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Is the Kia Forte in the same class as the Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla? Most consumers might look toward the Hyundai or Toyota before the small Kia, but there’s one way that the Forte beats the other two models.

The J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) has the Kia Forte positioned above the Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla. This means the Forte proves it can last and continue to deliver a high-quality driving experience.

Does this prove the Kia Forte is more dependable than other compact cars?

The J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study examines vehicles from three model years prior to determine their continued ability to deliver the same driving experience as when new. In this study, the starter battery, mapping software, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, and voice recognition have proven most problematic between the Initial Quality Study, performed after 90 days, and the three-year study.

The Kia Forte hits the top spot in the (VDS) making it the most dependable small car from the 2020 model year. In addition to high marks for the Forte, Kia is the highest mass-market brand in this study for the third consecutive year. The top five brands are:

  • Kia
  • Buick
  • Chevrolet
  • Mitsubishi
  • Toyota

The average number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) reported by the VDS dropped by six from 2022 to 2023. As a brand, Kia models experienced an average of 152 PP100, while the industry average is 186 PP100.

What do owners like about the Kia Forte?

This Forte is more than a dependable vehicle; it also provides many owners a satisfying experience on the road. Most Kia Forte owners like:

  • Convenient storage spaces for personal items
  • Voice assistance technology
  • Easy ingress and egress for the rear seats

This little Kia comes with an impressive safety package, great warranty, and excellent fuel economy, making it a useful small car for anyone looking for a budget-conscious compact sedan.

What do owners dislike about the Kia Forte?

Most small sedans have features and elements that bother some drivers. This compact Kia has a few problems that current owners reported, including:

  • Steering and handling troubles during slippery conditions
  • The headlights aren’t bright enough
  • Heating and air conditioning are slow to reach desired temperatures

The Kia Forte starts in the FE trim with items reminding of how simple and basic this car can be. The FE trim has 15-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, cloth seats, and a standard manual transmission.


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What powers this small sedan?

All models, except the turbocharged Forte GT, use a basic powertrain with excellent fuel mileage. This powertrain has a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. With the standard manual transmission, this sedan reaches 27 city/37 hwy mpg, but these figures improve with the automatic transmission, which returns 31 city/41 hwy mpg.

The Forte GT is more powerful and still relatively efficient. This sporty Forte utilizes a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine and dual-clutch automatic transmission to deliver 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels. The fuel mileage with the DCT is 27 city/35 hwy mpg and 25 city/32 hwy mpg when equipped with the manual transmission.