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NewsShould You Buy a 2021 Kia Forte5 GT?

Should You Buy a 2021 Kia Forte5 GT?

The new Kia Forte5 GT is a blast to drive and a serious bargain to buy

  • Pricing for the 2021 Kia Forte5 starts at $22,295 in Canada. The Forte5 is not available in the US.

  • The GT trim begins at $25,895 in Canada. The Forte GT sedan begins at $23,490 in the US.

  • Like Hyundai N Line products, the Kia GTs are far more entertaining than expected.

The Hyundai Motor Group is slowly but surely designing and developing a vehicle to compete in every segment, or nearly. With the exception of full-size trucks, between Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis, they have a rebuttal for all. And when it comes to compact sporty vehicles, no one rivals the Korean Automaker. The Kia Forte5 GT is one of its best.

2021 Kia Forte5 GT | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Among HMG’s GT, GT-Line, N, and N Line products, there is without a doubt, something for all driving enthusiasts. The more traditional within our midst, aka the older folks like me, prefer a hatchback over anything with the word utility in it. As such, cars like the Honda Civic Type R and Si, Volkswagen Golf GTI and R, Hyundai Veloster N, and Kia Forte5 are some of the best driver’s cars. Above all, they are affordable or nearly.

I reviewed the Kia Forte GT sedan a few years ago and enjoyed it. This Forte5 GT however was far more enthralling. As such, are you shopping for a compact sports car? Should the 2021 Kia Forte5 GT be on the list? This way, please.

Why you should buy a 2021 Kia Forte5 GT:

2021 Kia Forte5 GT | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
  • The 2021 Forte5 GT is a killer bargain. At $25,395, the 5 GT is loaded with all the necessary kit including 18-inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust tips, spoiler, and more.

  • True driving fans will love the standard 6-speed manual transmission. The clutch is extremely light, the shifter’s “H” pattern is easy to navigate, and, with a little effort, heel and toeing are quite possible.

  • The turbocharged 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engine generates a generous dose of kick. Its 201 horsepower is strong and all 195 lb.-ft. of torque quickly come into play.

  • The optional 7-speed dual-clutch (7DCT) transmission, which is surprisingly talented, is a $1,700 option.

  • Styling-wise, the Forte5 GT looks subtly smart thanks to its gloss-black accents and red-trimmed black front grille.

  • The hatchback configuration provides 741 litres of boot space, a vast improvement over the sedan’s 434 litres.

  • Steering is heavy and sharp. Brakes are strong with a decent pedal feel and responsiveness.

  • The sport-tuned suspension turns up the fun quotient and, best of all, is never punishing.

  • The level of standard features is astonishing for the price. Look for an 8-inch touchscreen, keyless entry and start, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a wireless phone charger, heated front sport seats, a heated steering wheel, and far more. 

Why you should not buy a 2021 Kia Forte5 GT:

2021 Kia Forte5 GT | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
  • In this crowd, street credibility and respect are very important. Sadly, the Kia Forte5 GT hasn’t quite made a name for itself.

  • Although it is quick enough, it won’t scare the new Volkswagen Golf GTI, but it might match the upcoming Honda Civic Si’s punch.

  • Throttle response is dull in normal drive mode, far too much so. Activating Sport drive mode is the only remedy.


Quite realistically, the only reason to not opt for the 2021 Kia Forte5 GT is that the “bargain” effect will eventually wear off. At $25,895, the Forte5 GT is about $5,000 cheaper than the Volkswagen Jetta GLI, and $5,500 less than the segment King, or Queen, the Golf GTI. Over at Honda, they want all of $33,150, or nearly $2,000 more than the GTI, for the Civic Si…

2021 Kia Forte5 GT | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Thing is that, when chatting with friends, the fact that you “saved” over $5k over an all-new MK8 GTI won’t exactly get them to support your decision. This will be especially true given the GTI’s 241 horsepower and 273 lb.-ft. of torque, pedigree, and following.

The bottom line is that, if you’re shopping for a 2022 Honda Civic hatchback, which starts at $28,000, then the Forte5 GT, with more power and equipment, turns into a very wise acquisition. Even at $27,595 with the dual-clutch transmission, the Forte5 GT is convincing.

The bottom-bottom line is clear, the 2021 Forte5 GT is an outstanding sport compact car for the price.

2021 Kia Forte5 GT | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2021 Kia Forte5 GT | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2021 Kia Forte5 GT | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2021 Kia Forte5 GT | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2021 Kia Forte5 GT | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2021 Kia Forte5 GT | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2021 Kia Forte5 GT | Photo: Matt St-Pierre


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Matt St-Pierre
Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai


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