Skip to main content

Which Kia Forte is the base model? While some brands lay out their models’ trim levels in a way that’s easy to understand, the Forte’s lineup may be confusing for some. That’s especially true this year, when the mid-level EX trim has been deleted. The base 2022 Forte model is the FE trim, and its starting price makes it an attractive option for drivers on a budget.

Kia Forte FE base model price and specs

Close up view of the redesigned Kia brand logo on the front end of the 2022 Kia Forte FE base model
2022 Kia Forte front end | Kia

Kia’s specs page lists the cheapest Forte cost at just $19,090 for the base 2022 Forte FE trim level. This entry-level compact sedan comes standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. The standard powertrain includes an Intelligent Continuously Variable Transmission (IVT); Kia discontinued the previous Forte’s base model with a manual transmission.

The base Kia Forte is 182.7 inches in length, or about 15.2 feet long, which gives the sedan a comfortable amount of interior space. In the trunk, the 2022 Forte offers about 15.3 cubic feet of cargo space.

Standard features in the 2022 Forte FE

As the cheapest trim level in the lineup, this entry-level model is a little sparse. The 2022 Forte FE is only available in three exterior colors: Clear White, Gravity Gray, and Aurora Black. Black woven cloth is the only interior upholstery color option for the base Forte model.

Kia loads the Forte FE with expected basics like power windows and power door locks, and cruise control with steering-wheel-mounted controls. Bluetooth, Wireless Apple CarPlay, and Wireless Android Auto all come standard and stream through a good-enough four-speaker sound system. A standard 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system displays the rear backup camera.

The base 2022 Forte FE also offers a suite of Kia Drive-Wise driver-assistance technology features, including Auto Emergency Braking Technology, Lane Keeping Technology, Lane Following Assist Technology, Driver Attention Warning, and Rear Occupant Alert w/ Ultrasonic Sensors.

Is the entry-level Kia Forte a reliable car?

Unfortunately, the 2022 Forte is one of the least reliable cars among sedans. The base model may be slightly more reliable than the higher-level trims because it has less on-board tech and a less-powerful engine. This may set up the entry-level model for fewer issues in the long-term.

However, the Forte has received dramatically different reviews from critics over the years. The industry doesn’t seem to agree on how reliable the Forte really is.

Is the 2022 Kia Forte FE worth it?

The entry-level 2022 Forte FE may not be the best Kia Forte model, but it is the cheapest. If cost is your primary concern, the basic Forte trim level is relatively well-equipped and one of the cheapest new cars on the market. It’s not a bad choice.

But—the 2022 Forte LXS trim, as seen in the video above, costs only $500 more and adds enough additional features to make the upgrade worth it. For that reason alone, the FE may not be worth the price. Consider the Forte LXS instead.

Check out the article below for all the trim levels, features, and specs in the Forte lineup for a full Kia Forte model comparison.


The 7 Best New Cars for Under $20,000