2019 Kia Forte

Research, photos, specs, and expertise
6 photos

Kia Forte highlights

Customer rating


  • Great looking four-door sedan design
  • Thrifty base engine
  • Impressive tech


  • Only one engine option, and it's a bit slow
  • Rear seats aren't that substantial
  • Ride experience can be harsh

Mileage (EPA estimate)

27 city, 37 highway, 31 combined

Pricing for current inventory

(no current inventory)

6 photos

A dapper compact sedan.

The perfect choice for tech-savvy urbanites and empty nesters, the 2019 Kia Forte is well-equipped offering things like optional full LED head and taillights and a 320-watt premium Harman Kardon® stereo. It's also fun to drive. A punchy 2.0L engine produces a healthy 147-hp and can be mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or Kia's own Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT).

All Kia Forte years

What is new for the 2019 Kia Forte?

  • The Forte is available in a variety of new trims, including the FE and LXS.
  • Forte trims have been upgraded with Lane Departure Warning, Power Seat(s), Leatherette Seats, and A/C Seat(s) as standard equipment this year.
  • Remote Start, Automated Cruise Control, Parking Sensors, and Harman Kardon Sound features are now available as options on select trims.
  • The LX trim now comes with Rear View Camera, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto as standard equipment.

2019 Kia Forte trims

Curious how Kia Forte trims differ? Use our side-by-side vehicle comparison to see the differences and similarities


  • Six-speed manual transmission, 15-inch steel wheels with covers, projector low-beam halogen headlights, automatic headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, and more.

  • View all Kia Forte FEs in stock


  • Intelligent Variable Transmission, 16-inch alloy wheels, chrome exhaust tip finisher, 60/40-split-folding rear seats, soft-touch interior panels, and more.

  • View all Kia Forte LXS in stock


  • 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, LED daytime running lights and taillights, satin chrome inside door handles, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and more.

  • View all Kia Forte S in stock


  • Heated side mirrors with integrated LED turn-signal indicators, puddle lamps, sliding armrest, Dual USB charging ports, 10-way power-adjustable driver seat, and more.

  • View all Kia Forte EXs in stock

Kia Forte photos

5 reasons to buy the 2019 Kia Forte

1. Smart, sporty appearance

You'll love this vehicle's elegant, performance-oriented looks. The signature Tiger Nose grille serves as the centerpiece, complemented by a long hood and sloping rear window providing a fastback silhouette. The higher S and EX grades receive 17-inch aluminum wheels, while the SS gets 16-inch alloys and the base FE dons 15-inch steel wheels with covers. Full LED head and taillamps are available on S and EX trims.

2. Sophisticated transmission

2019 Kia Forte Review: Engine | CarMax

Instead of a traditional continuously variable transmission (CVT), Kia introduced its first Intelligent Variable Transmission on the 2019 Forte. A couple of differences include adaptive shift style logic mimicking the feel of traditional gears and the use of a chain-type rather than a push belt, resulting in smoother acceleration. Also, special insulation is designed to reduce droning noise.

3. Purposeful interior

2019 Kia Forte Review: Backseats | CarMax

Again, drawing inspiration from the Stinger, the driver-focused cabin features a horizontal theme as evidenced by the single strip of aluminum running across the entire dashboard. Not just for aesthetics, the clean symmetrical nature of the inside space gets rid of any clutter. A bit of aeronautical styling is seen in the outer circular air vents, mimicking airplane turbines. And engineers have installed additional lumbar support and denser foam in the seats helping to provide more support than before.

2019 Kia Forte Review: Trunk Cargo | CarMax

4. Agile handling

2019 Kia Forte Review: Front Seats | CarMax

Whether you're a city dweller or from the suburbs, you will appreciate the nimbleness of the Forte. The excellent on-road manners are courtesy of a strengthened underlying platform. Built with 54-percent advanced high-strength steel and taking advantage of a new subframe design, lateral responsiveness has been greatly enhanced. Upgrades to the motor-driven power steering offer a more natural feel to turning the wheel.

5. Technology in spades

2019 Kia Forte Review: Tech Dash | CarMax

Several driver-assistance systems—part of the Drive Wise suite—are standard on all trim levels. The suite is made up of technologies that mitigate forward collisions and keep the Forte centered in the middle of the lane. It also features driver attention warning, which monitors operator inputs so that if anything amiss is detected with the driver, both visual and audible warnings are activated. The top-of-the-line S grade also bundles lane-change assist, blind-spot collision warning, and rear cross-traffic collision warning.

Similar vehicles

If you're interested in the 2019 Kia Forte, you should also check out these similar vehicles from Previous generation years.

Image of Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is now in its tenth generation (2015 to present) and has been a venerable contender in the small to compact car class for many years. In recent years, the Civic has grown to be considered a mid-size vehicle.

New to the tenth-generation Civic which debuted in 2015 is a 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 174 horsepower in the coupe and sedan models and is bumped up to 180 horsepower in the hatchback. If you're looking for something sporty, the Civic Si is available only with a manual transmission and a performance suspension while the Type R is one of the hottest performance compacts on the market with its 2.0L turbocharged engine that is rated at a healthy 306 horsepower for the 2015 model year. There's a Civic out there for everyone, regardless of whether you want a comfortable daily driver or something that can provide a little more excitement on a daily basis.

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Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings

The 2019 Kia Forte is a compact car that is great for commuting and has excellent gas mileage. The car has a sport mode that makes it go fast and tight. The car has a touch screen message center and lane assist.

RepairPal gave the Kia Forte an overall reliability rating of 4 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as Excellent. This rating ranks Kia Forte 6th out of 46 among Compact Cars.

View RepairPal's full rating of the Kia Forte

Kia Forte features and specs

LX 2WD 4D Sedan

Standard Features

  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • Cloth Seats
  • Cruise Control
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Manual Transmission
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Defroster
  • Rear View Camera
  • Side Airbags
  • Traction Control

Drive Wheels


Engine size



Manual 6

2019 Kia Forte FAQ

More about the 2019 Kia Forte

Color options

Exterior colors

  • Clear White (FE, LXS, S)

  • Gravity Grey (FE, LXS, S)

  • Aurora Black Pearl (FE, LXS, S)

  • Currant Red (LXS, S, EX)

  • Deep Sea Blue (LXS, S, EX)

  • Silky Silver (LXS, S, EX)

  • Snow White Pearl (EX)

  • Fire Orange (EX)

Interior details

The 2019 Kia Forte is a five-passenger compact sedan. In the back is either a fixed folding bench (base FE) or 60/40-split-folding seats (LXS, S, and EX). Woven fabric upholstery is standard on all trims except the grade-topping EX, which receives Sofino leatherette trim.

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