The 2021 Kia Forte Receives Dramatically Different Reviews from Edmunds and Consumer Reports

The 2021 Kia Forte is one of the brand’s most affordable sedans, but if you’ve checked out reviews and ratings online, you may be feeling a bit conflicted. From certain angles, the Forte is a great bargain, offering just what you need for the price even if it skimps out on some features that you get from more expensive models. On the other hand, it lacks quite a bit in comparison to competitors of the same price. Really, the answer is that the 2021 Kia Forte is a good car for the right driver, but what determines who the right driver really depends on what you’re looking for in a car.

A kia badge on the front grille of a kia forte
The logo of Kia Motors is seen on the front of its sedan ‘Forte’ | PARK JI-HWAN, AFP, Getty Images

Does Consumer Reports recommend the 2021 Kia Forte?

The 2021 Kia Forte receives dramatically differing reviews from several major websites, but it isn’t recommended by Consumer Reports. In fact, compared to other more popular models, the Forte receives a rather abysmal overall score, ranking in at just 42 out of a possible 100 points, and be ranked at the bottom of the barrel as #12 out of 14 ranked compact cars.

What is it that the reviewer dislikes so much about the Forte? It receives decent scores for drivability and is even noted for having some more positive aspects, such as handling, responsible fuel economy, and even standard safety features. But, there is one major pitfall for the 2021 Kia Forte: it doesn’t have a stellar history of reliability.

A red kia forte coupe being unveiled
A Kia Forte | Lee, Bloomberg, Getty Images

Does Edmunds recommend the 2021 Kia Forte?

Well, the 2021 Kia Forte isn’t recommended by Edmunds, either, but it does still offer a relatively high overall score, especially compared to what it received from the opposition. According to the site, the Forte was worthy of an average ranking of 7.9 out of 10, just on the cusp of gaining a recommendation from the website but missing the mark for just a few slight pitfalls.

Edmunds notes the Forte as being a great deal for the money, and buyers can expect to find them for a base-model MSRP of $20,115 and only increasing a few thousand dollars to the top trim level at $24,460. With the most affordable base model version, buyers can expect all of the standard safety features they’re looking for with vehicles in this price range:

  • Forward collision mitigation
  • Lane departure alerts
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Driver fatigue alerts

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The major difference between the reviews

The most significant difference that sets the reviews apart and leads one review to be more negative while the other is more positive is that Consumer Reports ranks predicted reliability based on the history of each model. In this way, the website isn’t making any direct accusations as to whether or not the vehicle will be reliable, but rather noticing that it hasn’t been reliable in the past several model years or has major reliability concerns.

That’s just the case for the 2021 Kia Forte — in previous model years, reliability hasn’t left us with a lot of hope, but that doesn’t mean that Kia hasn’t made major improvements behind the scenes to improve problems surfaced from previous model years, and as a brand new car it does still afford buyers with the standard new-car warranty.

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