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There aren’t many fun cars on sale today for less than $30K, let alone $25K. However, the Kia Forte GT has emerged as an exciting option for those seeking an affordable sports car. With its budget-friendly price tag and fun daily driver potential, the Forte GT is one of the most underrated cars on the road today. For less than $25K, this Kia compact is one sports car that deserves some more attention.

Lots to love about the Kia Forte GT

The 2023 Kia Forte is a Korean compact sedan that is one of the cheapest base model car on sale.
2023 Kia Forte GT | Kia Media

The 2023 Kia Forte GT represents an excellent blend of affordability and sportiness. With a starting price of less than $25K, the Forte GT offers excellent value for money. Kia has managed to incorporate performance-oriented features without compromising on affordability. Overall, it is an accessible choice for driving enthusiasts looking to experience the thrill of a sports car.

Sporting a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine good for 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, there is plenty of punch to work with. Those figures almost perfectly match the rival Honda Civic Si, but for nearly $5K less. In addition, it includes sport suspension and brakes to balance out the power, making the Forte GT a truly sporty contender.

Daily driving a Kia Forte GT

Kia Forte GT back seats
2023 Kia Forte back seat | Kia

The Kia Forte GT excels as a fun-filled daily driver, providing a surprisingly engaging experience without sacrificing comfort and practicality. Moreover, the sporty little Kia offers 15.3 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk, besting its Civic Si competitor.

Passenger space is solid for the compact class, with 42.2 inches of front legroom and 35.7 inches of rear legroom, per Edmunds. That’s enough space for most adults to get comfortable back there with ease. Plus, the 37.5 inches of headroom is a good shout for an affordable sports car. That said, rear shoulder room is limited, so getting three across the rear will be something of a challenge.

An affordable Honda Civic Si alternative

Kia Forte GT engine
2023 Kia Forte GT Engine | Kia

For car shoppers considering the Honda Civic Si, the 2025 Kia Forte GT presents a worthy alternative. With a similar focus on performance and affordability, the Forte GT offers a compelling package that rivals its Honda counterpart.

The Forte GT’s turbocharged engine delivers 201 horsepower to the Si’s 200, and torque is 195 pound-feet vs. 192 for the Honda. While its sport-tuned suspension and upgraded brakes contribute to an enjoyable driving experience, the Civic’s package is slightly better balanced.

Furthermore, the Kia offers an excellent, 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty, nearly doubling the coverage of the Honda compact. In addition, the Kia costs under $25k while the Civic starts at nearly $29k, so the Korean compact offers a better overall value.

Is the 2023 Kia Forte GT worth a look?

Without a doubt, the 2023 Kia Forte GT has proven itself as an affordable sports car that doubles as a thrilling daily driver. With plenty of interior and cargo space, it can handle commuting duties with ease. Even better, the turbocharged punch and sharper suspension make it fun enough to elicit a grin with every drive.

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