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Kia is known for making affordable cars that are fun to drive for the price, and they’ve been diving into sportier sedans in recent years. Consider the new 2022 Forte GT-Line or the 2022 Kia K5 GT-Line. Both models start under $30,000, and both look like they could be at home on a track. But is the GT-Line trim of Kia’s most affordable compact sedan worth over $21,000?

2022 Forte GT-Line price and specs

2022 Kia Forte GT-Line in Steel Gray driving along a paved road under a bridge
2022 Kia Forte GT-Line | Kia

The 2022 Forte GT-Line is currently listed with an MSRP of $21,290 on Kia US, excluding taxes, fees, and any additional package options or accessories. The sporty-showing compact sedan comes standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that only makes 147 horsepower but offers great fuel economy. 

The 2022 Forte lineup offers 15.3 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk, including the GT-Line. That amount of storage space is one of the largest in its class, making the new Forte GT-Line a handy weekend warrior that’s great for trips.

What’s the difference between the Kia Forte GT and GT-Line?

2022 Forte GT-Line2022 Forte GT
Engine2.0L four-cylinder1.6L four-cylinder turbo
Horsepower147 HP201 HP
Torque132 lb-ft195 lb-ft
MPG29 city / 39 highway27 city / 35 highway

Dimensions for both sedans are the same, so you’ll enjoy the same headroom, legroom, and cargo space in either. The Forte GT is more powerful than the GT-Line, but over $2,000 more expensive—though it does punch above its price point. The Forte GT-Line comes standard with an Intelligent Variable Transmission, while the GT allows the choice of a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic or 6-speed manual transmission.

Both models include many of the same exterior design features, but the GT takes the lead in performance. The GT-Line is more fuel-efficient than its higher-horsepower sibling.

The 2022 Forte GT-Line and GT are both available in five classic colors: Snow White Pearl, Aurora Black, Steel Gray, Gravity Gray, and Sporty Blue. The GT-Line also offers Fire Orange, while the GT offers Currant Red.

The GT-line adds sporty exterior design features, but that’s about it

Close up of the front bumper and grille of the 2022 Kia Forte GT-Line
2022 Kia Forte | Kia

The GT-Line trim only affects the look of the 2022 Forte, not the performance. However, the package is pretty cool. It adds a sport grille and sport side sills, black gloss sport bumper accents and black gloss outside mirrors, and a rear trunk lid spoiler.

Some may protest dressing up a base Forte’s engine in a turbo Forte’s clothing, but the 2022 GT-Line offers what some drivers secretly want: the Superman exterior with the Clark Kent mild-mannered personality.

Is the Kia Forte GT-Line fast?

Since the GT-Line only brings exterior and interior styling cues to the Forte and uses the same engine as the base model, it isn’t particularly fast. Car & Driver reports that the 2022 Forte GT-Line went 0 – 60 in 8.2 seconds and felt “sluggish.”

The more powerful Forte GT has a 0 – 60 time of 6.7 seconds with the 1.6-liter turbo engine. Neither are as fast as a Honda Civic, but it’s decent for the price.

It’s not a sports car, but it’s still ready to have a good time.

GT-Line interior features in the Kia Forte

2022 Kia Forte GT-Line interior in black cloth and faux leather trim, with a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system and automatic transmission
2022 Kia Forte GT-Line interior | Kia

The new 2022 GT-Line brings a few specific touches to the Forte’s interior. The affordable compact sedan offers Sport Seats w/ SynTex (Kia’s synthetic leather substitute) and cloth trim, a GT-Line leather-wrapped “sport-designed steering wheel,” and Alloy Pedals.

Not specific to the trim, the Forte GT-Line comes standard with a 10.25-inch Color Touchscreen Display with Navigation & Kia Connect, Wireless Apple CarPlay®, and Wireless Android Auto™.

Is the GT-Line actually worth it?

If you’re looking for an affordable, easy-to-drive compact sedan that looks sporty but has good fuel economy, the 2022 Forte GT-Line could be worth the money. It’s a decent car overall, it offers a lot of standard tech and comfort features, and those exterior design features look pretty good in real life.

Keep in mind, though, that it’s one of the least reliable cars. That low price tag can have a trade-off. If you want affordability, style, and reliability, consider the Honda Civic or Subaru Impreza. 


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