GT-Line Vs. GT Forte: A Close Look At Two Of Kia’s Best

If you’ve been browsing the Kia lineup recently, you might’ve come across the GT-Line and the GT Forte. Both seem sleek, both wear the prestigious GT badge, but what’s the difference? 

Let’s dive in and explore these two models in detail.

A Brief Comparison Table

Feature/SpecificationGT-LineGT Forte
Engine2.0-liter four-cylinder (147 hp)Turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder (201 hp)
TransmissionContinuously Variable Transmission (CVT)7-speed dual-clutch/6-speed manual
Exterior FeaturesSporty badges, unique bumpers, rear spoilerDual exhausts, sportier wheels
Interior FeaturesSporty seats, unique trimPremium materials, flat-bottomed steering wheel, advanced infotainment
PriceTypically cheaperMore expensive

What’s in a Name?

Before we delve into the nuts and bolts, it’s essential to address a simple, yet crucial, question: Why two GTs? Kia decided to offer the GT-Line for those who want the sporty aesthetics of the GT without necessarily investing in the power-packed performance of the full GT Forte. 

Think of the GT-Line as a visual package and the GT Forte as the performance champ.

Pros and Cons: GT-Line



  • Sporty Aesthetics: 

The GT-Line boasts a sporty appearance, making it stand out in a parking lot. With exclusive GT-Line badges and red accents, it’s an eye-catcher for sure.

  • Affordability: 

Generally speaking, the GT-Line is cheaper than its GT Forte counterpart, making it an excellent option for those who want the sporty look without the performance price tag.

  • Fuel Efficiency: 

With a less powerful engine, you’ll often see better MPG figures with the GT-Line.


  • Less Power: 

This one’s obvious. If you’re looking for a thrilling driving experience, the GT-Line might leave you craving a bit more oomph.

  • Fewer Sport Features: 

Unlike the GT Forte, the GT-Line doesn’t feature the sport-tuned suspension or larger brakes.

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Pros and Cons: GT Forte

GT Forte
GT Forte


  • Performance: 

The GT Forte offers a powerful 201-hp 1.6L turbocharged engine. It promises and delivers an exhilarating drive.

  • Sport-Tuned Features: 

Apart from the engine, the GT Forte boasts sport-tuned dual exhausts, larger brakes, and a more aggressive suspension.

  • Premium Interiors: 

Inside, the GT Forte often flaunts more upscale materials and features than the GT-Line.


  • Higher Price: 

More power and features come at a cost. The GT Forte is typically more expensive than the GT-Line.

  • Fuel Efficiency: 

As is often the case with performance models, expect to sacrifice a little in terms of miles per gallon.

Key Differences Between the GT-Line and GT Forte

The Kia Forte, a popular compact sedan, offers multiple trim levels, but the GT-Line and GT Forte are the ones that often leave potential buyers scratching their heads. While they might sound very similar, there are crucial differences between the two. Let’s delve into the finer details.

  1. Performance & Engine


The GT-Line is more about aesthetics than raw power. It’s typically powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces around 147 horsepower. 

This engine offers a balanced mix of power and efficiency, suitable for daily commutes and city driving.

GT Forte:

On the other hand, the GT Forte is the true performance variant in the Forte lineup. It’s equipped with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that churns out a robust 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. 

This gives the GT Forte a significant performance edge over the GT-Line, especially in terms of acceleration and overtaking.

  1. Transmission Options


The GT-Line typically comes with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). While this provides smooth acceleration and decent fuel efficiency, it might not offer the sporty feel that driving enthusiasts crave.

GT Forte:

The GT Forte, true to its performance branding, offers a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which provides faster shifts and a sportier driving experience. 

Some models even offer a 6-speed manual transmission for those who like to be more involved in the driving process.

  1. Suspension & Handling


The GT-Line has a standard suspension setup, offering a comfortable and smooth ride for daily commuting. It absorbs road imperfections well but isn’t particularly sporty.

GT Forte:

In contrast, the GT Forte features a sport-tuned suspension that offers a more dynamic and engaging driving experience. 

The firmer setup means more feedback from the road and better handling around corners, making it the choice for those who enjoy spirited driving.

  1. Exterior Features


The GT-Line focuses on aesthetics with sporty visual enhancements. This includes special badging, unique front and rear bumpers, and a rear spoiler.

GT Forte:

While the GT Forte also features sporty aesthetics, it differentiates itself with dual exhausts, which not only look sportier but also produce a more aggressive exhaust note. Plus, it often includes larger and more performance-oriented wheels.

  1. Interior Features


Inside the GT-Line, you’ll find sporty seats and some unique trim elements that distinguish it from the base Forte models. However, in terms of upscale materials and features, it’s relatively modest.

GT Forte:

The GT Forte, being the performance and premium variant, often boasts more upscale materials inside. Features like a flat-bottomed steering wheel, better quality seat materials, and advanced infotainment options typically set the GT Forte apart.

  1. Price


Given that it’s more of an aesthetic package without the performance upgrades, the GT-Line is generally more affordable than the GT Forte. It’s an excellent choice for those who want the sporty look without the sporty price tag.

GT Forte:

Being the performance variant with a host of upgrades, the GT Forte comes with a higher price. However, for many, the additional cost is justified by the enhanced driving experience and premium features.

Also Read: Comparing K&N SO-1017 With HP-1017 Oil Filter.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between Forte GT and GT-Line?

The primary difference is performance. The GT-Line is mainly an aesthetic package, giving the car a sporty look without the turbocharged power. In contrast, the GT Forte is all about performance, boasting a turbocharged engine, sport-tuned features, and premium interiors.

What does GT-Line mean on a Kia?

The GT-Line refers to a specific trim of some Kia models that offer sporty aesthetics, including exclusive badges and red accents. However, it doesn’t necessarily come with the performance enhancements associated with the full GT models.

How fast is the Kia Forte GT line?

The GT-Line is more about aesthetics than performance. So, while it does have a zippy feel, it won’t match the turbocharged acceleration and top speed of the Forte GT.

What does the Kia Forte GT line have?

The GT-Line offers sporty visual cues, including special badges, red accents, and a unique front grille. Inside, it may feature sporty seats, but it doesn’t have the high-powered engine or sport-tuned features of the GT Forte.

Is the Kia Forte GT-line turbocharged?

No, the GT-Line is not turbocharged. The performance turbocharging is reserved for the GT Forte model.

What should I pay for a Kia Forte GT-line?

Prices can vary based on location, dealer promotions, and other factors. It’s always recommended to check local dealerships, online listings, and current promotions to get an accurate price range.

Wrapping It Up

Whether you’re a performance enthusiast or someone who loves a sporty appearance without the need for a turbocharged engine, Kia offers options for both with the GT-Line and GT Forte. Remember, choosing a car is always about personal preference. Understand your needs, and you’ll find the perfect match. 

Remember, while these distinctions might seem clear-cut on paper, nothing beats experiencing the cars firsthand. It’s always a good idea to test drive both trims and gauge which one aligns better with your preferences and needs. Happy driving!

Clayton S. Johnson

Well, I am Clayton who writes, manages, and does overall stuff for this website. I live somewhere in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and used to have a full-time job. But the pandemic taught me to do more do with my life. So, I quit my job and travel a lot! Since I have tons of time now, I write about all the stuff I have done, used, and have first-hand experiences.

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