Potential buyers in the market for a compact sedan are always on the hunt for the best value. With the 2023 Kia Forte, you get a range of options at affordable prices. But with so many choices and optional extras, which trim level should you go for? Let’s dive in and find out.
What does the base 2023 Kia Forte trim level offer?
The base model of the 2023 Kia Forte, known as the LX, comes with a 147-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a continuously variable transmission. It offers excellent fuel efficiency with an EPA-rated 30 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. Inside, you’ll find cloth upholstery and a host of entertainment and tech features.
The LX includes an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth capability, a four-speaker stereo, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Safety features are also impressive, with automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlights, and forward collision warning. Plus, it comes with lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, pedestrian detection, rear occupant alert, and a rearview camera with parking guidance. Starting at an MSRP of $19,690, the Forte LX offers a great package.
The mid-range trim levels
If you’re willing to spend an extra $500, the LXS trim level offers some attractive upgrades. It adds soft-touch interior surfaces and split-folding rear seats, providing enhanced cargo space. Fuel economy does drop slightly by two mpg in both city and highway conditions. However, the powertrain remains the same as the LX. The LXS also comes with 16-inch alloy wheels instead of the LX’s 15-inch steel wheels.
For an additional $500, you can opt for the LXS Technology package. This package adds blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and vehicle-exit warning, making it a valuable upgrade for safety-conscious buyers.
Moving up to the GT-Line trim level, you get even more features for an MSRP of $21,890. It includes everything from the LXS Technology package and adds sporty body styling cues, 17-inch alloy wheels, alloy sports pedals, and LED daytime running lights. The GT-Line also comes with a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen with navigation, satellite radio, and a six-speaker audio system. However, it’s worth noting that Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are wired functions on the GT-Line. On the positive side, you gain dual-zone automatic climate control, a hands-free trunk, keyless entry, and a push-button start.
Want more? The GT-Line also offers two exciting packages. The GT-Line Technology package, priced at $300, adds adaptive cruise control, cyclist detection, an electronic handbrake, and highway-driving assist. The GT-Line Premium package, costing $1,700, includes all the previous contents, plus interior LEDs, a Harman Kardon eight-speaker stereo, a sunroof, and wireless charging. If you’re looking for the ultimate driving experience, consider the GT-Line Sport Premium package for an extra $1,000. It adds full synthetic leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a rear USB port, and a rear air-conditioning vent.
The top-of-the-line 2023 Kia Forte GT
If you’re willing to go all in, the range-topping Kia Forte GT is the trim level for you. Priced at $24,390, the GT includes all the optional packages from the GT-Line. The GT swaps out the base engine for a peppy 201-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. It comes with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with paddle shifters as standard, but for an extra $700, you can opt for a six-speed manual transmission for a more engaging driving experience.
The GT also boasts a sports-tuned suspension with a multi-link rear setup, providing excellent performance for those who crave a more exhilarating ride. The dual exhaust adds a delightful growl to the spirited engine’s performance as it spins on its 18-inch alloy wheels.
Which trim level is worth it?
According to consumer analysis by Edmunds, the most popular trim level for the 2023 Kia Forte is the LXS. For just $500 more than the base LX, the LXS offers attractive interior touches and the convenience of split-folding rear seats, enhancing the already ample cargo space. If you want to customize your compact sedan to the max, reviewers seem to favor the GT-Line. However, keep in mind that the GT-Line has wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functions, which may or may not be a deal-breaker for you.
On the other hand, if you’re in the market for a mini-sports sedan, the 2023 Kia Forte GT is an excellent choice. With its turbocharged engine and sporty features, it offers a thrilling driving experience that is hard to beat. Plus, it’s one of the few small cars that still offers a manual transmission, adding an extra layer of excitement to your daily commute.
In conclusion, the choice of the best 2023 Kia Forte trim level ultimately depends on your preferences and budget. Whether you go for the value-packed LXS, fully-loaded GT-Line, or exhilarating GT, you can’t go wrong with the 2023 Kia Forte. It’s a compact sedan that delivers a big bang for your buck.