What's New for 2014:
- Completely redesigned
- LX and EX trim levels
- New FlexSteer technology
- New UVO eServices technology
- Optional heated front and rear seats
- Optional heated steering wheel
- Optional ventilated driver's seat
- Optional SmartKey passive entry with push-button starting
The 2014 Kia Forte Sedan competes against other compact models but is actually considered a midsize car by the EPA. Key competitors include the Chevrolet Cruze, Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda 3, Nissan Sentra, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Corolla, and Volkswagen Jetta.
Models and Features
Kia sells the 2014 Forte Sedan in LX and EX trim levels. The Forte Sedan LX is equipped with air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, heated side mirrors, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cloth seats, driver's seat height adjuster, and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat. The standard 4-speaker stereo includes Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, USB port, and an auxiliary audio input jack. The Forte LX rides on 15-inch steel wheels with plastic wheel covers.
The Kia Forte EX is equipped with a more powerful engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission. Additionally, this version adds 16-inch aluminum wheels, chrome exterior trim, fog lights, automatic headlights with LED running lights, and power-folding exterior mirrors with LED turn signal indicators. Inside, the Forte EX adds upgraded cloth seating with a sliding center armrest, soft-touch upper door panel trim, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, overhead map lights, sunglasses holder, dual illuminated visor vanity mirrors, and a cooling glove box.
In addition to these upgrades, the Forte EX is equipped with upgraded speakers, a UVO eServices infotainment system, and FlexSteer steering with driver-selected assist levels. Cruise control, remote keyless entry, and a reversing camera are also standard for the EX model, along with an Active Eco system designed to help conserve fuel.
Options and Packages
An automatic transmission is optional for the Forte LX, and it includes Active Eco technology. If the LX is equipped with an automatic, a Popular Equipment package is available, adding many of the same features that come standard on the EX model, such as aluminum wheels, remote keyless entry, cruise control, upgraded interior materials, and other convenience items.
Add a set of optional 17-inch aluminum wheels to the Forte EX, and the car can be optioned with a Premium package containing leather seats, a 10-way power driver's seat with memory and ventilation, heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, power sunroof, Smart Key passive entry system with push-button starting, universal garage door opener, and more.
Beyond this, the Forte EX is offered with a Technology package that adds dual-zone automatic climate control, a navigation system, HD Radio, upgraded gauges with an LCD display screen, HID headlights, and LED taillights.
Under the Hood
A 148-horsepower, 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard for the Forte LX, paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox and driving the car's front wheels. A 6-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic manual shift capability is optional, and is required to add the Popular Equipment package.
Forte EX models have a 173-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and a 6-speed automatic Sportmatic transmission as standard equipment.
According to the EPA, the Forte LX Sedan with the manual gearbox is rated to get 25 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway, for a combined rating of 29 mpg. Add the automatic transmission, and the highway rating drops to 36 mpg.
Choose the more powerful Forte EX Sedan, and fuel-economy ratings are 24 mpg in the city, 36 mpg on the highway, and 28 mpg in combined driving.
Safety Ratings and Technology
In crash-test ratings conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2014 Forte Sedan received a 4-star (out of 5 stars) overall rating. Notably, in the frontal-impact test, the front passenger protection level is rated at only 2 stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has not performed crash tests on the 2014 Forte Sedan as this overview is written.
Aside from a standard Hill Assist Control system, the new Kia Forte offers the expected standard safety equipment. The Forte EX adds a standard reversing camera, and is equipped with UVO eServices technology. With UVO eServices, the Forte is equipped with 911 Connect service including crash notification. This feature activates when the car's air bags deploy, automatically summoning emergency personnel to the scene of the accident.