The 2020 Kia Forte is Kia’s entry into the highly competitive compact sedan market. Despite having one of the lowest price tags of any vehicle in its class, the Forte manages to stand out from its competition with top-notch performance and an incredible feature set. When examining a 2020 Kia Forte, you will quickly discover that it is a vehicle that punches far above its weight. From its excellent fuel economy to its modern infotainment system and wide array of standard advanced safety technologies, the Forte is simply an outstanding vehicle that would still be good value even at a much higher price.
And as good as the base 2020 Kia Forte is, the Forte GT takes it to another level with a host of upgrades to both performance and comfort. Foremost among these are its 201-horsepower turbocharged engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which alone would have made the 2020 Kia Forte GT a genuine performance vehicle. However, the upgrades do not stop there, and the end product is one of the best affordable fun cars currently on the market. But whether you are in the market for an exciting driver’s car or a reliable and comfortable daily driver, the 2020 Kia Forte will serve you well.
The 2020 Kia Forte offers two different engine options. The base engine is a 2.0L with 147 horsepower. This is a reliable option and compares well to the engines used by the competition. It has excellent gas mileage, with an average fuel economy of up to 35 miles per gallon and up to 41 miles per gallon on the highway. Overall, the 2.0L engine in the 2020 Kia Forte makes for an all-around good choice for daily driving. This engine generally comes paired with Kia’s Intelligent Variable Transmission for smooth shifts and maximum fuel efficiency. Still, it can be purchased with a six-speed manual if you prefer changing gears yourself. If you do choose the automatic, then you will get the option of three selectable drive modes (normal, sport, and comfort) to match the car’s performance to the task at hand. Finally, unlike some of the competing cars, all trims of the 2020 Kia Forte come with four-wheel disc brakes for excellent stopping performance.
However, if you need a little more zip in your life, then the GT trim of the 2020 Kia Forte has a more powerful 1.6L turbocharged engine. This engine produces 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, putting the 2020 Kia Forte GT squarely in competition with the iconic Honda Civic Si. Further, the engine in the Forte GT is perfectly happy running on Regular 87 octane gas instead of the Premium gasoline demanded by most of its competition. But the advantages of the 2020 Kia Forte GT are not limited to more power. For one, it does not have the fuel-saving CVT found on the other trims. Instead, transmission options on the Forte GT are either a six-speed manual for the driving purists or a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission for those chasing maximum performance.
The changes for the 2020 Kia Forte GT do not end there. The rear suspension on the Forte GT is also entirely different and replaces the torsion bars of the base car with a more performance-oriented multilink design. The 2020 Kia Forte GT also has upgraded to larger 12” ventilated front disc brakes for superior stopping performance and steps up to 18” aluminum wheels for better handling. But perhaps most surprisingly, the Forte GT has the option of top-of-the-line Michelin Pilot Sport 4 high-performance summer tires straight from the factory. Altogether, the 2020 Kia Forte GT is an impressive performance package that deserves your attention even before considering its incredibly low price tag.
Kia commonly manages to fit more features into its vehicles than other manufacturers, and the 2020 Kia Forte is no exception. Starting on the outside, the Forte offers daytime running lights, fog lights, in-mirror turn signals, and even illuminated door handles. Further, the top trims have full LED headlights with both auto-leveling and high beam assist. This comprehensive set of exterior lighting makes for confident driving in all conditions. Accessing your 2020 Kia Forte is also simplified with its smart key system and push-button start. No more need to fumble with keys when your hands are full, walk up to the door, and the car will unlock automatically.
Inside the 2020 Kia Forte, you will also find a comfortable and well-designed interior with surprisingly upscale materials. Indeed, the layout and interior touches are more reminiscent of a European vehicle than an Asian one. Fully equipped, the Forte offers luxuries such as heated and vented front seats with a ten-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a power sunroof, and dual-zone automatic climate control. However, just as much attention has been paid to the little details as the big ones. Items such as the sliding center console armrest that allows you to adjust the car to fit your body are what sets a genuinely well-designed vehicle apart from its competition. And if you opt for the 2020 Kia Forte GT, then you will also find some performance-oriented interior upgrades such as a leather-wrapped D-shaped steering wheel with red stitching and bolstered sports seats to keep you and your passenger steady through the sharpest corners.
Practicality, as well as comfort, was kept in mind by the designers of the 2020 Kia Forte. The car’s 15.3 cubic foot trunk is incredibly spacious for a compact sedan, rivaling those of many midsize or even full-size vehicles. The Forte’s trunk can also be opened remotely using your key fob, making it more convenient to access from outside. And if the trunk space is still not quite big enough to accommodate an unusually large item, then the 2020 Kia Forte also sports 60/40 folding rear seats. Just pull the levers to fold them down, and your Forte will have no problem transporting in whatever you need to keep up with your lifestyle.
The 2020 Kia Forte comes with a top-notch infotainment system and all of the advanced safety technologies expected of a modern vehicle. The infotainment system is primarily accessed through an 8” touchscreen on the dash. However, to keep your attention on the road, the Forte also includes two full sets of physical buttons - one arrayed below the touchscreen and the other on the steering wheel - as well as the option of controlling the infotainment system through voice commands. The infotainment system itself is fully compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing you to connect your phone directly to your car to stream music, navigate, or take a phone call. However, if you prefer not to rely on your phone for in-car entertainment, then the 2020 Kia Forte also offers SiriusXM satellite radio with well over 100 channels of music as well as a built-in navigation system.
For connectivity, the infotainment system on the 2020 Kia Forte includes Bluetooth, a USB data port, and an Aux port, allowing you to connect any electronic device easily. And to keep your devices charged and ready to go, the Forte also has an available wireless phone charger and pair of USB charging ports or 12V outlets. With up to four separate places to plug in your electronics, you and your passengers will never risk running out of battery.
There are three different available sound systems on the 2020 Kia Forte. On the lowest trims, you will find a basic four-speaker setup, and on the higher trims, you will have a six-speaker sound system. While both of these are comparable to the offerings in other compact cars, audiophiles will be glad to know that the Forte also offers an excellent 320-watt Harman Kardon nine-speaker audio system that includes a separate subwoofer. And unlike other manufacturers, Kia does not restrict this valuable upgrade to only the top trim, instead offering it on no fewer than four of the 2020 Kia Forte’s six trim levels.
The advanced safety systems on the 2020 Kia Forte are numerous and comprehensive. All trims of the Forte come standard with automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, and a unique driver attention system that will alert you if your driving is becoming erratic. Higher trims build on this already solid package by adding blindspot and rear cross-traffic alerts as well as adaptive cruise control. Altogether, these systems make the 2020 Kia Forte one of the safest cars in its class and allowed it to be named as an IIHS Top Safety Pick - one of the most prestigious independent automobile safety designations.