2021 KIA FORTE
The Kia Forte may sound like one of those vehicles that fly under the radar. However, when Kia Motors announced the new high-performance GT-Line, the Forte was one of the first vehicles to get the special treatment. Now in 2021, the Kia Forte returns with three GT trims to show off its performance capabilities.
Turbocharged 1.6-liter I4
Avail. Engine Type
The 2021 Kia Forte sedan is pretty good looking for a four-door passenger car, but let’s talk about the lineup. Six trims make up the lineup – FE, LX, GT-Line, EX, GT, and then the GT in Manual for those that like to have the control. Powering all trims up to the EX is a 2.0-liter DOHC I4 engine able to generate 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. For true GT power, a turbocharged 1.6-liter DOHC I4 engine comes under the hood of the GT and GT Manual trims. Able to generate 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque, it gives this sedan a little boost on the road.
As noted, Kia has a manual transmission on the GT Manual and standard on the FE trim. An intelligent variable transmission (IVT) with Sportmatic for optional manual shifting comes standard on the LXS, GT-Line, and EX trims (optional on the FE). The GT trim comes with that special 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT) with paddle shifters for optional manual shifting.
If driving the 2021 Kia Forte FE in manual, consumers can expect a fuel economy of 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. The fuel economy for the FE with IVT is 31/45 mpg city/highway in contrast to an IVT on the other trims, with an EPA of 29/40 mpg city/highway. The 2021 Kia Forte GT has a fuel economy of 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, whereas the GT Manual has an EPA of 25/32 mpg city/highway.
The 2021 Kia Forte has an assortment of features found on select trims. Across the lineup, consumers get the comfort of solar control glass, projector beam headlights, and automatic headlights. For more advanced features like heated exterior mirrors with turn signal indicators, a Smart Trunk™, and LED taillights, consumers will find those features on the GT-Line and up, with a power sunroof optional on the GT and GT-Line trims.
With an assortment of trims, nearly every trim rides on a different set of wheels. The FE comes with 15-inch steel wheels, the LXS has 16-inch alloy wheels, the GT-line comes with its own 17-inch alloy wheels with a graphite finish, and the EX comes with 17-inch alloy wheels with a machine finish. Both the GT and GT Manual come equipped with 17-inch two-tone alloy GT wheels.
There are just as many different options for the interior cabin of the 2021 Kia Forte with cloth upholstery on the FE and LXS trims, Sport seats with SOFINIO artificial leather and a cloth blend in the GT-Line, all SOFINIO on the EX trim, and then another SOFINIO and cloth blend with red-stitching in the GT and GT Manual trims, with an exclusive GT-stitching option on the GT. All trims come with a six-way adjustable passenger’s seat. The EX that comes with a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat, optional on the GT-Line and GT, whereas a 6-way adjustable driver’s seat is the standard.
All trims but the base FE trim come with a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, and all trims past and including the EX come with rear a/c vents. Consumers will find more upscale items on the EX trim, with dual-zone automatic temperature control, LED interior lighting (ambient lighting on the GT), heated and ventilated front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. No wonder it’s a part of the EX (Designer Collection) lineup. All other trims come with a leather-wrapped gear shift knob.
An 8-inch touchscreen comes standard on all trims, but the features available vary. UVO eServices with voice recognition and SiriusXM come with the GT and GT Manual trims, and all of this plus HD Radio and voice-command Navigation (and SiriusXM Traffic) come with the EX trim. The 2021 Kia Forte also sprinkles around different sound systems, with a 4-speaker audio system as the standard, with a six-speaker system on the GT-Line, GT, and GT Manual. A Harman Kardon premium 8=speaker audio system with a subwoofer comes on the EX trim, optional on the GT-Line, GT, and GT Manual†.
All trims come with Google Android Auto and Apple CarPlay abilities, Bluetooth wireless hands-free tech, and steering-wheel mounted audio and hands-free phone controls. A wireless phone charger can be found on the EX and GT Manual trims, optional on the GT trim. Driver Mode Select is on all trims but the FE, but it can be added onto the FE as an optional upgrade.
Safety Features and Warranty
All 2021 Kia Forte models come with dual front advanced airbags, dual front seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, a rollover sensor, an anti-lock brake system, stability and traction control systems, a rear occupant alert system, and LATCH child-seat ready anchors. All trims come with forward collision warning, and forward collision avoidance assist (with pedestrian detection as an option on the GT), a driver attention warning system, lane keeping, and lane departure warning. All trims come with a rear camera display.
All trims past and including the GT-Line come with blind-spot collision warning, lane change assistant, and rear-cross traffic warning. Parking distance warning in reverse is equipped on the GT Manual, optional on the GT. Smart cruise control is optional on the GT trim.
All Kia models are backed by an industry leading warranty. The Kia Soul is backed by a 10-year or 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a 5-year or 60,000-mile limited basic warranty, and a 5-year or 100,000-mile limited anti-perforation warranty.