The Kia Forte got its last redesign in the 2019 model year, but it’s not that different compared to the generation. The 2019 Forte had the same base engine, albeit with slightly improved fuel economy. However, it also received some tech features that weren’t standard on the 2018 Kia Forte.
The 2020 Kia Forte was slightly more exciting because it offered some sportier trims with turbo engines. Both the GT-Line and GT trims were still available for 2022, along with a few new features inside. Did the 2023 Kia Forte receive any drastic changes?
The 2023 Kia Forte is mostly unchanged
Just like last year, the Kia Forte comes with a standard four-cylinder engine that makes 147 hp. It’s paired with a CVT and you can still only purchase this car with FWD. The GT models come with a 201-hp turbo-four paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
You can also equip the Kia Forte GT with a six-speed manual transmission for $700 ($300 cheaper compared to last year). However, the CVT is the most efficient gearbox, earning 30/41 mpg city/highway. Fuel economy dips slightly for the LXS and GT-Line trims because they ride on larger wheels.
Every Kia Forte has seating for five riders on basic cloth seats, plus over 15 cu-ft of storage space. The base trim also comes with wireless smartphone integration and an 8-in center touchscreen, plus an abundance of safety features. You can upgrade to the LXS trim and gain access to optional safety features through a technology package.
The Kia Forte LXS also has standard split-folding rear seats, which carry over to the GT-Line trim. The GT-Line also gets the LXS’s available safety features, plus a 10.25-in touchscreen. However, you can only use smartphone integration via a USB port on this trim.
Still, the GT-Line has sportier body lines and a unique interior. Leather inserts are added to the sports seats, but you can get full leather seats with a package upgrade. The Sport Premium bundle also includes heating and ventilation for the front seats.
Two more GT-Line packages are available with features like a sunroof, adaptive cruise control, and a wireless charging pad. The Kia Forte GT comes standard with the turbo engine, as well as a sportier suspension and paddle shifters. However, it loses some of the premium options that you can get inside the lower trims.
Why the 2023 Kia Forte is different
According to Cars.com, one of the Kia Forte’s many packages is absent for the 2023 model year. Last year, you could get a GT Package with safety features such as highway-driving assistance and forward-collision warning. As of 2023, every Kia Forte with the dual-clutch transmission includes these features.
The base trim is also now known as the LX instead of the FE. You can option the LX with a new garage door opener and an auto-dimming mirror, both of which weren’t available last year.
What else do we know about the 2023 Kia Forte?
Like most new vehicles, the 2023 Kia Forte is slightly more expensive compared to last year’s model. The LX trim retails for $19,490 and the LXS is only $500 more. Provided you don’t get any optional packages, the Kia Forte GT-Line costs $21,690.
The GT with the DCA transmission starts at $24,190. Even with the manual transmission, the Kia Forte is still a good value for just under $25,000.
The Kia Forte GT is only available with one package, possibly increasing its price to $26,090. Given how expensive used cars can be nowadays, you might save more money with fully-loaded 2023 Forte compared to a 2022 model.