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Kia has been making big strides in the American car market. Notably, the South Korean automaker has done that by building award-winning SUVs. But the company doesn’t just focus on crossovers — its sedans are also doing well. Here’s a look at one popular Kia sedan flying off dealership lots right now: the Forte. 

The Forte is the best-selling Kia sedan this year

2023 Kia Forte the best Kia sedan in sales this year.
2023 Kia Forte | Kia

Kia recently reported its latest car sales data, and the best-selling model in May 2023 was the Sportage. The company sold about 12,900 units of the compact SUV that month. The race for second place was close between the Forte and the Telluride. But the Forte won, selling 10,023 units. Meanwhile, the midsize SUV sold 10,005 units.

The Forte’s brisk sales reflect a continuation of a year of success. So far in 2023, the Sportage remains the best-selling Kia model overall, selling about 58,000 units. Meanwhile, the Forte sits comfortably in second place with about 52,000. That’s much better than the Telluride’s 46,000 units.

Those numbers make the Forte the best-selling Kia sedan and mark a sign of growth. Compared to the same period in 2022, Kia has sold about 22% more Forte units. And Kia’s entire lineup has sold about 21% better than last year. That means Forte sales are growing faster than the average Kia model.

The year isn’t over yet, but if the Kia Forte continues its momentum, it should end 2023 strong and ahead of its 2022 performance. If this Kia sedan can do that, that’s further evidence the segment is rebounding. After the Great Recession, many shoppers chose smaller cars, primarily sedans.

However, when the economy recovered, more consumers began buying SUVs and trucks, leading to a decline in sedan sales. That’s a likely explanation for why Kia sold about 95,000 Forte units in 2019, a drop from the six-figure sales the sedan saw in 2016 and 2017. At the Forte’s current pace, it should sell more than 100,000 units by year’s end.

As during the Great Recession, many consumers are concerned about the current economy. That might be a significant reason sedans like the Forte seem to be bouncing back, as small cars are cheaper than SUVs or trucks. However, the Forte is also a solid car all around, so that’s another possible explanation for its success.

Why the 2023 Kia Forte is the best Kia sedan in sales performance

The popular 2023 Kia Forte is a compact sedan that starts at around $20,000. That low sticker price makes it one of the cheapest new cars and explains why this Kia sedan is performing so well.

It starts with a 147-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder. That engine allows the car to get excellent gas mileage of 30 mpg in the city, 41 mpg on the highway, and 36 mpg combined. The automaker also offers a 201-hp turbocharged engine for drivers wanting more power.

On the inside, the Forte is comfortable and decently equipped. It has an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and numerous advanced safety features.

It’s not hard to see why the 2023 Kia Forte is the best-performing Kia sedan. What remains to be seen is if it holds the lead for the rest of the year.