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The 2013 Kia Forte is one of the most dependable used cars. But despite its reputation for reliability and affordability, it has one safety concern that shoppers should consider. Let’s examine its crash test scores and safety features.

The 2013 Kia Forte botched 1 NHTSA test

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2103 Kia Forte an overall four-star safety rating and a three-star rating in side crash testing. However, a closer look reveals the driver didn’t receive adequate protection in the side barrier or fixed object simulation. The 2013 Kia Forte earned five-star ratings in side passenger protection, with one major caveat.

During the evaluation, a crash test dummy in the rear had its chest hit by an interior door panel as a result of the simulation. That indicates rear-seat passengers are likelier to incur rib, lung, and other chest injuries during a collision. 

For the frontal crash test, the dummy in the driver’s seat had more protection than the one in the front passenger seat. The 2013 Kia Forte also got a near-perfect rating on the rollover test, with only a 10% chance of flipping. 

What safety features does the 2013 Kia Forte have?

Because this model year was built in 2012, it doesn’t have the advanced driver’s tech found in the 2023 KIa Forte. However, the 2013 model still has antilock brakes and electronic stability control. All three trims also include dual front airbags, side curtain airbags, and side airbags for front-row occupants. 

J.D. Power gave this Kia Forte an overall reliability score of 84/100, which the research firm labels “great.” That rating is based on the automaker’s reputation for dependability and the car’s quality when it was new. We’ve seen some Kia cars last over 300,000 miles with regular maintenance. 

The 2013 Forte has had four recalls, the NHTSA shows. The most extensive campaign included over 500,000 Kia Forte and Optima sedans to address a short-circuiting airbag control unit. Another encompassed over 134,000 Forte models over faulty brake pedals and brake shift plungers. There was also the risk of an engine fire that affected nearly 300,000 vehicles.

Overview of the 2013 model


The Worst Kia Forte Model Year You Should Never Buy

The 2013 Kia Forte continues to attract buyers thanks to its high cargo capacity for a compact car. Though the sedan body style has less storage space, the hatchback offers over 19 cubic feet of cargo volume. The sedan’s trunk has about 15 cubic feet.

Excluding the two-door Kia Forte Koup, this car has adequate room for all four passengers. Critics also complimented the cabin materials and the Forte’s various advanced convenience tech features. The standard LX trim has Bluetooth, an aux jack, and satellite radio. Some EX and SX trims also have navigation and automatic climate control. 

The range-topping 2023 Kia Forte SX has an athletic sport suspension, but its choppy ride left a bad impression on many critics. This model also has an upgraded 173-hp four-cylinder engine, while the base four-cylinder only makes 156 hp. The base engine’s performance isn’t noteworthy, though it does get an impressive 25/35 mpg city/highway. 

U.S. News estimates the average purchase price for a used 2013 Kia Forte is $8,161. If you have your eye on the SX, that trim will likely cost around $10,327 with all the optional upgrades included. Even with safety concerns, passing up that kind of deal on such a reliable car is hard.