2014 Kia Forte: Stylish and Affordable, but Is It Safe?


Kia's redesigned-for-2014 Forte impressed the Cars.com editorial staff during a head-to-head test against the benchmark Honda Civic, but in terms of safety, the compact sedan gets no love.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration just announced that the 2014 Forte earned an overall score of four out of five stars. The sedan earned just three stars in front tests, five stars in side testing and a four-star rollover rating.

The Forte fared even worse in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing. Last week, the IIHS announced that the Forte failed the small front overlap test — the agency's newest and toughest test that simulates a crash where the front corner of the vehicle hits a smaller object like a tree or pole at 40 mph.

The IIHS called the Forte "the worst performer for both restraints and structure of all of the small cars evaluated" because too much belt slack and a side curtain airbag that didn't provide enough forward coverage allowed the dummy's head to hit the windshield pillar and instrument panel. The dummy's bottom half was also in bad shape. "Door hinge pillar, driver footwell, and instrument panel intrusion was extensive and contributed to a high risk of injury to the left thigh and a significant risk to the left lower leg," the agency said in a statement.

But the Forte wasn't the only one to fail the IIHS' test. "As a group, small cars fared worse than their midsize moderately priced counterparts in the same test but better overall than small SUVs," IIHS said in a statement. Click here for the results of the compact car test and here for the results of the compact SUV test.

Research the 2014 Kia Forte
2013 Honda Civic Versus 2014 Kia Forte
IIHS Tests 12 Compact Cars: Six Pass, Six Fail

By Jennifer Geiger | August 12, 2013 | Comments (8)



Abnormal for a car these days to get 3 stars in a frontal test. Not good Kia.


I would never buy one. Civic is much safer.

Call me foolish or silly, but I rarely base my car buying decisions on crash test results. Even the worst modern day cars are still better than the best from two or three decades ago. Safety is certainly an aspect to consider, but I wouldn't dismiss a car that had mediocre crash results if I loved the rest of the car Purchasing a car I didn't enjoy nearly as much just because of the safety records would cause buyer's remorse. As mentioned, today's car are safer as it is, and it's always best to be a defensive driver, no matter what you're driving.


That is, Ryan, until you get into serious accident. And you may do nothing to have that but someone else will do it for you. 2 of my friends recently were seriously crashed and both came out unscratched while their cars we destroyed. Those cars were MDX and Accord. Looks like Hondas are pretty safe.



All my accidents were caused by the other party involved. Being defensive does not protect you from some straight up morons that ran straight into you.
Buyer's remorse cannot exist if you got killed right off from the accident also.

But you buy what you like, that is up to you and I am not here to say you are silly or foolish.

Derrick G

I'm not terribly concerned with the NHTSA overall frontal crash rating; it's based mostly on the passenger rating and if you look at the actual test report, it notes that the readings for that dummy's femur are noted as questionable as is the data for other load cells on that side. Plus, it's not a very realistic test. That said, the Forte's driver's ratings are better than many other small cars, including the Civic's. Structurally, it held up fine and the doors opened without tools afterwards; nothing leaked. The rollover rating is typical for a passenger sedan

The real issue for me is the IIHS's latest test. The only car I find that came close to replicating the Forte's poor results is the Prius v and even then it wasn't head/neck issues. Kia needs to make running changes ASAP.


Wait until Kia fixes the problem.
Then it is still an attractive small car. Forte is not the only one failed that test. Toyota RAV 4 and Prius V dummies' head also hit the A pillar. Toyota will fix it so will Kia.


Strange. The 2013 model, which my wife drives (and LOVES), scored a lot better.

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