Skip to main content

Kia has caught a lot of flak over the years for reliability. When the Korean mass-market manufacturer entered the U.S. in 1992, it was the laughingstock of the industry. However, in the decades since their Portland, Oregon-only debut, Kia has come a long way from numerous recalls and common problems. While its offerings still have issues like any other vehicle, the company has beaten the competition in presenting the most reliable compact sedan this year.

What is the most reliable compact sedan from Kia?

The 2023 Kia Forte ranks as this year’s most reliable compact sedan. J.D. Power measured defects, malfunctions, and design flaws in determining its validity based on vehicle owner replies. The analysis pulled no punches, assessing the entirety of the car, from the engine block to the infotainment system to the rear seating row.

The automotive consumer reporting agency gave the 2023 Kia Forte an 87 out of 100 in quality and reliability. The rating was unchanged from the 2022 model year but up three points from the 2021 model year.

What other reliable compact sedans did the Kia Forte beat?

Interestingly, the Kia Forte tied with the Mini Cooper Clubman as 2023’s most reliable compact sedan. Otherwise, usual winners like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla ranked second and third, respectively. The Subaru Impreza and Mazda Mazda3 were ranked fourth and fifth in this year’s rating. Bringing up the back of the pack was the Hyundai Elantra in sixth, the Toyota Prius in seventh, the Nissan Leaf in eighth, and in ninth place, the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Where does Kia rank in reliability?

While the Kia Forte took home first place in the reliable compact sedan rating, the brand as a whole also enjoyed a significant award. J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) revealed that Kia is the most reliable mass-market brand. They even managed to beat out global dynamo Toyota, which didn’t even muster a top-three placement.

In the VDS, the Korean automaker achieved a score of 152 PP100 (problems per 100 vehicles). Comparatively, Toyota scored 168 PP100, leaving the company in fifth place behind Kia, Buick, Chevrolet, and Mitsubishi. Remember, the VDS contains vehicles that are three years old. Therefore, Kia has been on a reliability streak, and it will likely continue.

How fast is the 2023 Kia Forte?

The 2023 Kia Forte is this year's most reliable compact sedan
2023 Kia Forte GT | Kia

Not all Kia Fortes are speedy, reliable compact sedans. The base engine is a 147-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder capable of exceedingly impressive gas mileage. For the fast version, potential buyers must select the Forte GT spec.

With a starting MSRP a shade under $25,000, drivers can step into a mini sports sedan. Under the hood is a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that puts down 201 horsepower and 195 pounds-feet of torque. Whereas most small, reliable compact sedans can putter around town quite well, most find highway pulls challenging. The Forte GT’s full torque is available at just 1,500 rpm; therefore, there will be a response when the accelerator pedal is pushed. It’s a $700 optional extra, but the Forte GT can be enlivened with an engaging six-speed manual transmission.


Edmunds Says This 2023 Kia Forte Trim Level Is the Most Popular