic headlights.

8. You Don’t Have to Pay Extra for Active Safety Features

Like rivals like the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla, the 2020 Kia Forte comes standard with some great safety features. When driving in heavy congestion, you’ll especially appreciate the sedan’s automatic emergency braking system. It does a great job of anticipating potential collisions. If you happen to lose focus on the highway, lane-keep assist will help prevent you from drifting into traffic. A backup camera makes parking a less eventful chore.

9. Harman Kardon Sound System is Worth the Money

A four-speaker stereo comes standard on the 2020 Kia Forte. Most music fans will find it to be rather weak. To experience a far better sound, step up to the Forte’s available Harman Kardon premium audio system. It promises to make your drive more enjoyable. A 320-watt amplifier feeds power to eight speakers. When listening to music at a high volume, you’ll appreciate the system’s clear sound quality. There also a good amount of bass.

10. Some Nice Upgrades Are Available

The 2020 Kia Forte can make life on the road more enjoyable. Some nice upgrades are available. A navigation system with voice controls helps you to find your way to unfamiliar locations. Meanwhile, available pedestrian detection gives you extra peace of mind in crowded places. Other worthwhile options include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and a hands-free smart trunk.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2020 Kia Forte – The Cons

1. May Not Be Big Enough for Some Families

The new Forte can be used as a family car. However, make sure there’s enough room for everyone to ride comfortably. When sitting in the backseat, taller folks may desire more space for their knees. Interior room becomes an even greater concern on long road trips. If you are worried about passenger space, consider stepping up to the midsize Kia Optima.

2. May Get Stuck In the Snow

Most people won’t have any issues with the Forte’s front-wheel-drive system. This car should handle quite well in rainy weather. However, the snow will likely pose some traction issues. Because of the Forte’s low ground clearance, you’re far more likely to get stuck in deep snow. Folks who live in a cold-weather state will likely need all-wheel drive. The AWD-equipped Subaru Impreza is one of the best winter cars in the class.

3. Has a Stiffer than Average Ride

When test driving the 2020 Kia Forte, don’t expect it to offer the smoothest ride. Kia tuned its standard suspension to be slightly on the stiff side. When driving over broken pavement, prepare to feel a few bumps along the way. You’ll likely find the Honda Civic sedan to be a smoother performer.

4. Base Engine Gives Up Some Performance

The base engine is strong enough for daily driving. When accelerating from a stop, it’ll take the Forte around 8.7 seconds to reach 60 mph. This should be quick enough for most drivers. However, performance with the base engine will not excite serious driving enthusiasts. They will ultimately want the fun-to-drive Forte GT.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition

2020 Honda Civic

The 2020 Honda Civic is likely the Kia Forte’s biggest rival. It scores well in big categories like driving fun and comfort. However, Honda’s warranty coverage is not nearly as good. Furthermore, you’ll notice the Honda Civic’s lower predicted reliability rating.

2020 Subaru Impreza

Many drivers will enjoy the 2020 Subaru Impreza, especially folks living in snow-prone regions. It’s one of the only cars in the segment that comes standard with an advanced AWD system. However, the Impreza gives up a lot of performance to the turbocharged 2020 Kia Forte GT. Prices for the Impreza are also a bit higher.

2020 Toyota Corolla

Toyota has made big improvements to the redesigned Corolla. While the Corolla now offers a stronger engine, it still develops less power than the Forte’s newly available turbo engine. A shorter warranty also puts the new Corolla at a disadvantage.


After looking at the Forte’s pros and cons, this compact sedan clearly proves to be a great option. The 2020 Kia Forte is reliable, affordable to own, and packs a lot of style. It only has a few key weak points. While there’s no solution for the Forte’s lack of an AWD system, upgrading to the powerful GT trim will satisfy your need for more performance.

If you don’t mind spending a little more money, you can experience a quite luxurious ride in the new Forte. Goodies, like ventilated seats and a premium sound system, are on this car’s list of options.

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