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Many people take solace in a calming, relaxing drive to work every morning. And the last thing they want is any frustration to affect their morning routine, especially before an important meeting. That’s why picking the right car – or the wrong one – can make all the difference. Enter the 2021 Kia Forte.

Kia is becoming an industry leader, rivaling giants like Honda and Toyota. So, it’s no surprise that many would consider making the new Forte their commuter car.

This compact sedan has the making of a fantastic option for young professionals. It has a sophisticated design, cutting-edge technologies, and a fuel-efficient engine. Plus, the 2021 Forte is exceptionally affordable, as its starting MSRP is just $17,890.

However, some experts have noted considerable downsides to driving the Forte that may not be apparent at first glance. How might these shortcomings affect your morning commute? Let’s take a deeper dive into what these critics have to say about Kia’s compact car.

Comfort is not this car’s forte

A red 2021 Kia Forte packed next to a colorful wall
The 2021 Kia Forte on display | Photo via Kia

Whether your drive to work is 10 minutes or an hour, you’ll want some peace and quiet on the way there. Unfortunately for 2021 Kia Forte owners, their little compact shakes, rattles, and rolls the entire way to the office.

According to Consumer Reports’ review of the Forte, drivers will feel every little bump in the road. Plus, the cabin lets in an enormous amount of road noise, which can easily annoy drivers who enjoy listening to music or their favorite podcast during their commute.

The driver’s seat won’t do you any favors, either. The publication attributed the Forte’s uncomfortable seats to a lack of back support and the car’s stiff suspension. With these kinds of criticisms, it’s no surprise that Consumer Reports listed the Forte near the bottom of its compact car rankings.

What we like about the 2021 Kia Forte

It isn’t all doom and gloom for this compact car. While the Forte lacks a ‘wow’ factor, it does boast several significant strengths.

It comes standard with a long list of standard features for such an affordable car. Those who choose the base model will enjoy an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen display compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Plus, it’s equipped with a rearview camera, automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, and a driver attention monitoring system.

Upper trims offer premium features like a sunroof, a heated steering wheel, a navigation system, and synthetic leather seats.

However, this car’s bread and butter is its fuel efficiency. Its standard 147-hp four-cylinder engine is paired to a standard six-speed manual transmission. While this setup only earns an EPA-estimated 31 MPG city/highway combined, most drivers will achieve better numbers. Once you add the optional continuously variable automatic transmission, its fuel-economy rating shoots up to an EPA-estimated 35 MPG combined.

The 2021 Kia Forte also appeals to gearheads, as its ultra-fun GT trim level includes sporty upgrades. Kia equipped this model with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that kicks out 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Plus, buyers can choose to fit it with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission or a hands-on manual transmission.

The final verdict

Work is stressful enough, so you’re not going to want to add another headache to the start of your day. Before buying a 2021 Kia Forte, closely examine the ride quality to see how much it’ll impact your daily drive. If its jostling and loudness are too much for you, then you may want to explore other options.


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