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The adage goes that it’s impossible to get something fast, cheap, and high-quality, and you can get only two of the three. The same principle applies to cars, with many buyers wanting crisp handling, strong throttle response, and a budget-friendly sticker price. The good news is that the 2022 Kia Forte GT defies the odds and delivers in all three categories.

2022 Kia Forte GT engine specs

2022 Kia Forte GT
2022 Kia Forte | Kia

A four-door, five-passenger compact sports sedan, the Kia Forte GT packs a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine producing 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. It features a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission as standard equipment. But the Forte GT Manual model offers a six-speed manual gearbox and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires for an additional $1,000.

Other sporty tidbits are 18-inch alloy wheels, a stiffer suspension, and a throaty dual exhaust system. In addition, the Forte GT gives drivers a choice of three drive modes: Comfort, Smart, and Sport. Comfort mode feels like a lazy Sunday drive, while Sport wakes up the car when it’s time to play. 

Inside the 2022 Kia Forte GT 

The Kia Forte GT comes loaded with plenty of features. They include a 10.3-inch touchscreen, navigation, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, keyless entry, push-button ignition, dual climate control, and exterior LED lights.

The $2,200 GT2 package upgrades the driver’s seat with a 10-way power adjustment with lumbar support. It also provides heated and ventilated front seats, a premium Harman Kardon audio system, and forward-collision avoidance with cyclist detection. However, the GT2 package is unavailable for the GT Manual model. 

Kia’s GT performance lineup for 2022 includes the Stinger GT, K5 GT, Soul GT, and Forte GT, with $15,000 separating the highest-priced Stinger GT and the most affordable Forte GT. The Forte GT’s price point provides the budget-conscious sports car enthusiast with a platform to scratch that performance itch.

MotorTrend offers its impression of the 2022 model


2022 Honda Civic Crushes the 2022 Kia Forte in Compact Competency

In its 2022 Kia Forte GT review, MotorTrend calls this compact car “extroverted, eager, and well equipped.” It also says the new sedan “punches above its price point.” Furthermore, the article praises the Kia Forte GT for its ample torque, sporty handling, and “burbling” exhaust notes during startup.

MotorTrends’s 2022 Kia Forte GT test vehicle, equipped with the GT2 package and automatic transmission, elicited test driver complaints in only a few areas. They include driving the Forte GT in stop-and-go traffic, on bumpy or uneven surfaces, and under hard braking in corners. 

For example, the double-clutch-equipped automatic transmission “tends to buck under braking right after acceleration” in city traffic. Also, testers experienced a harsh ride on bumpy roads with uneven surfaces due to the Forte GT’s stiff suspension, and heavy braking into a corner caused the rear end to slide out. 

On the plus side, test drivers enjoyed the Forte GT’s handling on smooth, twisty canyon roads where the stiff suspension and sporty transmission proved worthy. Even the rear-end sliding-out tendency proved advantageous and added to the car’s playfulness during enthusiastic driving sessions. They found the addition of the GT2 package updated the interior from sporty yet dated to impressive.

The 2022 Kia Forte GT is a fun car on a budget

Overall, MotorTrend says car shoppers should consider their willingness to endure the Forte GT’s stiff suspension and overzealous transmission characteristics in traffic before purchasing. But if someone is looking for a fun sports car on a budget, the $26,870 model will not disappoint.