2020 Kia Forte GT Sedan Undercuts VW Jetta GLI By Almost $3,700

Fans of affordable sports sedans, rejoice! Kia has released pricing for the 2020 Forte GT sedan, and it starts from just over $23,000.

More specifically, the exact MSRP is $22,290, but when you factor in the $925 destination charge you end up with $23,215. Not bad for a 201 HP compact sedan that comes equipped as standard with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, a sport-tuned multi-link rear suspension, and beefier front brakes.

It’s a pretty good deal when you also consider the fact that the 228 hp 2020 VW Jetta GLI starts at $26,890 – $3,675 more than the Forte GT! And it’s not like Kia’s 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine lacks grunt. It delivers 201 hp at 6,000 rpm and 195 lb-ft (264 Nm) of torque between 1,500 and 4,500 rpm. While the automaker does not reveal performance figures, it’s not hard to realize that the quickest version is the one equipped with the DCT.

Also Read: Is Kia Planning A Punchy Forte5 With A 201 HP Four-Cylinder For The U.S?

Getting the optional six-speed manual costs an additional $600, so one would have to be really committed to changing gears themselves to get that one. While we’re fans of manual gearboxes, it’s hard to believe many customers will get it given the superior performance, comfort, and fuel economy offered by the DCT.

Speaking of efficiency, the 2020 Forte GT returns 27 mpg city/35 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined. That’s around 2 mpg better than the manual version’s 25/32/28 mpg.

Compared to regular 2020 Forte models, the GT offers more than just a stronger powertrain. Standard features also include a sport-tuned dual exhaust, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights with auto-leveling and High Beam Assist (HBA), smart key with push-button start, and a flat-bottomed steering wheel with paddle shifters (on DCT only) and red contrast stitching.

Standard gear consists of Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keeping Assist-Line (LKA-Line), and Driver Attention Warning (DAW).

If you don’t care for the added performance, you can always get the Forte GT-Line which looks almost the same but offers significantly less power in the form of a 147 HP naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four mated to a CVT, which can be yours for $21,315 (including destination).

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  • Stephen G

    Damn good looking car too!

  • Tabs Luther

    The new replacement for the old elantra sport, since the new redesign is so awful. It would be nice if they could squeeze 20 more hp out of this now tried-and-true engine.

    • 100% agreed, the new 2020 Elantra was a terrible step back, this is the replacement option for those looking….

  • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

    This thing would make an absolutely fantastic inexpensive daily driver. It’s got everything you could ever want for the price.

    Also, forget the GLI now that VW removed their longer warranty.

  • Jason Miller

    I have a 2017 Elantra Sport 6MT and run a facebook group with over 2500 owners. The DCT has been by far the transmission with the most issues. Some fixed, some replaced, some cars even bought back by Hyundai. The 6MT has been flawless in comparison. I would gladly pay the $600 to row my own here.

    • Beavercat

      I found it odd that the MT actually costs more than the DCT. Unfortunately for manual fans, according to Kia’s materials there are a lot of features that are only available with the GT2 package (better stereo, moonroof, heated seats, driver assist stuff), and the GT2 package is only available with the DCT. I’m thinking about jumping on one of the last remaining Elantra Sport’s with a 6MT. I think I’ve been on your Facebook group, and it appears that the 6MT has been very reliable overall (i.e. not just your personal experience). Would you agree?

      • Jason Miller

        I think that’s just Kia being cheeky. “You really want an MT, you’ll pay for it”.

        • Beavercat

          Thanks! There are a couple 2019 ES’s left in manual, I’m seriously considering making the leap this weekend. I know that many don’t like the exterior of the 19, but it don’t bother me at all. I care way more about how it drives and the equipment. Was waiting on the Forte GT, but that doesn’t look so good now.

      • Jason Miller

        Where did you see the info about no MT on GT2 package?

    • Beavercat

      I see someone posted directly to your Kia Forte thread on the ES facebook page showing that the GT2 is unavailable with manual. I’ve been trying to post how I found that here but for some reason disqus nanny wouldn’t allow it to post.

      • Jason Miller

        Ok I see it now. That’s a shame.

  • Pavel B.

    Still rather have a GLI, and you don’t have to pay extra for having a manual. Oh and the DSG actually works.

  • exeptor

    And looks $3,700 better.

    • dumblikeyou2

      I see a lot of latest Forte on the road. I don’t see as many Jettas, but when I do, it hurts my eyes. And my soul.

  • charlotteharry57

    I’m seeing quite a few of these new Fortes around. I have a beef with them though. Like some other Kias, the rear turn signals are in the bumper and you can’t see them when you’re right behind one. How did this ever get past the Feds?

    • Pavel B.

      I see them with no issue whenever I have been behind one. Perhaps you are tailgating.

  • Craig

    I find it annoying that with most cars that offer the manual transmission you can’t have it in the best car they make. I want ALL of the bells and whistles too!

  • KidRed

    Nice for the most part, but those triangular lights on the bumper just don’t look right. Kia added similar bumper lights to the Sportage and they don’t look good on that either.

  • Rani

    I feel like the front needs to be tweaked a bit more to match the back. Back very tidy front not so much. Otherwise looks like a great value.

  • SteersUright

    Car looks rather great in the blue color with the big wheels. Interior is not on par with VW. I’d love to see a comparison review on these two driven side by side.

    • Jason Miller

      Don’t know how you can say that if you haven’t seen it in person.

      • Beavercat

        I saw it in person at the NY Auto Show and was very impressed with the interior. A bone of contention would be the freestanding screen (as opposed to integrated into the dash). I like it although many others don’t. The VW GLI interior I find very nice as well.

  • Dave Miller

    The Korean government supplements the price. Of course all Korean cars are cheaper. It’s called an UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICE! And all you losers who dont care where something is made deserve the country we live in

    • Galaxium

      I don’t know where you’re getting the information that the Korean government subsidizes the price. That’s just not true.

      • Kyle Newberry

        I’ve read they supplement the crazy warranty they give.

        • Galaxium

          I looked on Google for a long time and could not find anything on that.

          I doubt that the Korean government does that. In recent years, there has been incredibly more overwatch on connections between government and these conglomerates.

    • Jason Miller

      You must be fun at parties.

    • Bige Lee

      Aren’t you stupid Dave.

    • JP

      You do realize that Kia builds the Optima, Telluride, and Sorento in the U.S.

  • Enter Ranting

    It’s better looking and more reliable than the VW too.

    • Pavel B.

      How can you gauge its reliability? The car is new and hasn’t been around long enough.

      • Enter Ranting

        I’m pretty confident it can’t be worse than Volkswagen’s notoriously bad reliability.

        • Pavel B.

          Other than the company lying through its teeth in regards to emissions cheating, I’m not aware of any notorious issues. I see plenty of old VW’s on the road still chugging along.

          • Shobin Drogan

            Kias are generally top ten in most reliability rating scores usually bested by toyotas or lexus. Otherwise still very competitive. Its a miracle if VW can even achieve top ten.

          • Pavel B.

            I hear what you are saying but my thinking on the matter is based on my real world experiences and people I know whom owned VW’s and Audi’s. I couldn’t careless about any of these scores created by any publication or survey. I take all of that with a grain of salt. Every manufacture has its issues, no matter whom. Kia/Hyundai recently had a recall for engine fires. VW has its own issues. I just don’t take sides saying one is more reliable than another.

          • Stephen C. Webster

            I love the MK4’s. Have a 2004 MK4 GLI VR6 at 130K miles and it’s mechanically quite sound. A few electrical gremlins, but otherwise the most reliable car I’ve ever owned I plan to run it for many more years to come. Sure, I love my 2017 Passat B8 R-Line and 2012 Jetta 2.5 SE as well… But there’s nothing like an MK4.

          • Pavel B.

            Love the VR6. Such a great sounding engine.

          • Shobin Drogan

            A car’s used car value is generally a reflection of its reliability. Majority of VW in South East Asia have crap resale value, they are basically worthless after 3 years plus. Electronic issues and gearbox issues are its primary faults. Giving owners nightmares and repeated trips to the service centers every few months.
            You drive a Mk4, that car is relatively old, older VWs tend to be more reliable since they have less complex parts to go wrong. If you had great experience with VW then bless you.

          • OdysseyTag

            Well said mate.

  • Stephen C. Webster

    I would take a Volkswagen over a KIA anyday of the week. KIA = Keep It Away.

    Feel similarly about Ford cars. FORD = Found On the Roadside Dead.

  • Kyle Newberry

    Just get a Elantra GT?

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