Used Kia Forte

Used Kia Forte

Whether to buy new or used is an important consideration. But your options multiply dramatically when you decide that a used vehicle is in your wheelhouse. Once you do, now you get to not only choose which model to buy but also which year. We'll help you comb through the model years, finding what's changed and what to watch out for. In this article, we explore the Kia Forte. This compact car was first introduced to the U.S. in 2010 and is just about to go through a major overhaul. Which year should you buy? We'll give you all the information and let you decide.

Used Kia Forte Interior

Why Buy a Forte?

Above all, the Kia Forte is a commuter car, designed to get you to the office and back and do the run around town. In its early days, Kia was especially interested in attracting younger buyers with the Forte's low starting price and sharp design. Kia is known for tech options, reliability, and a great warranty, but those are somewhat compromised when buying an older model.

1st or 2nd Generation?

About every five to ten years, manufacturers overhaul any given vehicle, redesigning it from top to bottom. That redesign kicks off the start of a new generation. Not counting the new generation that's just about to hit dealerships in 2019, the Kia Forte has gone through just one overhaul, which started in 2014. Everything before that date was part of the first generation. Once you've decided that the Kia Forte should stay at the top of your list, you'll need to decide if you want pre- or post-2014.

Used Kia Forte Gen 1

The first generation began in 2010 as a four-door sedan or two-door coupe (Forte Koup), but we recommend passing on the 2010 Forte. Four- or five-speed automatic transmissions noticeably improved the next year when Kia introduced a six-speed transmission. One thing Kia did right from the very beginning of the Forte was nailing safety. The Forte's crash test ratings were high right out of the gate. You'll have to give up some tech if you opt for the first generation, depending on the age of the car. The first-generation Forte came standard with air conditioning, Bluetooth phone connection, satellite radio and a CD stereo with auxiliary/USB audio jacks. But Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wasn't introduced in the Forte until 2017, well into the second generation.

Used Kia Forte Gen 2

We recommend getting a 2014 or later model if you like tech features. We ae also impressed by the way that the 2014 Forte jumped from a good car to great car. Kia improved the Forte in terms of style, features, driving dynamics, fuel economy and value. The EX sedan proved that Kia can compete with the big names, going zero to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds, meaning the second generation Forte is one of the fastest cars in its class. You can also see the improvement in the recommended maintenance schedule. Before 2014, the Kia Forte needed maintenance every so often on locks and hinges, the serpentine belt, and the timing belt. But the maintenance list streamlines significantly in the second generation, demonstrating the time Kia put into tweaking the problems from the first generation. That's always what you want to see!

Our takeaway is that the Kia Forte is a great buy, but the second generation that started in 2014 is a significant jump in value and quality compared to its predecessors.