Pros: Well-designed infotainment features; decent ride and handling balance; Koup offers a true 2-door coupe body style that is rare for the class; Forte5 delivers enhanced cargo versatility with a unique sporty character
Cons: Headroom is stingy on Forte Koup; middling acceleration in non-SX models; some desirable options are available only in expensive packages
CG Says: The Kia Forte lineup is redesigned for 2014 as a longer, lower, and wider compact car with more-expressive styling, more power, and several new features. The makeover comes less than four years after Forte’s last redesign, an early changeover that reflects fast-moving competition amid a general upsurge in compact-car popularity. With the arrival of the new 2014 models, Kia is creating a sharper distinction between the 2-door Forte Koup (and Forte5 4-door hatchback) and the Forte sedan. The Koup and Forte5 offer different, more-powerful standard engines and a sporty trim level that is not currently available on the sedan. The 2014 Forte lineup has closed the gap with most rivals for refinement, ride/handling balance, and interior quality, while still outpointing some competitors for features-per-dollar value. The LX is attractively priced and comes with most everything you need. Still, we suspect most buyers will opt for the EX despite its $2,000 price premium, if only to access available features like a sunroof, leather trim, heated seats, and the eServices info/assistance app. SX trim adds a sportier vibe, but it’s restricted to Koups and Forte5s—at least for now. But LX, EX, or SX, the redesigned Forte rates as a solid, practical compact sedan that’s more compelling than ever, enhanced by Kia’s long warranty.