The 2020 Kia Forte has an exterior design that is inspired by the Stinger sports sedan. It also features a large number of high-value features. The Forte, while it isn’t a Stinger, is a small and reliable car at a reasonable price. The Forte is only available as a four-door sedan, unlike hatchback competitors like the Honda Civic, Mazda 3 and Subaru Impreza. The Forte offers many in-car technologies to satisfy tech-savvy buyers, and the two engines are efficient. The EPA rates the base four-cylinder at 147 horsepower but it can produce up to 41 mpg on the highway. This, along with the low price, makes it a compelling compact sedan.
What’s new for 2020?
The Forte’s second year will retain many of its 2019 features and styling. Two trim levels have been added by Kia. The GT-Line is a turbocharged GT that produces 201 horsepower. It has the same looks as the GT-Line model, but without the engine or suspension upgrades. The EX model also gains the Special Edition package. This includes Harman/Kardon’s audio system, a gloss black painted rear spoiler and a power sunroof. It also features two-tone seat upholstery. In-dash navigation is available. A wireless charging pad is available.
Pricing and Which One To Buy
To maximize the Forte’s style, we would choose the GT-Line midrange trim. We also added the GT-Line Premium package which is a $1500 option. The package includes Harman/Kardon’s audio system, a wireless charger, a power sunroof and interior ambient lighting. Standard features include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alarm, and blind-spot detection. The GT-Line is a great sedan for this price, even with the Premium package.
Engine, Transmission, & Performance
There are two engine options for the Forte: a 2.0-liter four cylinder with 147 horsepower, and a turbocharged four-cylinder of 1.6-liters with 201 horsepower. We found the 2.0-liter to be slow when it was tested. The continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), which is continuous variable, didn’t help. It took 8.2 seconds for the Forte to go from 0 to 60 mph on our test track. This is significantly slower than the Mazda 3 which went there in 7.7 seconds. The optional turbocharged engine can be ordered with either an automatic or manual transmission. We haven’t tried it but we are confident that it will have plenty of power. The turbocharged engine has a rating of just 201 horsepower and puts the Forte in the same category as the Honda Civic Si and Volkswagen Golf GTI. Although the Forte is a stable and comfortable ride, its handling is not as thrilling as its Stinger-inspired exterior styling would indicate.
Fuel Economy and Real World MPG
Particularly those with the smaller engine and automatic transmission will get drivers to go faster than they would at gas stations. The Forte is a great choice for drivers looking to get a high highway efficiency of 40 mpg or a combined fuel economy rating of 33 mpg. The combined fuel economy drops from 40 mpg to 30 mpg if you choose the GT with dual-clutch transmission. The 2019 Forte achieved 41 mpg in our 200-mile highway fuel economy test. This is slightly better than the EPA rating.
Interior, Comfort, & Cargo
We were impressed by the interior design of this car, which features a minimalist design combined with high-quality materials. Two adults can comfortably sit in the back of the Forte, so long trips on the road are possible without any problems. You will find the base model has all the basics, but the options get better as you move up to the more expensive models. You can choose to have dual-zone automatic climate control or heated and ventilated front seats. The Forte can fit seven bags with all its seats up, which is one more than the Toyota Corolla or the Honda Civic.
Connectivity and Infotainment
The 2020 Forte is an incredible value for money, especially considering the technology offered, even the base model. All trims include Bluetooth, Android Auto, as well as Apple CarPlay. The GT-Line, EX and GT-Line come with a wireless charging pad for smartphones. Standard equipment includes an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment screen. Standard features for the EX and GT models include SiriusXM satellite radio, but it is only available on the GT-Line.