The Used Kia Forte is a truly international car. Found all over the world, including the United States, this vehicle embraces the idea of small-but-mighty design. Sitting well in the compact car category, the Forte emphasizes a small profile, good fuel economy, minimal frills for nearly a decade. For people looking for a first car or second vehicle, searching for used Fortes for sale makes sense. The car is an affordable option that rarely leaves people disappointed.
The second generation introduced many changes to the Forte platform. While the overall approach of compact design remained, the designers at Kia made the car even more aerodynamic and curvy to maximize the amount of fuel efficiency possible. Despite the size, Kia also managed to squeeze a variety of possibilities out of the design. Coming in 2-door, 4-door, and 5-door layouts, the Forte manages to serve a large number of customers surprisingly well.
When considering the Forte as a used vehicle, think about this option as a lightweight with the potential to save some money upfront and on gas. The engine options are lackluster compared to other compact vehicles. Interior space is a bit tight. It isn’t the most appealing vehicle to look at. If you can get past all of these drawbacks, however, the Forte is a great choice with many unique perks.
This model year was the first time Kia introduced a new design to the Forte lineup. The updates to the vehicle itself were meant to convey a sense of European-style and speed while retaining the practical benefits of driving a compact car. In practice, this meant offering some potentially powerful engine options in a small frame, so you get the feeling of true speed and power without the price tag and gas bill. As a result, you are likely to find a lot of great used options from this year with a variety of features.
2014 brought the addition of a 5-door hatchback layout to the lineup, joining the 2-door and 4-door options from the previous generation. For early adopters at the time, most agreed that the 2-door design left a lot to be desired in terms of overall passenger and cargo space. Since space was limited, the minimal layout was more appropriate for single drivers or couples who didn’t need any major interior space.
The 4- and 5-door options maximized the interior space within the reasonable limits of the compact design. Both versions add a small rear passenger space that will squeeze additional occupants into the back. The hatchback design turns the rear trunk into a small open space that offers the most amount of continuous interior space from front to back of the vehicle.
For a compact platform, the Forte manages to offer several different engine options depending on the trim level. Options included the 1.8 MPI, 2.0L, 2.0 GDI, and 1.6 T-GDI four-cylinder engines. With horsepower ranging from 150-201 HP, the engines managed to replicate the same offerings of larger vehicles: some emphasized fuel savings, others like the turbocharged 1.6L were all about performance. Coupled with the vehicle’s aerodynamic design, fuel efficiency fell into the range of 30-40 MPG depending on the specific motor.
Exterior options were fairly minimal compared to larger sedans and performance vehicles. The SX trim offered a few performance-oriented additions including twin exhaust tips, LED tail lights, a sporty front fascia, and 18-inch aluminum wheels. The EX trim, on the other hand, came with a base package, no-frills offering. Some trims had the option for a manual six-speed transmission while others were only available with an automatic.
At the time, the Forte also introduced several optional upgrades many compact cars lacked. Heated steering wheels, air cooled seats, heated front and rear passenger seats, keyless entry, and a leather interior were all additions that contributed to an upscale feel in the vehicle. If you manage to find a hatchback with some of these features, you will likely experience a drive that is similar to anything new today.
Since 2014 brought the start of the second generation, the 2015 version only saw small tweaks and changes here and there. The engine lineup had a few improvements to increase overall fuel economy but stuck with the same general options.
Like the 2015 version, 2016 brought minor changes to Kia’s successful Forte platform. Several optional upgrades became standard while different trim offerings were reshuffled to better meet customer demands at the time.
This model year featured a somewhat understated, but important, upgrade to the overall Forte platform. Not quite a mid-generation refresh, the changes instead built on the Forte’s surprising performance-oriented offerings not found in other compact car options. Engine performance crept up a little. The sporty look of the SX became even more refined. Even the top-performing seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission became the standard option for the SX trim.
The biggest change was the introduction of the mid-level S model to the Forte sedan. Joining the likes of the SX and EX, the S was a good balance between the base and top trims where you got a more powerful engine and some extra convenience/safety options. The SX also received a few additional upgrades in addition to the new standard transmission. On the outside, a new rear spoiler and halogen fog lights gave the SX even more of a sportier look. On the inside, new leather seating gave the interior a luxury feel without a significant price increase. In fact, the 2017 SX is a great used car option if you want something sporty without a significant price tag.
Overall changes to all of the trim lines included a new baseline engine. Replacing the old 1.8L inline-four engine, the new standard was a 2.0L I4. The top performer engine remained the 1.6L I4 Turbocharged which offered a max of 201 horsepower. Many of the other engine options remained the same and depended on the specific trim or upgrade package chosen when initially purchasing the car.
Both the hatchback and sedan versions came with minimal changes to the convenience and safety packages. In fact, the only major package was a set of technology upgrades that added luxury touches like a power sunroof, heated/ventilated front seats, HID headlights, and drive-assist features like front collision detection, blind spot monitoring, parking sensors, optional navigation, and more.
Finally, the 2017 Kia Forte also received an overall minor facelift. The main profile of the compact car remained the same, but new restyle touches around the headlights and tail lights made the look more distinctive. In fact, the design solidified Kia’s overall look that was shared with other models like the Kia Optima and Rio. The lights were now more slender and swept back while still providing a good amount of front coverage at night.
This is the best model year to choose right now if you are looking for a used Kia Forte for sale that is the most modern. Since few changes were made in the 2018 model year, the 2017 version retained many of the same features and options as new versions.