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The 2023 Kia Forte offers a lot of car for the money. It offers up enough room for five people, features a large trunk, sharp styling, and good performance. The compact sedan also offers four different trim levels to choose from. However, according to Kelly Blue Book (KBB), the most popular is the Forte GT-Line

A silver 2022 Kia Forte driving in the opposite direction
Kia Forte | Kia

When it comes to Kia Forte sales numbers, KBB found that the Kia Forte GT-Line is the most popular 2023 Kia Forte model. A step up from the mid-level LXS, the GT-Line includes the standard 2.0-liter 147-horsepower four-cylinder and continuously variable automatic transmission, combining it with the GT-Line’s more aggressive styling. But the Forte is more than just attractive sheet metal. Much of the car’s appeal lies in its long list of comfort, technology, and safety features.   

2023 Kia Forte GT-Line engine specs and performance

The base engine can seem sluggish at times but provides good fuel economy with an EPA-rated 28 mpg city and 39 mph highway. Car and Driver reported a 0-60 time of 8.2 seconds with the CVT. 

Upgrading to the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder helps to liven things up. The turbocharged engine puts out 201 horsepower and reaches 60 mph in 6.7 seconds when equipped with a manual transmission. The drawback is fuel economy drops as well, with the combined average dropping from 33 mpg down to 30 mpg.    

Handling and braking are good for the class but lag behind the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Honda Civic SI. The Forte sacrifices sharper handling reflexes in favor of comfort and stability. Most people will happily make this trade, preferring the more comfortable ride for everyday driving.  

2023 Kia Forte GT-Line features and pricing

The Kia Forte GT-Line takes the LXS package and adds more aggressive body styling, 17-inch allow wheels, and a leather-wrapped, flat-bottom steering wheel. But that’s just for starters. In addition to the sporty looks, buyers of this Kia sedan also get the following:

  • Keyless entry and push-button start
  • 10.25-inch touchscreen
  • Wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Safe exit assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Kia Drive Wise driver assistance tech

The GT-Line adds $1,700 to the price of the LXS. Buyers can also choose from several option packages, including the $300 GT-Line Technology Package, which adds an electronic parking brake, navigation-based intelligent cruise control, and upgraded automatic braking assist with cyclist detection.   

A $1,000 Sport Premium Package includes heated and ventilated front seats, a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat, rear seat air vents for the rear seats, and a rear USB port.

On top of that, buyers can select the Premium Package with a sunroof, ambient lighting, a Harmon Kardon 8-speaker audio system, and wireless device charging.  

Should you buy a 2023 Kia Forte GT-Line?

Kia’s game has always been value – providing more for less. The base Kia Forte adheres to the rules of that game and is a bargain with its long list of standard features, good fuel economy, and low base price. The GT-Line is also a bargain. For less than $2,000, it adds sportier looks, a more premium feel, and a host of usable options. If your budget has some flexibility, it’s definitely the one to get. 

The harder question is whether or not to get the more powerful 1.6-liter turbo. For most new car shoppers, the base 2.0-liter engine is the best choice. It offers better fuel economy and adequate performance for most situations. However, the turbocharged engine turns the Kia Forte into something more than just a value-packed compact car. It turns the Forte into a good compromise between economy-minded compact cars and performance ones like the Honda Civic Si and VW Golf GTI. 


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