Here Are the Worst Kia Forte Years to Avoid and Best Forte Sedan Car to Buy

Author: Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

When shopping for a used car, it’s essential to know which model years to avoid to ensure you’re getting a reliable vehicle.

For the Kia Forte, there are specific years that have been known to pose more problems than others. In this article, we’ll discuss which Kia Forte years tend to have more issues, helping you make an informed decision.

The best Kia Forte model years are 2011, 2016, 2018-2022, while the ones to avoid are 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2017.

Understanding the differences between these years can save you from potential headaches and costly repairs down the road.

Worst Kia Forte cars

Kia Forte Years to Avoid

When looking for a reliable and cost-effective vehicle, it’s essential to be aware of the problematic years for that specific model.

In this section, we’ll outline the Kia Forte years to avoid, including issues related to the engine, transmission, electrical system, and steering and suspension.

Engine Problems

Some Kia Forte model years have notable engine issues, which can lead to costly repairs.

The 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2017 models are particularly prone to problems such as engine knocking, oil consumption, and stalling. These issues can result in engine replacements if left unresolved.

If you’re experiencing engine problems, watch out for warning signs like the check engine light or unusual noises. Remember to follow your Kia Forte’s maintenance schedule to prevent and address these issues as they arise.

Transmission Troubles

Transmission issues can also affect the performance and reliability of your Kia Forte. Some common problems you might encounter include difficulty shifting gears, slipping, or loss of power during acceleration.

Although the search results didn’t specify particular years with significant transmission troubles, it’s always wise to research and be aware of potential issues when evaluating used vehicles.

Electrical Issues

Electrical issues within your Kia Forte can manifest in various ways, from the airbag system to the infotainment console.

Some models experienced faults in the airbag system that prevented deployment in case of an accident. Make sure to check for recalls or service bulletins from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to address any known electrical issues.

Steering and Suspension

Lastly, ensure your Kia Forte provides a smooth and comfortable ride by paying attention to steering and suspension components.

While no specific years or problems were highlighted in the search results for this category, routinely inspecting and maintaining these parts will help maintain your vehicle’s overall performance and safety.

By being mindful of these issues and potential problem years, you can make an informed decision when choosing a Kia Forte that suits your needs.

Notable Models and Ratings

2010 Kia Forte

The 2010 Kia Forte was the first model in Kia’s compact car lineup. It offered good fuel economy and comfortable interiors.

However, some issues make it a year to avoid, such as engine problems and premature wear of brake components.

2012 Kia Forte

Despite its attractive exterior styling, the 2012 model also falls into the category of Kia Forte years to avoid, with common issues like a loss of power and transmission problems.

2014 Kia Forte

The 2014 Forte was popular for its affordable pricing, fuel economy, and value, but it’s also recommended to skip this year due to various electrical and brake concerns.

2015 Kia Forte

Although the 2015 model boasted a stylish interior and exterior, it is plagued by issues such as engine problems and weak brakes, making it another Kia Forte year to avoid.

2016 Kia Forte

The 2016 Kia Forte is deemed by many as being a decent option, thanks to its improved safety features, better build quality, and good fuel economy. You might be better off choosing this one in comparison to its previous years.

2017 Kia Forte

The 2017 Forte had a noteworthy warranty, but be wary of this year due to various complaints about the gas door sticking closed and the engine running roughly, making it another year to skip.

2018 Kia Forte

The 2018 model of the Kia Forte featured fresh design improvements alongside enhanced safety and technology features. This year seems to outperform its predecessors.

2019 Kia Forte

In 2019, Kia Forte focused on offering added comfort, such as a roomier cabin and improved fuel economy. This year stands out as a more reliable and appealing option to consider.

2020 Kia Forte

The 2020 Kia Forte stands strong in the lineup, with updated styling and an available turbocharged engine for better performance. Fuel economy and overall quality are quite impressive.

2021 Kia Forte

The 2021 Forte provides sound value, offering decent fuel economy and affordability. It’s also well-regarded in terms of comfort and reliability, making it a solid choice for a used car.

2022 Kia Forte

The latest 2022 Kia Forte boasts an impressive 4.0/5.0 rating from Kelley Blue Book and offers a smooth ride alongside different drive modes for adjusting your drive experience. This model seems to be a top contender and a wise choice for you.

Frequent Complaints and Repair Costs

Engine Knocking

2010 Kia Forte owners reported the most common issue to be engine knocking, with an average repair cost of $2,300. This issue tends to happen at lower mileage, which is quite frustrating.

Infotainment System

The infotainment system for the 2019 Kia Forte had a few problems such as A/C and heater issues. Be aware of these potential issues.


Look out for brake problems in the 2012 Kia Forte. This model had owners complaining about premature brake wear. Keep in mind that these issues might require more frequent repairs or replacements.

Odometer Issues

Some 2017 Kia Forte models encountered problems with their odometers. Be cautious if you’re considering one of these models, as accurate odometer readings are essential for tracking your car’s mileage and maintenance intervals.

To sum up, keep an eye on the 2010, 2012, and 2017 Kia Forte models which tend to have more complaints than other years. Stay informed about common problems and repair costs so you can make the best choice for your next car purchase.

Tips to Improve Longevity

Regular Maintenance

To improve the longevity of your Kia Forte, regular maintenance is crucial. Keep a close eye on the check engine light and address any issues immediately. Change your engine oil periodically and have your brakes inspected.

Addressing Common Issues

Watch out for transmission troubles, electrical issues, and suspension concerns. Get these problems fixed promptly to prevent further damage and extend your car’s lifespan. By staying proactive, you’ll keep your Kia Forte running smoothly for years.

The Best Kia Forte to Buy

When looking for the ideal Kia Forte, it’s essential to consider a few standout years. The 2022 Kia Forte is an exceptionally smooth ride, packed with features and sport, normal, and smart drive modes, making it a versatile choice.

Another solid option is the 2020 Forte. This model offers tons of value as an entry-level sedan. With driver assistance features and amenities that surpass the competition, the 2020 model ensures great performance, style, and value.

But remember to avoid certain other years, like 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2017, as they have been identified as less reliable.

Choosing from among the recommended models will provide you with a reliable, enjoyable, and feature-packed compact car, perfect for daily drives or long road trips.

Available Trims

When it comes to the Kia Forte, there are several trims to choose from. The 2022 model, for example, is praised for its smooth ride and comes with an Edmunds rating of 4.7 / 5.0. Here are a few available trims for your consideration:

Forte GT-Line: This trim offers a sporty exterior design, blind spot monitor, cross-traffic alert, and premium wheels. It also includes heated mirrors and leather seats for maximum comfort.

Forte GT Manual: Some unique features in this trim include a manual transmission for a more engaging driving experience, remote engine start for added convenience, and an electronic parking brake.

The GT Manual also comes with a 10.2-inch touchscreen, larger than the 4.2-inch driver information display found in other trims.

As you explore the available trims, remember to consider your personal preferences and driving needs. And keep in mind that it’s a good idea to avoid the 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2017 models due to reported issues. Choose wisely and enjoy your Kia Forte!

Kia Forte Competitors

In this section, we will compare the Kia Forte to some of its main competitors: Hyundai Elantra, Mazda3, Honda Civic, and Toyota Corolla.

Hyundai Elantra

If you consider the Kia Forte, the best Hyundai Elantra should be on your list too. Both cars share many similarities, like their fuel efficiency, comfort, and overall value. However, the Elantra provides a slightly better warranty and more standard features.


For a more engaging driving experience, check out the Mazda3. This compact car offers you a smoother ride and more athletic handling.

However, be prepared to pay a little more for the Mazda3, as it comes at a higher price compared to the Kia Forte.

The 2010 Mazda3 is very unreliable as most drivers report clutch failure at an average of 37,650 miles. Let’s also share an amazing comparison piece: Mazda 3 vs Mazda CX-3: Which Compact Car Is Better?

Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is known for its reliability and resale value. Its cabin is spacious and filled with high-quality materials. If fuel efficiency and long-term value are high priorities, the Civic might be a better choice for you.

Toyota Corolla

Lastly, the Toyota Corolla is another strong competitor to consider. It offers impressive fuel economy, a comfortable ride, and a reputation for reliability.

Though it might not be as sporty or as feature-rich as the Kia Forte, the Corolla is a solid option for those looking for a dependable compact car.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Forte so affordable?

The Kia Forte is an affordable option for those seeking a compact car because Kia focuses on offering a high-value package without all the bells and whistles.

The Forte is designed to provide essential features and reliable performance, keeping the cost low for you.

Forte life expectancy?

On average, a well-maintained Kia Forte can last for over 200,000 miles. Regular maintenance, such as oil changes and timely repairs, plays a critical role in extending your Forte’s lifespan. Make sure to follow the recommended maintenance schedule to get the best out of your car.

Kia Forte vs Kia Rio: best year?

When choosing between the Kia Forte and Kia Rio, it’s essential to consider the model years. The best Kia Forte years are 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2021, while the worst are 2012, 2014, and 2017.

In contrast, the Kia Rio has fewer reported issues and consistently better ratings over the years. Ultimately, your choice depends on your preferences and needs, such as price, features, and design.



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