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  • RepairPal ranked the Kia Forte 6th out of 36 compact cars in its segment, making it one of the most reliable cars to drive.
  • With proper maintenance and good driving habits, you’ll have no trouble getting this car to over 200,000 miles.
  • There are, however, some issues surrounding the Forte across various model years. Some of these include defective speakers, faulty ignition coils, lighting issues, and leaky interiors, among others.

If you’re looking for a reliable small car that gets the job done, the Kia Forte is a great choice. It’s a practical car with impressive fuel economy and user-friendly features. It also holds value well. According to CarEdge, it only depreciates 21% after five years, which is good in comparison with other models in its category.

Are Kia Fortes Reliable?

The Kia Forte scored well in terms of reliability. RepairPal gave it a 4.5 out of 5.0 rating. It also ranks 6th out of 36 compact cars. The Forte is known as a compact that can accommodate all your driving needs. It also boasts of responsive handling compared to other vehicles in its class, which guarantees a fun driving experience. If you take care of it well, it can last a long time. Your Forte can easily go over 100,000 miles with little to no problems. It can go over 200,000 miles if you properly keep up with its maintenance and service schedule.

2017 kia forte car show
The Kia Forte is a practical car with impressive fuel economy and user-friendly features.

Top Kia Forte Problems

The Kia Forte may be a reliable vehicle, but some of its model years have their fair share of problems. Here are the most common issues for various models of the Forte:

Speakers Not Working Due to Software Glitch

Are your speakers not working? A software glitch may cause your 2011-2016 and 2018 Kia Forte’s speakers to not produce sound at all. This may prevent you from using your radio, CD player, navigation feature, and so on. This speaker issue commonly happens at around 73,000 miles. If you suspect that you’re experiencing this issue, don’t spend on a part replacement yet. A hard reset is said to be enough to resolve it. You can do that by simply disconnecting your car’s negative battery terminal and reconnecting it after 15 minutes. If that doesn’t work, consult your mechanic in case your speaker problem is caused by component failure.

See also  295,000 Kia Vehicles Recalled for Engine Fire Risk
2017 kia forte interior
A software glitch may cause your 2011-2018 Kia Forte’s speakers to not produce sound at all.

Engine Problems and Failure Due to Bad Ignition Coils

2017 Kia Forte engine problems usually set in at around 20,000 to 40,000 miles. Symptoms range from abnormal knocking sounds to excessive stalling, shaking, idling, misfiring, and complete engine failure. Some owners have shared that their engines would suddenly die while driving, which may increase the risk of accidents. According to reports, these engine problems have caused multiple crashes, which have led to injury. Some owners have also shared that their cars wouldn’t start up at all. Some have reported that they took their subcompacts to their dealerships. Their mechanics diagnosed that their engine issues were being caused by bad ignition coils.

Some owners were able to get their Fortes back on the road after getting ignition coil replacements. However, they were not able to determine why they got worn out prematurely. These engine problems may also be linked with other component failures.

Exterior Lighting Malfunction

The 2015 Kia Forte’s exterior lighting problems can become bothersome to deal with. It doesn’t happen with just the headlights. All exterior lights may randomly malfunction for no apparent reason. Symptoms usually happen once your Forte hits 56,000 miles. Some have reported that their exterior lights would suddenly flicker or turn off for a few seconds at a time. Other owners have said that their lights heated up and even melted, which could have caught fire if not noticed immediately. Some have shared that they went to their mechanics to replace their lights and fix any wiring issues. Having faulty exterior lights may get you pulled over, so it’s best to get them repaired as soon as possible.

See also  295,000 Kia Vehicles Recalled for Engine Fire Risk

Damaged Seats Due to Leaky Interiors

One of the most annoying 2014 Kia Forte problems is its leaky interior, which may cause damage to both front and back seats. Severity of damage may vary. Some owners have reported that they discovered mold growing and spreading because of the moisture left by interior leaks. Some have also shared that their seats and seat belts got soaked, leaving irreparable water damage. This may happen to relatively new Fortes at around 23,000 miles.

If your seats have become faulty, they may exhibit other symptoms such as uncontrollable shifting or jerking while driving, which may bother both drivers and passengers while the vehicle is in motion. Prevent interior damage by getting your weatherstrips checked and repaired as soon as you notice any signs of leakage. Other components may also cause your seats to malfunction, so it’s best to ask your mechanic for a precise diagnosis.

Malfunctioning Transmission

2011 Kia Forte transmission problems may happen once your car hits 57,000 miles. Many Forte owners have shared that they experienced mild to severe symptoms, usually starting with an illuminated check engine light. Other symptoms include abnormal scraping noises, rough shifting, inability to shift gears, debris in transmission fluid, and so on. Some owners have reported that they had to pull over and get their cars towed because of transmission failure while driving. There’s no exact cause for these transmission issues. However, some have reported that they were able to resolve them by replacing the whole transmission.

Faulty Stop Lamp Switch

The 2010 Kia Forte is known for its faulty stop lamp switch, which may interfere with your car’s brake light, cruise control, and push-button start functions. In addition to that, the faulty switch may cause the transmission shifter to erroneously shift out of park when the ignition is on, which may make the vehicle move without warning. This increases the risk of crashes or collisions, which may cause harm to car occupants. Because of this problem, Kia initiated a recall in 2013, affecting over 980,000 vehicles. Kia has contacted owners of affected units, so they could get their stop lamp switch replacements for free. If you suspect that your 2010 Kia Forte is included in this recall, contact Kia or your dealership as soon as possible for further information.

See also  295,000 Kia Vehicles Recalled for Engine Fire Risk

Shopping for a car always comes with some risks. Whether you’re buying a new or used Kia Forte, you must be aware of common issues you may encounter, depending on the model year you plan to buy. Before making any purchases, research and learn about the model year you’re interested in. If you know about its common problems, you can easily manage them as they happen.

Where to Buy Parts For Your Kia Forte

The Forte is one of the most reliable compact vehicles out there. With proper care and maintenance, it could easily surpass 200,000 miles. To maximize your vehicle’s lifespan, you need to stick to the manufacturer’s service schedule and use durable replacement parts for repairs. Thankfully, has high-quality Kia Forte parts just a click away!

Enjoy a convenient online shopping experience, and take advantage of our best deals. All products in our catalog are sourced from today’s top parts manufacturers and vetted by our team of industry experts. Orders may also qualify for 60-day returns and our lifetime replacement guarantee.

Shop now, and get your Kia Forte back on the road in no time!

About The Authors
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Reviewed By Automotive Features Reviewer at

Lisa Conant grew up in Canada around a solid contingency of gear heads and DIY motor enthusiasts. She is an eclectic writer with a varied repertoire in the automotive industry, including research pieces with a focus on daily drivers and recreational vehicles. Lisa has written for Car Bibles and The Drive.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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My 2021 Kia Forte has 5,000 miles and it’s given trouble with transmission


If I had read this earlier I would never have bought this 2011 forte. Now I am frightened to drive the highway.
My engine light has gone on twice so far.


Bought our kia forte at 47000 miles , now at 180,000 miles , noisy suspension, and a ticking engine since we bought it but it has never broken down or had any repairs , regular oil changes and maintenance and its been fine . I do around 2000 miles per month and drive her hard now and then , still gets 35 Mpg . However our model is korean built which I’ve hard is better and longer lasting than the fortes built in the Americas

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