The Kia Forte will replace the automaker’s Spectra when it hits dealerships this summer, and it makes a break from the Spectra’s soft styling with creased body lines and angular headlights and taillights. Similarities between the Honda Civic coupe in the Forte’s grille styling and the Mitsubishi Lancer in its taillights are immediately apparent. Overall, the Forte is a pretty athletic-looking small sedan.
Cabin materials quality is good, but it doesn’t move the bar for the compact car class. It’s slightly better than the Corolla but not up to the Civic. Uplevel trims have nice steering-wheel controls for the audio system and a tilt/telescoping steering column that lets you put the wheel just where you want it. The knobs for the audio system move nicely, but the air-conditioning knobs aren’t as crisp. I checked out a model that had leather seats, and cushioning for the front seats is pretty firm.