Used Car Review

2014 Kia Forte: Used Car Review

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Used 2014 Kia Forte LX Sedan
Used 2014 Kia Forte
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author photo by Ron Sessions September 2016

The 2014 Kia Forte sits between the subcompact Rio and the midsize Optima. It's really a family of three 5-passenger compact cars: the Forte 4-door sedan, the Forte5 4-door hatchback and the Forte Koup 2-door. All new for 2014, the third-generation Forte is longer, lower and wider than previous models, with flowing bodywork inspired by the larger Optima. The Forte offers several luxury features and options such as heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel and a ventilated driver's seat, which are uncommon items among compact cars.

The 2014 Forte sedan, Forte5 hatchback and 2-door Forte Koup present good used-car values, delivering styling flair, comfort, roominess, driving fun and fuel efficiency for a reasonable price.

What We Like

Sporty styling; good fuel economy; quiet, roomy interior; interior materials; Forte5's hatchback versatility

What We Don't

Rearward visibility; decreased rear headroom; lack of steering feel

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2014 Kia Forte LX sedan comes standard with a 1.8-liter double-overhead-camshaft (DOHC) 16-valve 4-cylinder engine. It generates 148 horsepower and 131 lb-ft of torque on regular unleaded fuel, and it's available with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates it at 25 miles per gallon in the city and 37 mpg on the highway with the manual gearbox and 25 mpg city/36 mpg hwy rating with the automatic.

The Forte sedan, the Forte5 hatchback and the Koup in EX trim are powered by a direct-injected 2.0-liter DOHC 4-cylinder generating 173 hp and 154 lb-ft of torque. It's EPA-rated at 24 mpg city/36 mpg hwy in the sedan with the 6-speed automatic transmission, 24 mpg city/34 mpg hwy in the automatic-gearbox hatchback, 25 mpg city/34 mpg hwy in the Koup automatic and 24 mpg city/33 mpg hwy in the Koup with the 6-speed manual transmission.

The Forte5 hatchback and Koup in SX trim get a turbocharged direct-injected 1.6-liter DOHC 4-cylinder outputting 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. EPA estimates are 21 mpg city/29 mpg hwy for the Forte5 hatchback with either the 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission, 22 mpg city/29 mpg hwy for the manual Koup and 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy for the automatic Koup.

Standard Features & Options

The 2014 Forte sedan is available in base LX and uplevel EX trim, while the Forte5 hatchback and the Koup come in EX or sporty SX trim.

The LX trim is basic but still includes air conditioning, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel with remote audio controls, a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with an MP3 decoder and iPod/USB jacks, Bluetooth connectivity, cloth upholstery, a split fold-down rear seat, an outside-temperature display, a trip computer, intermittent wipers, power locks, windows and mirrors, 15-inch steel wheels, anti-lock 4-wheel disc brakes, dual front- and side-impact airbags, overhead airbags, and stability and traction control. Popular LX options include cruise control, a garage-door opener, keyless entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and 16-in alloy wheels.

The EX gains the larger 173-hp engine, auto headlamps, cruise control, keyless entry, fog lamps, a 6-speaker audio system, SiriusXM radio, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, and 16-in alloy wheels. EX options include automatic climate control, navigation, a backup camera, leather seat trim, a ventilated power driver's seat with memory, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a power moonroof and 17-in alloys.

The SX features the same standard and optional items as the EX but adds the 201-hp turbo engine, a rear spoiler, 18-in alloys, larger brakes and dual exhaust.


The Forte is one of the best-selling cars in Kia's lineup, so there should be a good supply of used examples available for purchase at moderate prices. The Forte5 hatchback and the 2-door Koup are harder to find than the sedan because fewer of those models were built. Regardless, Forte prices hold up well, as does the brand's reputation due to its rising J.D. Power quality ratings and across-the-board 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

To get a good idea of the 2014 Forte's price range, check out You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see which models are for sale in your area.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued the following recall for the 2014 Forte:

The cooling-fan resistor may overheat and melt, increasing the risk of a vehicle fire.

Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, they'll fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA gave the 2014 Forte sedan and the Forte5 hatchback a 4-star overall rating with three stars for frontal impacts, five for side impacts and four for rollover resistance. It didn't rate the 2014 Forte Koup.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2014 Forte sedan a Poor rating in the small-overlap front crash test but Good ratings for side- and moderate-overlap front impacts, head restraints and seats, as well as roof strength. It didn't rate the 2014 Forte5 hatchback or Koup.

Kia sold the 2014 Forte with a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty including roadside assistance, an industry-leading 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty (for original owners only) and a 5-year/100,000-mile corrosion-perforation warranty.

A Kia certified pre-owned vehicle can't be more than 5 years old or have more than 60,000 miles on the odometer. Every certified pre-owned Forte gets a 150-point inspection, and each receives a 1-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and the remainder of the vehicle's original 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Also included is a Carfax vehicle-history report and roadside assistance.

Other Cars to Consider

2014 Ford Focus -- Available as a 4-door sedan or 5-door hatchback, the Focus is fun to drive and offers European flair. The standard 160-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder is teamed with a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic. Fuel economy is near the top of the class, but interior room and available luxury features, such as a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats, are lacking compared to the Forte. The sensational Focus ST model sports a 252-hp 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder but suffers from torque steer.

2014 Toyota Corolla -- Available as a sedan only, the all-new 2014 Corolla gets a more stylish exterior and an upgraded, roomier interior. It sports a continuously variable automatic transmission that gets up to 42 mpg hwy on the LE Eco model with a 140-hp 1.8-liter 4-cylinder. The driving experience, however, remains plain vanilla. A 6-speed manual and a conventional 4-speed automatic are available on the base model.

Autotrader's Advice

The 2014 Forte sedan is a solid, roomy, fuel-efficient used-car choice, especially in the EX trim, which comes standard with the larger 2.0-liter engine, cruise control, remote keyless entry, auto headlamps, 16-in alloys, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, and an upgraded 6-speaker stereo. For a sportier take, the Forte5 hatchback offers great cargo versatility, while the 2-door Koup brings classic coupe proportions -- both versions also offer a sport suspension and the lively 201-hp 1.6 turbo engine from the Hyundai Veloster. Selecting a Kia certified pre-owned car is a smart choice because it lets you assume the remainder of the outstanding 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Otherwise, look for a low-mileage Forte that's been well maintained, and check with the dealer to make sure any applicable recall repairs have been performed.

Find a Kia Forte for sale

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Used 2014 Kia Forte LX Sedan
Used 2014 Kia Forte
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2014 Kia Forte: Used Car Review - Autotrader