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2012 Forte

Consumer Reviews

2012 Kia Forte

$3,602 - $11,530  MSRP Range
2012 Kia Forte

Review Score

4.5 out of 5 stars

4.5

51 Reviews
90% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
4.5 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.6 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4.4 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4.7 out of 5 stars Reliability
4.5 out of 5 stars Performance
4.6 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 51 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

Great Car, Awesome Deal

by New Owner from Houston, TX on Sun Sep 25 2011

I recently drove (and purchased) a 2012 Kia Forte EX. Previously we owned a Kia Sportage, and while we loved it, it definitely had some things we didn't like, for instance, sluggish acceleration, and the steering felt very stiff. When driving the Kia Forte, the first thing I noticed was how comfortable it felt in the seat. It wasn't too fancy, and compared to some of the other cars we drove before choosing this one, we didn't have to get used to any strange shifters, we didn't have to squint to read any of the information on the odometer, we didn't have to pop open the manual to learn how to use the radio (or even the satellite radio). Performance wise, the acceleration is fantastic in comarison to other cars in its class. I was impressed how responsive it was in comparison to others, but most especially in comparison to our previous Kia. The interior is adequate, nothing to write home about, but it looks nice. The back seats are very roomy, and when everyone who looks in the trunk is amazed at how much room there is. The turning radius is pretty good which is helpful when making U-turns and such. Some things I didn't like about it -- the steering still felt very tight. I also didn't like that we had hubcaps on (or wheelcovers or whatever they are). I feel alloy wheels should have been standard, and unfortunately they weren't even an option out of the car choices we had at the dealership. While the road noise is good.. (very quiet on the freeway) I was not impressed with the shocks on bumpy roads. Its like you can feel almost every pothole. Not to flip flop too much here, but also, the fuel economy is very good, even though we didn't opt in for the Eco model. The tank was filled when we left the dealer, and we started the trip counter then, nearly 120 - 130 miles later and we haven't even hit a half of a tank. (I believe the tank holds 12 gallons). I am very content with my purchase, and you can't go wrong with a 5 year bumper to bumper warranty, which is the reason we bought our first Kia. Kia has always seemed to have a reputation of being just a cheaply made, somewhat unreliable car, and usually my thought process was, they weren't very stylish. The Forte is just one of the models that proves all of that wrong. When people hear about the other cars we looked at before purchase, they are astounded we ended up with the car we did. After riding in it, it pretty much speaks for itself. If you're looking for a sedan with a lot of the best technology standard and great mechanical performance (that doesn't look half bad either) do yourself a favor and try the Forte. It could really put things in perspective on what you get, for what you pay.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

27 out of 27 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Wow!

by Zippy Car from Poughkeepsie, NY on Sun Aug 28 2011

The Forte SX 5 door hatchback is simply fantastic! For a sticker price of just over $21,000, (less the $1,000 factory cash back) you get a really fun car to drive with just about everything that you would want, excluding naviagation and leather seats. Gas mileage over 31 miles per gallon, a nicely powered 2.4 liter engine, 17 inch low profile tires and rims, a 10 year warranty on the engine and transmission. Basically, wow to drive.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

12 out of 12 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

2012 KIA Forte is Great

by mimi from Austin, Texas on Wed Sep 21 2011

My husband bought me a 2012 KIA Forte and it is amazing. It is black, sleek and sexy, very comfortable, back seat is very spacious as is the trunk. It drives very nicely, I espcially like the dash/panel and the red lights it is illuminated with. I am so happy with this car.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

My little secret

by Ms. Particular from Florida on Wed Jun 06 2012

I am very happy with my 2.4 litre Sx Hatchback and that is coming from a string of expensive luxury and European sports cars. I had to look twice when it was parked next to an almost identical Lexus. This car is both practical and sporty. It's fun to drive, responsive, easy to turn around, and park. The visability is good I've found if the driver mirror is adjusted out far enough. The larger motor in this model gives you all the power you need for safety, unlike it's competitors, in highway passing or mountain terrain and still provides great mileage. You don't have to pull over and park to figure out how to work any of it's convenience systems and and there are many. It is fitted standard with everything you'd want and more, and almost as importantly, just exactly where you'd want it. The usb is not under the tissue box in the center console or some other irritating place like that for which I have no patience. Both doors have a place for my water thermos in addition to the two center drink holders. There are two in the center arm rest in the rear as well. Other much appreciated little things stand out that I didn't find on other cars such as the adjustable red dash lighting, metal finish on the pedals and foot rest, the leather boot on the plus/minus automatic shifter with addl paddle controls, tilting sunroof, and leather wrapped steering wheel give it more of a sports car feel and look. That's not to mention the bluetooth, XM, etal. You can't believe how much stuff I can get into this vehicle by looking at it. I made the dealer give me a rubber mat for the back which I would recommend because I'm always carrying something. I could live for a week with what I have packed in the storage compartments under the rear deck. It would be nice if it had six way seats but then again I really don't want anyone else driving it.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Good, but not perfect.

by Bluepig from South Jordan, UT on Wed Dec 05 2012

Prior to this vehicle I have been driving VW Jetta's, and enjoy the ride, but hate the mileage. So I went to the KIA dealer and they said the car gets between 26-36 with a combined of 31 mpg. I have had my KIA Forte 5 EX for 9,110 miles and feel ready to render my review. I drive a commute that is 90% highway, and 10% mixed suburban driving. At Utah highway speeds (70-75) I have never once gotten better than 27.8. As a test I have taken the Legacy Highway out and back twice (55 mph) to see if the vehicle could get anything close to 36. NOPE, I got 28.4 doing 55 mph, so the mileage rating is wrong. The other hit I would give the car is in the area of hard braking. When a car dives in front of you and you are forced to aggressively attack the brakes, the car walks hard to the right, and unless you let off the brakes, you will be drawn into the other lane. I have done it twice and did not like the results of either emergency. When I went looking, the KIA actually had a better fit and finish than the new Jetta's I was considering. Nothing on my KIA has come apart; the seats handle my 230lb girth w/o complaint and are not breaking down. The tires are wearing well (a good indication of the suspension). The basic sound system is all I need, and having the incorporation of my Bluetooth phone is really nice. I did add the upgraded rear view myself, and front mud flaps, but otherwise the car is factory. After renting several Jetta's I am glad I did not buy one. The headliner in each rental was coming apart by the cabin lighting and storage, as well as by the door jams. The carpet is cheap and the seats wear poorly. I purchased this vehicle for its advertised mileage, and in that regard the purchase is a failure, as I am loosing almost 10 mpg over expectations, or increasing my costs by over 25% per year. My wife’s 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is getting better mileage in two wheel drive than my KIA. So if you want a well-built car that is fun to drive with plenty of headroom, the Forte 5 is a good car. If you’re looking for mileage, you might consider the Hyundai Elantra as my son’s car is getting 31-39. When he drove from SLC Utah to Dover DE he got 41 mpg. Hyundai sent my son a letter apologizing for the incorrectly advertised mileage, and offered him a refund for the difference. When I got to replacing this vehicle in early 2014, I will be looking for something that actually gets the mileage the salesmen and sticker promote. Kia might consider doing the same thing, so they don’t lose other business beside mine. Hyundai Elantra hatchback, here I come.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

2012 2.4L SX

by KiaDriver from Florida on Sun Feb 08 2015

Im coming to the end of my 39mnt lease of the Kia Forte 2.4Lt SX 5 door hatchback and can't find any major faults. I loved driving this car but only did 18,000 mls in 3 years, including one long road trip of 1500 mls each way in less than 3 days. We nicknamed this car the Pocket Rocket because the 173-hp you get from the 2.4-liter I-4 cyl. engine gives you more than enough power due to the low weight of the car. I've left quite a few bigger more powerful car drivers for dead at red lights. When they caught up at the next red light I've had some people ask what engine is in that thing, it flies down the road. The engine was great but did get much lower MPG than I expected of a car this size, even when not driving with my lead foot to the floor. The most economical I got combined was 20-22 MPG but that was mostly city driving. Highway usually rose above 30 MPG with clear roads. Steering and handling was very light, any little bump or pothole in the road was felt right throughout the car and up the steering column. Interior space for a supposedly small car was enormous. Five adults fit very comfortable and the trunk space was huge. The leather seats got very uncomfortable on longer journeys with very little lumbar support. No major problems with the car in 3 years. The Backup camera had to be replaced when it stopped working after a few months but the Kia dealer had it done in about an hour with no charge. The Kia warranty is amazing. I'm not getting another Kia Forte mainly due to the fact I need a larger car and the handling of the Forte is just too soft for me. Would I recommend it to friends interested in a smaller 5 door hot hatch.... YES in an instant!!!

3 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Best car yet

by Kia lover from Cleveland, Ohio on Sat Aug 11 2012

I've never owned a Kia before. I've had a Ford Taurus, Escort and Saturn SL2. I'd say the Forte is the luxury of those cars. I'm not great at writing reviews, but I'll give some brief thoughts. I love the power it has. It also gets 36-40 mpg highway mileage. City mileage kind of sucks, but there's nothing we can do about that. The interior is great to sit in. One big complaint I have is the short arm rest in the middle consol. You can't really rest your arm on it. Other then tat, I love it.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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4 out of 5 stars

Nice Sports Coupe

by HatestoShop from Austin, TX on Sat Sep 01 2012

After 6 months of car shopping, I bought a 2012 Kia Forte Koup SX based on its looks & performance. Since I was replacing a Nissan 240SX, I wanted a sports coupe for looks and a 2.4L DOHC for performance. The Forte Koup SX has both at a very reasonable price. I chose the base model with a spoiler (no leather or nav package). It still came with Sirius XM radio + USB port for my iPod/phone. I really like the radio/phone controls on the steering wheel for no-look music. I also like the 6-way adjustable driver's seat. Would definitely recommend this car -- at the very least, take a test drive. It's a fun car to drive & I enjoy the looks I get!

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Great Car!!

by Car Lover from TX on Tue Oct 25 2011

I took this car on a road trip to Missouri. It got 38 mpg. Very comfortable car, handles very well and roomy enough for us. I made a great choice!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Can't beat it for the $

by Rob from Southwest Florida on Mon Sep 22 2014

While the looks are okay, the interior is very well designed + no ugly faux metal finishes! Has lot's of room for a car in it's class, plus a big trunk. Drives like a heavier car and the gas mileage is good, although not as advertised. Well worth the price, for any 2012 compact in it's class.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Our Take on the 2012 Kia Forte

Editor's note: This review was written in August 2011 about the 2011 Kia Forte. Little of substance has changed with this year's model. To see what's new for 2012, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.

Kia's compact Forte gains a four-door hatchback version for 2011. Along with a sedan and a coupe, buyers have three body styles to choose from, which is more than most competitors offer.

It's true that cars have gotten a lot better lately, but that doesn't mean they're all equal — and the compact-car segment illustrates this perfectly. There's a clear gap between the impressive redesigned Hyundai Elantra and the Toyota Corolla, a car that's fallen considerably behind... Read More