2022 Kia Forte Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
As one of Kia's smallest and most affordable vehicles, the Kia Forte appeals to sedan buyers who want something sleek and safe to drive. This year, the 2022 Kia Forte is fully revamped, featuring a modernized exterior design featuring a re-envisioned version of Kia's "Tiger Nose" front grille. You'll also notice a slew of other changes once you slip inside of the vehicle.
Changes are pretty dynamic inside and outside of the vehicle, but under the hood, things are not so different than before. You do get two engines to choose from: a base 2.0-L four-cylinder engine that drudges up 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft torque and the higher powered 1.6-L turbo four-cylinder with its 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. There won't be a manual transmission available for the 2.0-L engine anymore though, so you'll have to stick with the standard continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). You do, however, get a standard 6-speed manual transmission paired with the 1.6-L turbo engine (which comes on the GT trim). If you don't want to drive a stick, a 7-speed dual-clutch is available. At least you get a few choices here.
Be on the look out for way more standard safety features on the new Forte. From an automatic lane centering feature to pedestrian detection on the forward collision warning system, expect to get a lot more bang for your buck.
Will all the changes made to the 2022 Kia Forte make it a strong competitor against the likes of the class-leading Honda Civic? Is the Forte going to be the right vehicle to add to your life? Let's go over what all is new, what we like, what might hold you back from buying the Forte, and how it stacks up a couple of the toughest rivals in this segment. That way, you can be better informed when you go to take that all-important test-drive.
What's New for 2022?
Obviously, there are a lot of new things on the 2022 Kia Forte since it has been fully redesigned for the model year. The exterior styling cues mark some serious alterations for the Forte, making it look sportier and more contemporary. The "Tiger Nose" grille, redesigned front and rear bumpers, and even the rebranded Kia corporate badging make the Forte look like a totally different vehicle. Inside, it's more of the same. The previously optional 4.2-inch upgraded driver information display is now standard, and a 10.25-inch touchscreen display adorns the GT and GT-Line trim levels. Wireless smartphone app integration is now standard on the 8-inch touchscreen models, but it must still be wired on the 10.25-inch models. The manual parking brake is now a button, and the 6-speed manual transmission has been eliminated from the 2.0-L-equipped models. Many safety features are freshly equipped too, including standard automatic lane centering, pedestrian detection, an optional safe-exit system, optional speed-based adaptive cruise control, and an upgraded rear cross-traffic system. And that's just scratching the surface.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2022 Kia Forte – The Pros
1. Numerous Standard and Optional Safety Features
The 2022 Kia Forte is equipped with numerous standard and available safety features. The new lane centering function comes standard across the line-up, and pedestrian detection now comes equipped with the forward collision warning system. The options list has been beefed up with the safe-exist system and speed-sensitive adaptive cruise control. Sticking with the standard features gets you quite a bit, but the higher trim levels feel even more well-stocked.
2. Two Engine Options Are Available
You can take your pick between the more practical 2.0-L engine or go for something with more pizzazz and try out the 1.6-L turbo engine. The 1.6-L engine on the GT models has the snappier acceleration and doesn't shave a whole lot off of the fuel economy. Whichever suits your needs best, you are able to get it.
3. Wireless Smartphone App Integration
Although the higher trim levels don't quite have this feature yet, the 8-inch infotainment system on the lower trims allows you to pair your smartphones wirelessly. That's right - no bulky cords getting in the way! Integration is quick, and the connection should maintain pretty well. And you can use it with either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
4. High EPA Estimates
The Forte's base engine has an EPA estimated 33 miles per gallon in combined driving (from 29 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway). Despite falling slightly short of these numbers in real-world tests, the Forte seems to do better at coming close to its EPA estimates than quite a few of its competitors.
5. A Generous Warranty From Kia
Kia truly incentivizes buyers by offering above-average warranty coverages. Kia gives you six years/60,000 miles of basic coverage, 10 years/100,000 miles of powertrain coverage, and five years/60,000 miles of roadside assistance. This places it right up there with its corporate sibling Hyundai. You'll be hard-pressed to find much better in the way of warranty coverage.
6. A Comfortable and Quiet Cabin
The Forte's cabin is tranquil and cozy, offering day-long comfort from its well-sculpted front seats. Even the plush headrests are non-invasive, so if you don't like to rest your head back, they won't be jutting into the back of your head or neck. Road noise is muted and wind noise is kept to a bare minimum. The dual-zone automatic climate control system is exceedingly thorough at keeping set temperatures.
7. A Finely Crafted Interior
This Kia's interior looks more expensive than it really is, reflecting Kia's dedication to craftsmanship. The Forte was well constructed before the overhaul, but now it is downright impressive. The materials look high-end without being pretentious, and there are enough soft touch surfaces to make you feel like you've paid more for this vehicle. Everything rides without rattle, and the paneling shouldn't show any gaps.
8. A Sporty New Exterior Design
The Forte's new exterior styling cues make it more attractive than it used to be. The re-sculpted front fascia, redesigned bumpers, and even the new Kia corporate badging make this look like a totally new vehicle. The old Forte looked fairly average for its segment, but the new generation is far more aggressive - and appropriately so - in its stylistic choices.
9. Infotainment Features That Work Well
Whether you get the standard 8-inch or available 10.25-inch touchscreen, the infotainment system is quite functional. The interface itself is easy to follow, as everything is clearly labeled on the screen. There is an optional navigation system available, and voice control is thorough enough at understanding natural speech patterns. All in all, it is a user-oriented set-up for the tech-savvy and the not-so-tech-savvy alike.
10. A Lot of Utility For a Sport Sedan
Sport sedans aren't exactly oriented toward utility, but the Forte definitely makes the most of what it has in terms of trunk space. With 15.3 cubic feet of cargo space, this is one of the biggest trunks in its class. The large trunk opening and flat, wide load floor makes putting items in and taking them out a breeze. You also get plenty of sizable small item storage spaces inside of the cabin.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2022 Kia Forte – The Cons
1. Non-GT Trims Aren't As Much Fun
The base 2.0-L engine just isn't that much fun to drive. It takes closer to 9 seconds to get it up to 60 miles per hour, and the turbo engine certainly bests it. There just isn't a lot of spunk to this engine, which is unfortunate given the fact that this is a sport sedan. A little more pep in its step could make the base engine more engaging to drive, but that just isn't the case here.
2. A Stiff Ride Quality
The Forte's suspension feels far too stiff for a vehicle in this segment. It really holds the Forte back from excellence. It handles minor road imperfections okay, but you will feel those larger bumps making their way into the cabin. Comfortable, this ride quality is not.
3. Rear Seats Lack Some Space
Taller folks will have to scrunch their heads down a little bit if they want to fit inside of the rear cabin. Those under 6 feet tall should be okay, but others will be more cramped for space. Taller passengers will probably want to sit up front when they ride in the Forte.
4. The CVT Lacks Refinement
The CVT works well enough on the whole, but in some regards, it could use a little more refinement. Despite it being able to deliver power on command, it is kind of an eager beaver when it comes to dropping revs as soon as you ease off of the throttle. You'll probably feel to much of a power surge in those situations, which can be a tad unnerving.
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How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
2022 Kia Forte vs. 2022 Honda Civic
There's no denying that the 2022 Honda Civic is fun to drive. Its sharp handling capabilities place it at the front of the pack, and its well crafted cargo area makes for a lot of utility. Then, of course, there is the above-average fuel economy the Civic delivers. Pretty much everything inside of the cabin is easy to use. However, it has some drawbacks. You get a significant amount of road noise on the highway, and there is no lumbar support on the front seats. Some of the safety features are prone to distract you with false alarms.
2022 Kia Forte vs. 2022 Mazda 3
With keen handling to rival the Civic, the 2022 Mazda 3 is fun to drive. Its premium interior materials make for a catchy design, and you can even get all-wheel drive if you want it. The turbocharged engine makes for some swift acceleration. On the downside, the Forte doesn't offer a manual transmission on the sedan at all. It also has less cargo space available than some rivals. Legroom in the back feels cramped too.
Overall, the 2022 Kia Forte is a massive achievement for the automaker. This sport sedan is built to compete with the likes of the Honda Civic and bests many of its top rivals. While a few things could use some improvement, the changes Kia has made are enough to warrant this vehicle a high-up slot on your "must-test-drive" list.