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2021 Kia Forte GT Sedan Review: Expected Price, Release Date, MPG and Performance

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John Bedrow

Automotive Journalist

August 26, 2020 at 09:02 AM

The Kia Forte GT is one of the best value sports sedans in the market and is here to take on the likes of the popular Civic Si and Mazda 3. With its 1.6L Turbocharged motor and manual transmission, this sedan is the perfect recipe to get any petrolhead excited and Kia plans to capitalize on that very idea with the Forte GT.

The Kia Forte GT comes like a breath of fresh air in the compact sedan segment. The compact sedan market hasn’t given the potential buyers a reason to be excited with the same attributes and boring design, it has turned into a dull place. Post the introduction of Forte GT, the segment has seen a new surge in its followers and potential purchase makers, bringing some enthusiasm to the game. With a price base price tag of $22,890, it is expected to be launched towards the end of 2020.

The 2021 Kia Forte GT is a new sporty compact sedan with the spy shots doing some rounds to get some tongues wagging, and some rivals to be precarious to the new threat. The close cousin of the Stinger, designed by the legendary, Peter Schreyer, is sure to reign as the best-seller again. The compact sedan is a full package, it has plush interiors with immense technological features, athletic feel, stylish exteriors, an energetic engine, and comfort in every aspect of the car. Let's see what to expect and when to expect the 2021 Kia Forte GT sedan.

What’s New with the 2021 Kia Forte GT?

  • State-of-the-art in-car technological features
  • Subtle aesthetic tweaks for a sportier and athletic look
  • Improvement in the performance of the automobile
  • Engaging in driving experience with great fuel economy

What’s the expected price and release date of the 2021 Kia Forte GT?

The Forte series has been a best-seller of Kia Motors in the sedan segment. The Japanese giants haven’t made any official announcements regarding the release date. According to previous release dates, the car was expected to be released in the summer of 2020. Due to the global pandemic (COVID-19), the release date remains uncertain. The price of the Forte GT-line is expected to start from $22,890. 

What to expect in the engine department of the 2021 Kia Forte GT?

The engine department of the GT is going to set it apart from all the other mediocre sedans in the segment. The 2021 GT gets a powerful 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with a commendable output of 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque, coupled to a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The engine packs a lot of punch initially, while there is a tad bit of lag experienced; nothing too serious. The power is delivered in a very strong and ‘velvety’ smooth manner. 

Models

2021 Kia Forte GT (Expected)

2020 Toyota Corolla XSE

2020 Honda Civic Si Sedan

2020 Mazda 3

MSRP

$22,890

$25,550

$25,930

$22,700

Engine

1.6L turbocharged inline-4

2.0 NA Inline-4

1.5-liter turbocharged inline 4

2.5-Liter Inline-4

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

6-Speed Manual

CVT

CVT

6-speed shiftable automatic

Power

201 hp @ 6000 rpm

168 hp @ 6600 rpm

158 hp @ 6500 rpm

186 hp @ 6000 rpm

Torque

195 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm

151 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm

192 lb-ft @ 2100 rpm

186 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm

0-60 mph

6.7 secs

8.2 secs

7.1 secs

N/A

Quarter mile

15.2 secs

16.2 secs

15.3 secs

N/A

*2020 figures used for reference.

From the above table, it is evident that the Kia Forte GT sedan is the most powerful of the lot with huge power and torque on tap. It is also the least expensive vehicle of the lot when compared to its rivals. It can sprint from 0-60MPH in just 6.7 secs and cover the quarter-mile drag in 15.2 secs easily while rivals take more than 7 secs on the 0-60MPH line.

How does the 2021 Kia Forte GT Sedan handle?

Forte is one of the most impressive and well-resolved sedans in the class. The car is unafraid to take on any challenging roads making it a true ‘beastly’ sedan. The vehicle can take the roughest road surfaces and bumps with a little stiffness but in a quite efficient manner. The cabin stays quiet even when driving on bumpy roads.

The handling of the car isn’t as exciting and impressive as the sporty exterior may suggest. The steering is numb and the on-center feel is quite fuzzy. The Forte’s torsion-beam setup is replaced by the multilink rear suspension with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires and 12-inch front brakes. The stiff suspension allows for little body roll around corners and mid-corners bumps tend to affect the chassis. The braking performance of the car is incredible and ensures abundant stopping power, even in perilous situations. The responses are sensitive and consistent and the brake pedal is easy for modulation in a daily driving environment.

How many miles to the gallons will the 2021 Kia Forte GT deliver?

In the upcoming year of 2021, the Japanese automakers aren’t going to change any aspect or features in the powertrain department. Although the Forte GT is more inclined towards performance, it doesn’t lack on the efficiency front of the vehicle. The GT manages a decent fuel economy with manual transmission (25/32/28 mpg) and provides a better fuel economy with the dual-clutch automatic (27/35/30 mpg). It boasts of a large 14-gallon Fuel tank to go for a long drive with minimum pit stops. 

Models

2021 Kia Forte GT (Expected)

2020 Toyota Corolla XSE

2020 Honda Civic Si Sedan

2020 Mazda 3

MPG (City)

27

31

26

26

MPG (Highway)

35

38

35

35

MPG (Combined)

30

33

31

30

Fuel Capacity

14 gallons

13.2 gallons

12.4 gallons

13.2 gallons

Range (City/Highway)

378/490 miles

409/502 miles

322/446 miles

343 / 462 miles

*2020 figures used for reference.

Having the lowest performance characteristics and Naturally Aspirated engine, Corolla offers the best fuel economy which is closely followed by the Civic Si sedan. With a large 14 gallon tank, Forte GT offers an impressive range.

What to expect from the Kia Forte GT’s interiors?

Inside, we don’t expect much change or overhaul because the 2019 model had a major upgrade. Kia Forte GT incorporates a minimalistic approach with top-notch designing and upscale materials. The Forte GT has signature interiors that aren’t available for all normal trims. It gets red stitching, SOFINO sports seats, and LED lighting for an upscale sporty and athletic setup. The cabin is roomy and cozy, providing ample space to feel relaxed. 

All the seats are swathed in abundant bolstering and are etched with a “GT” upholstery as a reminder of the overall feel of the car. The seats have enough space to have 4 adults sit in the front and rear seats, comfortably on a long trip. Also, the seats can be heated or cooled according to one’s preference. The sedan boasts of ample cargo space to accommodate the luggage of a family weekend getaway. 

Models

2021 Kia Forte GT (Expected)

2020 Toyota Corolla XSE

2020 Honda Civic Si Sedan

2020 Mazda 3

Passenger Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Head, Shoulder and Leg) (in)

38.8/56.1/42.2

38.0/54.0/42.0

39.3/57.0/37.1

38.0/55.7/42.3

Rear (Head, Shoulder and Leg) (in)

37.5/55.5/35.7

37.1/51.7/34.8

37.1/55.0/37.4

37.3/53.5/ 35.1

Cargo Capacity

15.3cu.ft.

13.1cu.ft.

14.7cu.ft.

13.2 cu.ft.

*2020 figures used for reference.

 Compared to the rivals, Honda Civic Si offers the roomiest interiors and it is closely followed by the Kia. However, when it comes to cargo space, Kia takes the lead.

2021 Kia Forte GT: Infotainment System and Connectivity

The infotainment system will be carried over in the 2021 Kia Forte GT. The Sedan boasts of an 8-inch touch-sensitive LCD screen that is premium and posh. The infotainment system is super intuitive and easy to use with touch, voice control, and control knobs. It has AM/FM/MP3 compatible audio. It is equipped with an 8-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system and integrated subwoofers. 

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard for smartphone integration in all trims, along with Bluetooth audio streaming and hands-free control. Also, the SiriusXM satellite radio is an optional feature on the GT. The charging of devices is handled by a single USB port and auxiliary input jack, an additional USB port can also be incorporated. A wireless charging pad can be added in all trims, ditching the need for an extra USB port.

Will there be any changes to the exterior of the 2021 Kia Forte GT sedan?

The 2021 Kia Forte GT has been inspired by the Stinger. The humble Forte GT has taken styling cues from its sporty cousin, Stinger, making the car stand out against its economical contemporaries. The GT line will boast of machined-finish 18-inch alloy wheels, sleek LED headlights, and the subtle hints of red with the ‘GT’ logo on the grille, make it look distinctive from other trims without being too ostentatious.

They will sport a glossy black exterior element along with a trunk lid spoiler and sharper dual-exit finisher. The shape of the car is expected to remain the same while improvements will be witnessed on the drawbacks faced by the exteriors. From the spy shots, the rear of the latest rendition seems to have gone through some thorough changes. 

Models

2021 Kia Forte GT (Expected)

2020 Toyota Corolla XSE

2020 Honda Civic Si Sedan

2020 Mazda 3

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3012

3150

2704

3071

Length (in)

182.7

182.5

182.8

183.5

Width (in)

70.9

70.1

70.8

70.7

Height (in)

56.5

56.5

55.5

56.9

Ground Clearance (in)

5.3

5.1

N/A

5.5

Wheelbase (in)

106.3

106.3

106.3

107.3

*2020 figures used for reference.

Among the rivals, Kia has a wide body but slightly shorter in length when compared to its rivals. All cars in the competition have comparably similar exterior dimensions but the Honda comes off as the lightest and the Mazda 3 looks the best with its minimalist design.

Will the 2021 Kia Forte GT be worth your Time and Money?

Yes, the Kia Forte GT is worth your time and money. The compact sedan has been the best-seller in its segment in the previous years. The Forte GT is a complete automobile for daily use in metropolitan areas and a long drive car to hit the countryside. This car provides immense value for the money that you spend on it. It’s a fresh, standout car in the market that is here to stay and disrupt the competition and dethrone the kings

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