• Compared to the outgoing model year, the new facelifted Forte looks sportier. The front gets sleeker LEDs with reworked intake grille.
  • The rear gets LED taillights which matches the front DRLs, but are only available with the GT trims. The lower trims get the old-school ones, which is kind of disappointing.
  • The engine options are the same as last year. However, the base engine gets CVT as standard and there is no manual transmission for the base engine. The 1.6-liter turbo-petrol engine gets a 7-speed DCT and an optional 6-speed manual.
  • The 2.0-liter engine might come out as underpowered but it returns impressive mileage. The EPA rates the base engine with 31/41 for City/Highway. The 1.6-liter, despite tghe power figures deliver decent fuel economy.
  • The interior remains mainly unchanged, if you do not opt for the 10.25-inch touchscreen display. A 4.2-inch MID comes fitted as standard. Minimaslist yet classy design is what Kia has opted for the Forte.
  • The infotainment system gets Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard with the new model. Satellite radio and navigation are available as optional extras.
  • Sitting comfort is just like what the segment offers. However, many claims that the ride quality is slightly stiffer than the likes of Honda Civic sedan. But considering a decent handling dynamics, we think that the comfort is decent.

The Kia Forte shows up with a facelift and a few added driver assistance features.

LISTEN 13:40

One of Kia’s cheapest sedans, the Forte, entered 2022 with some exterior design changes and a few added features to make it look modern among the competition. The automaker had unveiled the new Forte or its alias K3 for the home market in April 2021, but the global debut took place later in 2021. In this review, we will cover every aspect of the new 2022 Kia Forte and see how it competes with the competition.

Overview

2022 Kia Forte Exterior
- image 1024249

If you are on the market and looking for a sub-$20,000 compact sedan then you must check out the new 2022 Kia Forte. The Honda Civic, Mazda 3 sedan, Hyundai Elantra, and a few more sedans dominate the market, but the Kia is no less and has had good sales over the years. The 2019 model year saw a new generation of the Forte, and it looked similar to a stripped-down Stinger. The new 2022 model year of the Forte looks sharper and feels slightly premium if you opt for the new 10.25-inch touchscreen display and the synthetic leather seats. The powertrain options are the same as the outgoing model year which means, a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated inline-four or a more powerful 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four power the new Kia Forte. On the outside, the Forte gets a redesigned intake grille, bumpers, lights, and even new wheel designs. The ADAS tech now comes as standard which is unheard of in the segment. Other changes include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity along with a USB charging port for the rear seats. Kia has added a new electronic parking brake by reworking the center console with the auto-hold feature. The 2022 Kia Forte will compete with the 2022 Hyundai Elantra ($20,655), 2022 Volkswagen Jetta ($20,000), 2022 Mazda 3 ($21,645), and the 2022 Honda Civic ($22,915).

Trims and Features

2022 Kia Forte Exterior
- image 1024253

The 2022 Forte is offered in four trims: FE, LXS, GT-Line, GT. The first three trims get a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated inline-four engine coupled with FWD and CVT as standard. The GT trim gets a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four engine and instead of the CVT, it sports a 7-speed DCT. Kia dropped the EX trim, which was one of the top-tier trims of the outgoing model year. Detailed trims and specs are listed below.

FE.
Priced at $19,090.

  • 15-inch steel wheels.
  • 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display.
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
  • 4-speaker audio unit.
    -Tilt and telescopic steering wheel.
  • Cloth seats.
  • Manual adjustable front seats.

Safety features include:

  • Lane-keeping assist.
  • Lane-departure warning.
  • Driver attention alert.
  • Forward collision mitigation.
  • Adaptive cruise control. (Optional)
2022 Kia Forte Exterior
- image 1024256

LXS.
Priced at $19,590.

  • 16-inch alloy wheels.
  • Upgraded interior trim.
  • Driving modes.
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats.

GT-Line.
Priced at $21,290.

  • Foglights.
  • 17-inch alloy wheels.
  • LED DRLs, headlights, and taillights.
  • Leather-wrapped sports steering wheel.
  • Leatherette seats.
  • 6-speaker audio unit.
  • Blindspot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

Optional extras include:

  • 8-speaker Harman Kardon audio unit.
  • Sunroof.
  • 10-way power-adjustable driver seat.
  • Electronic parking brake.
  • Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control (NSCC) with Stop & Go.
  • Heated and ventilated front seats.
  • Rear AC vents.
2022 Kia Forte Exterior
- image 1024236

GT.
Priced at $23,490. (Opting for the manual transmission variant is $1,000 extra)

  • 18-inch alloy wheels.
  • Sport-tuned rear suspension and performance tires.
  • Black-colored upholstery.
  • Sport-tuned exhaust.
  • Paddle shifters. (DCT model only)
  • Optional features are the same as the GT-Line’s.

In our opinion, the GT trim would be the best if you prefer both style and performance. Otherwise, the GT-Line with the optional extras would be enough if you have a tighter budget.

2022 Kia Forte prices
Model Description Msrp
Forte FE 2.0G - IVT $19,090.00
Forte LXS 2.0G - IVT $19,590.00
Forte GT Line 2.0G - IVT $21,290.00
Forte GT 1.6T - DCT $23,490.00
Forte GT MT 1.6T - 6 M/T $24,490.00

Exterior: Facelift explained in detail

2022 Kia Forte Exterior
- image 1024250

Although the majority of the available images in the press release are that of the GT trim, the Forte lineup gets visual upgrades. The front gets sleeker LED headlights and DRLs with a split design. The intake grille is redesigned with a much broader approach at the bottom. The heavily creased hood adds up to the aggressive design language of the new Forte. The GT-Line and GT trims get angular foglights at the sides of the lower intake grille. These trims are the only ones that will come with updated taillights. As for the wheel sizes, a set of 15-inch wheels come fitted as standard. However, 16-18-inch sizes are available with the higher trims and cannot be availed as an optional extra on the base model. Overall, the updated exterior design looks stunning but for the matter of fact that the higher trims get the utmost advantages, it is a good marketing policy by Kia.

2022 Kia Forte Exterior
- image 1024234

If you are curious about the dimensions, well, they are the same as the outgoing model year. The length is set at 182.7 inches along with 106.3 inches wheelbase. The Forte is 56.5 inches tall, excluding 5.3 inches of ground clearance, and has 70.9 inches of width. A few of the exterior standout features of the 2022 Kia Forte are as follows:

  • LED headlights, DRLs.
  • Dual-exhaust tips.
  • Heated exterior mirrors.
  • 18-inch alloy wheels. (GT trim only)
  • Redesigned front fascia with LED foglights.
2022 Kia Forte Exterior Dimensions
Model 2022 Kia Forte
Curb Weight  2769 lbs.
Length 182.7 inches
Width  70.9 inches
Height 56.5 inches
Ground Clearance  5.3 inches
Wheelbase  106.3 inches

Interior: A few tweaks but mainly unchanged

2022 Kia Forte Interior
- image 1024243

Enter the cabin of the new 2022 Forte and you will be greeted with a nicely built cabin with easy access buttons and ports. The cabin quality is similar to the ones found on the rivals, which means a combination of hard and soft plastics. Nevertheless, the dash looks cleaner and still retains the 8.0-inch touchscreen display in the center. Kia has made available a bigger 10.25-inch touchscreen as an option for better usability. A 4.2-inch driver information display sits between the analog speedo and rev counter. The new Jetta gets a fully digital instrument panel as standard, making it superior in terms of modernity.

A flat-bottomed steering wheel with full leather wrapping comes with the GT-Line and GT trims. The center console has been reworked for the 2022 model year and it houses the auto-parking brake. The standard cloth seats and air-conditioning system prove why you should opt for the higher trims for the unlocked dual-zone automatic climate control and leatherette seats. Don’t get us wrong, the standard features are just fine for the price you will pay for, but opting for the higher trims will increase the creature comforts.

2022 Kia Forte Interior
- image 1024244

In terms of spaciousness and interior dimensions, it is all the same as last year. So, to recall, there is generous headroom for the front and rear. However, the rear legroom is just 35.7 inches, meaning that tall passengers will find it difficult to fit in. In our opinion, four people would sit comfortably inside the Forte. If you compare it with the competition, The Elantra has 38 inches of rear row legroom. The Civic and Jetta have similar rear row comfort, while the Mazda 3 is very similar to the Forte. The cargo capacity is set to 15.3 cubic feet and is the largest in the competition (with a slight margin). A few important interior features of the 2022 Kia Forte are as follows:

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control.
  • Leatherette seats with heating and power-adjustability.
  • Leather-wrapped sports steering wheel.
  • Keyless entry and ignition.
  • Dual-illuminating vanity mirrors.
2022 Kia Forte Interior Dimensions
Model 2022 Kia Forte
Seating Capacity 5
Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches) 38.8/56.1/42.2
Second Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches) 37.5/55.3/35.7
Cargo Capacity  15.3 cu. ft.
2022 Kia Forte Interior
- image 1024238
The infotainment system gets Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard with the new model. Satellite radio and navigation are available as optional extras.

The infotainment is one of the most user-friendly in the segment with an easy going interface and for the 2022 model year, Kia has added Android Auto and Apple CarPlay wireless connectivity which is just icing on the cake. Other standard features include an eight-inch touchscreen display, a four-speaker audio unit, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity. Opting for the higher trims will unlock features like satellite navigation and radio, an eight-speaker Harman Kardon system is available as an option. A few of the notable features are as follows:

  • 8/10.25-inch touchscreen display. (The latter is an option)
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
  • 8-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio unit.
  • Satellite navigation.
  • SiriusXM.
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

Performance and Handling

2022 Kia Forte Drivetrain
- image 1024233
The engine remains the same as the outgoing model year, which means that the base 2.0-liter naturally aspirated inline-four is still sluggish.

But trust me, maybe it is not the 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet. It is the CVT that comes standard with the 2022 model year and makes the experience worse. It takes around 8.2 seconds for the base engine to reach 60 mph, according to Car And Driver, which means overtaking on the highways won’t be convenient. But that is nothing to complain about if you see the price tag. However, if you are a performance freak, like me, then you should opt for the 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four. It is the same engine that powers the Elantra N-Line and is available with the GT trim.

This engine puts out a quite impressive 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of maximum torque, available as low as just 1,500 revs.

The punchy nature of this engine is responsible for speeding up to 60 mph in just 6.7 seconds which is not ground-breaking but is not behind either. Gone is the CVT system. Phew! The 7-speed DCT does quicker shifts and there’s hardly any lag higher up in the rev range. However, the paddle-shifters are available for taking over manual gear shifts but you cannot red-line and the gear changes happen seamlessly. Both the Mazda 3 and Jetta sport a slightly powerful engine than the Forte and Elantra’s base engine and will possibly be better in accelerations. But the 1.6-liter engine fitted to the Forte GT and Elantra N-Line is the most powerful among the bunch.

2022 Kia Forte Exterior
- image 1024237

Going around the corners or taking quick turns are something many budget cars do not like, but the Forte is not your normal car. It does not struggle a lot to hold the line without tossing the passengers in the opposite direction. The steering feedback is lackluster but the heft to it ensures effortless straight-line driving. The GT, however, gets a sports rear suspension which makes the ride a bit stiffer but makes handling better. In terms of braking performance, the 11 and 10.3 inches standard rotors do a decent job by stopping from 70 mph in just 173 feet. The GT gets bigger 12 inches front rotors as standard which should make the Forte stop at a shorter distance.

2022 Kia Forte Performance Stats
Model 2022 Kia Forte 2022 Kia Forte GT
Engine Type 2.0-liter naturally aspirated inline-4  1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
Drivetrain FWD FWD
Transmission Continuously variable-speed automatic 7-speed dual-clutch automatic/ 6-speed manual
Power  147 HP @ 6,200 RPM 201 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Torque  132 lb-ft @ 4,500 RPM 195 lb-ft @ 1,500 RPM
0-60 (MPH)  8.2 seconds 6.7 seconds.
Quarter-mile 16.4 seconds -
Top Speed 123 MPH 123 MPH
Front Brake Rotor Size (Inches) 11.0 12.0
Rear brake Rotor Size (Inches) 10.3 10.3
70-0 (Feet) 173 -

Fuel Economy

2022 Kia Forte Exterior
- image 1024235

The best thing about budget compact sedans may not be the performance but the fuel economy which is a big part of ownership cost. The Forte is no less and is one of the most economic in the segment. The EPA rates it with 31 MPG in the city, a massive 41 MPG on the highways, and a combined economy of 35 MPG. The more powerful 1.6-liter engine sips a bit more gas and that is okay considering it belts out 201 horses. The gas tank capacity is 14 gallons and that will get you a combined range of around 490 miles.

2022 Kia Forte Fuel Economy
Model 2022 Kia Forte  2022 Kia Forte GT
MPG (City) 31 27
MPG (Highway) 41 35
MPG (Combined) 35 30
Tank Capacity (Gallons) 14.0 14.0
Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles) 431/574/490 378/490/420

Safety Convenience

2022 Kia Forte Exterior
- image 1024252

The 2021 Forte did quite well in the crash tests and even bagged a “Top Safety Pick” award for the year from the IIHS. The 2022 model year is not yet tested but will perform similarly or maybe better. Kia has added ADAS (Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems) as standard which includes lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and a few more features. The higher trims get blindspot monitoring and adaptive cruise control comes as an optional extra throughout the trim lists. A few of the important safety features of the 2022 Kia Forte are as follows:

  • Adaptive cruise control. (Optional)
  • Blindspot monitoring.
  • Lane-departure warning.
  • Lane-keeping assist.
  • Forward collision mitigation.
  • Driver attention alert.

Is the 2022 Kia Forte the right car for you?

2022 Kia Forte Exterior
- image 1024246

Yes, definitely. The new Forte will always be the value king including the Elantra which is his brother from another mother. Although if riding comfort is what you prefer then the Civic or the Mazda 3 would be better. The Forte with the facelift will now make a perfect competitor in the $20,000 price tag and will emerge as one of the best compact sedans which is not only an affordable buy but also the same in the long term ownership.

Amreetam Basu
Amreetam Basu
Content Contributor
Experienced Content Writer with a demonstrated history of working in the automotive industry. Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Web Content Writing, Microsoft Office, and Article Writing. Strong media and communication professional with a Bachelor of Arts - BA focused in History and currently pursuing for Master of Arts.  Read full bio
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