The Kia Forte is a compact car launched by Kia in 2008 as a replacement for the Kia Cerato. It has outlasted two generations and is currently in its third.
The car is popular for the gorgeous styling of its exterior, splendid fuel economy, and magnetic pricing.
It also boasts above-average ratings across several platforms, with most of the praise going to its comfort and safety features.
In this article, we’ll be discussing the Forte’s longevity compared to that of its peers in the compact market. Let’s get started.
Here is the short answer to how long the Kia Forte lasts:
With proper care and maintenance, a Kia Forte can last about 150,000, to 200,000 miles. If you drive 15,000 per year like the average American driver, the Forte should serve you for 10 to 13 years before it will need major repairs.
How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Kia Forte?
You can get between 150,000 to 200,000 miles from a Kia Forte. The more attention you give to maintaining the car, the more likely it is to surpass 200,000 miles.
It is also important to develop gentle and safe riding habits, as that could also affect the vehicle’s longevity.
If you are looking to buy a high mileage Kia Forte, check the service history and ask about how the owner used and stored the vehicle. These factors are often more important for a vehicle’s life expectancy than the figure on the odometer.
How Soon Should You Expect Rust on a Kia Forte?
The Kia Forte should stay rust-free for three to five years.
However, a particular owner on a Forte forum reported rust somewhere above the front windshield in less than two years of purchase.
Recent models of the Kia Forte have a corrosion-resistant exterior with advanced materials. One way to help your Kia Forte stay rust-free for longer is keeping it sheltered and away from salt/water as much as possible.
Also, if you notice any rust on certain parts of the car, get it fixed as soon as possible. Leaving the rust could allow it to spread, deface your car and even make it unsafe in extreme cases.
How Long Do Kia Fortes Last Compared To Similar Models?
The Kia Forte broke into the compact cars market in mid-2008 and has already taken a seat among the greats.
We are going to be selecting a few of the Forte’s competitors and comparing their longevity with Kia Forte’s.
Kia Forte Vs. Toyota Corolla
The Toyota Corolla has been around since 1966 and has been one of the top-selling cars globally since the 70s. The Corolla rivals the Kia Forte in the compact cars market, and both have stellar gas mileages and refreshing interiors.
In the aspect of longevity, the Toyota Corolla stays shining.
The average Corolla model can last up to 300,000 miles and more with proper and regular maintenance. The Kia Forte can only last about 200,000 miles, so it clearly doesn’t stand a chance against the Corolla.
Make sure to also read our article about how long the Toyota Corolla lasts.
Kia Forte Vs. Honda Civic
Since it transitioned into a compact car in 2000, the Honda Civic has bossed that section of the auto market. It has been lauded for its reliability, regular face-lifting, and elite safety features.
Some say it is miles ahead of the Kia Forte in terms of reliability and overall efficiency. Well, we are about to find out if it is truly “miles ahead”(pun intended).
Many Honda Civics often last between 200,000 to 300,000 miles when properly maintained. More than a few owners say they have surpassed the 300,000 mark.
That’s more than we can say for the Kia Forte, which is expected to start packing up at 200,000 miles.
Please also read our article about how long the Honda Civic lasts.
Kia Forte Vs. Hyundai Elantra
The Hyundai Elantra was launched way back in October 1990 and has remained one of the top compact cars.
Its safety ratings are through the roof, and it boasts an excellent fuel economy amidst a long list of exciting features.
The Hyundai Elantra can stay active for as long as 200,000 to 250,000 miles. There are even a few instances where it has reached 300,000 miles.
That’s a bit more than the number of miles expected from the Kia Forte.
Also check out our article about how long the Ford Focus lasts.
How Reliable Is A Kia Forte?
Overall, the Kia Forte is a pretty solid car and there are stats to back that up. It hasn’t gotten a lot of complaints on CarComplaints compared to some other vehicles.
However, there have been several reports of knocking noises from its engine, mostly when it reaches 100,000 miles. While this isn’t guaranteed to happen, it might be very expensive to fix if it happens. Our findings show that models from 2016 upwards do not face these issues.
On J.D. Power, the Kia Forte currently boasts a quality and reliability rating of 90/100. It also ranks #1 on its list of the top consumer-rated sedans.
The Forte scores a 4.5 out of 5 reliability rating on RepairPal and ranks 6th out of 36 compact cars.
The Best and Worst Years of the Kia Forte
According to CarComplaints, the 2010 Kia Forte is the worst model, having received the highest number of complaints so far. However, the model isn’t all bad; it received a 4.6 rating from 87 reviews on Cars.com, and many owners claim it is one of the most reliable models.
The lowest rated model on Cars.com is the 2013 model, with a 4.2 rating from 61 reviews.
Some of the top-rated models include the 2017 model with a 4.8 rating from a massive 590 reviews. The 2018 model also notched a 4.8 rating from 249 reviews. The 2019 model, on the other hand, falls behind a bit with a 4.7 rating from 159 reviews.
The Kia Forte has achieved a 4.5 or above rating for every model year since 2014 on Cars.com. That is a testament to its dazzling consistency and goodwill over the years.
What About Recalls for These Models?
The Kia Forte has been recalled multiple times over a decade-long span. Kia issued the first recall on 4th April 2013. Below is a list of recalls for each model year since then.
- 2010: 2
- 2011: 2
- 2012 3
- 2013: 4
- 2014: 3
- 2015: 1
- 2017: 1
- 2018: 1
- 2019: 2
- 2021: 2
The 2013 model holds the record for the highest number of recalls with a total of four.
Also, the 2016 and 2020 models haven’t been recalled so far.
Kia Forte Model Year List
Below is a list of all model years for the Kia Forte:
Are Kia Forte Models Expensive to Maintain?
According to RepairPal, the average yearly maintenance cost for the Kia Forte is $451. Meanwhile, the average cost for compact cars is $526 and $652 for all categories.
So, the Kia Forte is cheaper to maintain than the average compact car.
Maintenance for the Hyundai Elantra costs an average of $452 annually, while the Toyota Corolla costs $362. The Honda Civic also costs an average of $428 to maintain and repair annually. Those are very similar numbers to Forte’s $451.
However, it is important to mention that the costs may vary and will likely increase with each passing year.
How Long Do the Brakes Last?
Kia Forte brakes are expected to last at least 50,000 miles, and some could go all the way up to 70,000 miles.
A few Forte owners have reported using their brake pads for as long as 80,000 miles. It all depends on how often and how roughly you drive.
Below are potential signs your brake pad needs replacement:
• Squeaking noise when braking
• Car wandering left or right during braking
• Warning Brake Lights
If you notice any of the above, get your Forte diagnosed and fixed quickly.
Also, we advise a routine check of the brake pads and rotors every 10,000 miles as a precaution.
How Long Do the Batteries Last?
Kia Forte batteries usually last three to five years. The batteries’ longevity largely depends mainly on the prevailing weather and driving habits.
One way to help your battery last longer is keeping the car indoors and shielded from extreme temperatures. You could also carry out routine checks of your battery at frequent intervals.
How Long Do the Tires Last?
Kia Forte tires last anywhere between 10,000 to 50,000 miles. Experts advise replacing the tires every 50,000 miles.
It is important to always check for wear on each of the tires at regular intervals. You could also rotate the tires during routine servicing to help them last longer.
How Long Do the Transmissions Last?
Most automatic transmissions last between 150,000-200,000 miles. You shouldn’t have to worry about the transmissions on your Forte throughout its lifespan.
However, routine maintenance is very much required.
How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?
Spark plugs on the Kia Forte can last up to 50,000 miles. However, experts advise replacing it every 30,000 miles.
What About Insurance Costs?
According to TheZebra.com, it costs an average of $142 per month to insure the Kia Forte.
Insurance costs for the Kia Forte may depend on the insurer’s rates, your age, credit score, driving history, and location.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Kia Forte
Here are some tips that could help extend the lifespan of your Kia Forte:
• Safe and gentle driving
• Regular servicing
• Routine maintenance
• Regular cleaning