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The Kia Forte compact sedan got a minor refresh for 2022, adopting the brand’s cool new redesigned logo, some new bumpers, and a couple of new features. The new 2022 Forte lineup includes five total trim levels: Forte FE, LXS, GT-Line, GT, and GT Manual. Prices start at $19,090 and max out around $25,000 before additional package options and accessories are added. 

Explore new 2022 Forte trim levels, pricing, specs, and features to learn more about this model.

What are the differences between Kia Forte trim levels?

New Kia brand logo on a blue vehicle hood; all new 2022 Kia Forte trim levels have this new badge
New Kia badge | Jung Yeon-Je/AFP via Getty Images

The 2022 Forte is the best new car under $20,000, according to U.S. News. It’s an affordably stylish sedan in the economy-car class, and its different trim levels offer a great range of options. Kia discontinued the Forte EX for the 2022 model year. Explore a full Kia Forte model comparison below.

The 2022 Kia Forte FE trim level is a cheap, entry-level compact sedan 

Starting at: $19,090

The base Kia Forte comes standard with a fuel-efficient powertrain (31 city / 41 highway) and a handful of standard features: 

  • 147-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Intelligent Continuously Variable Transmission (IVT)
  • 8.0-inch touchscreen display with infotainment system and a rear-view camera
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
  • Kia Drive Wise driver-assistance features

The cheapest 2022 Forte doesn’t cost much, but it also doesn’t offer all that much. The inclusion of Wireless AC and AA smartphone connectivity helps, but these days, standard safety features and a touchscreen are just par for the course.

The 2022 Kia Forte LXS is a well-equipped car under $20,000 

Starting at: $19,590

What’s the difference between the 2022 Forte FE and LXS? The Forte LXS offers all the same standard features as the FE and adds:

  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • 60/40 split-fold rear seat

And yes, that is it. Truly, one-inch-larger wheels and a seat that can fold are the only differences between the Forte FE and the Forte LXS. Autotrader wonders why the LXS model wasn’t simply offered as a package option on the base FE. I wonder why Kia couldn’t just give us bigger wheels and a split-folding seat (who doesn’t just give you the split-fold?) standard on the FE. 

You can opt for an additional $500 Technology Package on the Forte LXS that adds rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, and heated mirrors.

The 2022 Kia Forte GT-Line is a faux-sports car that’s still pretty fun 

Close up of the front bumper and grille of the 2022 Kia Forte GT-Line, a sporty Forte trim level
2022 Kia Forte GT-Line | Kia

Starting at: $21,290

What’s the difference between the 2022 Forte LXS and GT-Line? The sporty GT-Line trim includes all the standard features in the lower trim and adds quite a bit of fun stuff: 

  • Sport grille, side sills, and a rear spoiler
  • Leather-wrapped sport steering wheel
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Sport seats with cloth and SynTex trim
  • 10.25-inch color touchscreen display
  • Dual-zone auto temperature control
  • Available Harman Kardon Premium Audio

The GT-Line is kind of a terrific option. It offers all the good looks of the Forte GT without needing to pay out for more power. Wondering whether the GT-Line is worth the price? If you don’t have your heart set on 200+ horsepower, the Forte GT-Line offers a lot for its sub-$22,000 price tag.

The 2022 Kia Forte GT is a competitive and cool sport sedan 

Starting at: $23,490

What’s the difference between the 2022 Forte GT-Line and the GT? This top-level trim includes nearly all the standard features in the styling GT-Line and adds or replaces: 

  • 201-horsepower 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • 7-speed automatic transmission
  • GT Exterior treatment
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Wireless phone charging
  • GT Ambient Lighting

There are a lot of reasons to choose to buy the 2022 Forte GT over top rivals like the Honda Civic Si. It’s powerful and fun to drive, and it includes a lot of standard features for the price.

The 2022 Kia Forte GT Manual trim level is for purists

Black cloth interior of the Kia Forte's best trim level, the GT Manual with a manual transmission and premium features
2022 Kia Forte GT interior | Kia

The 7 Best New Cars for Under $20,000

Starting at: $23,490

What’s the difference between the 2022 Forte GT and the GT Manual trim levels? There are more than you might think—it goes beyond just a transmission swap. The GT Manual is the most expensive and well-equipped model and adds or replaces: 

  • 6-speed manual transmission
  • Heated front seats
  • Power sunroof
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rear park assist

The Forte GT Manual sits at the top of the Forte trim level lineup. This fully loaded Forte has a manual transmission, and it’s the only Forte with standard heated seats.

Which Forte trim level should you choose?

The 2022 Forte has a surprisingly great spread of trim levels for an economy sedan. There’s a super-cheap entry-level option, and then there’s the one you should actually buy—because having a split-folding rear seat is worth the extra $500. There’s the one that’s sporty but not too sporty, the one that’s powerful enough to go head-to-head with established sports sedans, and the one that’s fully loaded and comes with a stick.

The GT-Line is the best Forte trim to choose if you’re looking for a bargain. The GT or GT Manual is the way to go if you want that extra power boost.