Skip to Content

Types Of Gas A Kia Forte Takes (All Generations)

Types Of Gas A Kia Forte Takes (All Generations)

We do a lot of research on the specific questions you ask about different cars including the American-made Kia.

Today we’ll look at the Kia Forte and the kind of fuel this car requires. To answer this, we went through different year owner’s manuals of Kia Forte from 2010 – 2021 and did a detailed analysis to answer all your queries.

So, what type of gas does a Kia Forte take?

All generations of the Kia Forte hatchback or sedan take gasoline containing unleaded gasoline of 87 octane or higher and ethanol content of less than 15%. Kia recommends using good quality gasoline, which is treated with detergent additives such as TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline.

However, this is the brief further down in the blog; we’ll go into which type of gas or diesel to use for your specific Kia Forte model. Since the engine’s durability is so important, we’ll look at which gas is better or worse for your car’s performance.

Lastly, in this blog, we will also look into the tank size of different models and how much it costs in different states to fill it.

Want to save money on gasoline? earn up to $0.25/gallon every time you fill up? GetUpside is a free-to-use cashback app for US gas stations. Use coupon code THEDRIVERADVISER25and earn an additional $0.25/gallon the first time! Click here to download the app for Android or iOS.

Infographic explaining the fuel types for a Kia Forte.

Fuel Requirement Per Generation

2019 – Present

The standard engine in the American/Mexican-made 2021 Kia Forte is of 2.0 L, 4-cylinder engine that provides an excellent blend of performance and fuel economy.

This engine produces 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, with city fuel economy ratings of 27, 29, or 31 mpg and highway fuel economy ratings of 40 mpg or 41 mpg. Unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 is preferred.

2014 – 2018

All Kia Forte hatchback or sedan favors the use of unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or above. They come with a 147-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that comes standard on the 2017 Kia Forte sedan. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 164 horsepower is also available.

The turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine in the Forte hatchback produces 201 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the Forte, with a six-speed automatic transmission available.

These engines use high-quality unleaded gasoline of 87 octane or higher to give the maximum engine performance of the Kia Forte.

2010 – 2013

The 2010 – 13 models of Kia Forte come with two different engine types, and both have four-cylinder engines: a 156-horsepower 2.0-liter engine and a 173-horsepower 2.4-liter engine that comes standard on the sport-tuned SX trim.

Both engines come with six-speed manual transmissions, with a six-speed automatic transmission as an option. The hatchback is the only variant that comes with an automatic transmission as standard.

These engines use high-quality unleaded gasoline of 87 octane or higher to give the maximum engine performance of the Kia Forte.

What Type of Gasoline Can or Can’t Be Used?

Beyond the regular/conventional gasoline, the current market offers a wide range of gasoline/diesel choices. However, the Forte is not available in diesel engine option so it is essential to use proper gasoline for your car’s engine to run well and get better mileage.

Let’s take a look at the following:

Additives Detergent

Kia recommends using good quality gasoline, which is treated with detergent additives such as TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline. The addition of detergents to gasoline helps prevent engine damage and avoid excessive carbon buildup in locations such as injectors, feed valves, and fire chambers.

They can restrict proper airflow, change the fuel/air balance, impair fuel economy, offer less fuel economy, and increase vehicle emissions.


Most modern cars can run on ethanol and non-ethanol gasoline combinations up to E15 (15 percent ethanol). Flex-fuel vehicles, on the other hand, can easily manage up to E85 (85% ethanol). In a nutshell, ethanol-free gasoline will not harm your vehicle. According to KIA, the amount of ethanol in gasoline should be limited to 15%.

Flex Fuel is made to be used in only flex-fuel vehicles and is not at all compatible with the Kia Forte. According to New Vehicle Limited Warranty does not cover damage to the fuel system or any performance problems caused by E-85 fuel.

Gasoline containing a mixture of gas and ethanol (also known as grain alcohol) can be used in your vehicle. Kia recommends only using gasohol containing 15 percent ethanol.

The ethanol content of more than 15 percent is not recommended as ethanol provides less energy than gasoline. It attracts water, thus likely to reduce the fuel efficiency and could lower the MPG results.

Gasoline With Additives

Using fuel that contains Silicon (Si), MMT (Manganese, Mn), Ferrocene (Fe), and other metal additives is not recommended for use at all. These additives may cause engine damage or cause misfiring, clogging, abnormal corrosion, poor acceleration, engine stalling, catalyst melting, etc.

To know if such fuel has been added to your tank, you can see the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) being illuminated or can monitor your vehicle performance being deteriorated.

Gasoline With MMT

Gasoline containing MMT (Methylcyclopentadienyl Manganese Tricarbonyl) was once used as an octane boosting agent. Still, as scientists started to discover how harmful MMT is for the vehicle and the environment, its use was banned worldwide.

Even a low level of MMT can increase the emission of conventional pollutants such as HC, CO, and NOx, which has been most evident for Low-Level Emissions Vehicles (LEV).

Excessive use of MMT causes Mn deposit on engine and emissions system components, compromising vehicle emission performance and durability. Kia’s malfunction indicator lamp may get illuminated.

Leaded Gasoline

Kia doesn’t recommend unleaded gasoline for your vehicle. The three-way vehicle catalytic converters in your car can be severely damaged by leaded gasoline, causing the emission control system to malfunction.

Leaded gasoline is linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, kidney disease, and reduced fertility, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It also easily pollutes air, soil, and water, according to the CDC and the EPA. As a result, it is not recommended that you use leaded gasoline in your vehicle.

There’s no need to be concerned because Algeria’s last leaded gasoline reserve was depleted in July 2021. In addition, Kia Forte has a fuel tank hole that accepts only the specific nozzle used on unleaded fuel pumps to help prevent incorrect fueling.

Gasoline With Methanol

Fuels containing methanol (wood alcohol) are not at all recommended for use in your car’s engine. This type of fuel will reduce the vehicle’s performance and damage components of the fuel system, engine control system, and emission control system.

Octane Rating

The octane rating aids in the determination of the fuel rating. The octane rating, sometimes known as the octane number, is a scale from one to one hundred that indicates how well a fuel resists compression and avoids knocking.

The octane number measures how linearly a fuel would burn when lit rather than exploding in an uncontrolled way. It is not a measurement of the fuel’s energy content (its calorific value).

Kia suggests that we use regular 87 octane gasoline. You can hear a constant strong knocking sound if the octane level is less than 87.

What If I Hear A Knocking Noise From The Engine After Refilling?

Several factors might cause the knocking sound in the engine. When fuel burns unevenly in an engine, knocking occurs, resulting in an obnoxious noise and the possibility of damage to the cylinder walls and pistons.

If you’re going uphill or speeding, you might hear a knocking sound. This is normal, and there’s no reason to be concerned. You may occasionally hear a tiny knocking sound, but if it continues, it is a concern.

Kia recommends you contact customer care or the nearest garage if you hear a knocking sound.

Does The Kia Forte Have a Good Gas Mileage?

2019 – Present

The Forte gets better-than-average gas mileage for a compact car when equipped with its base engine. The CVT outperforms the manual by a small margin, but both have good ratings.

The GT isn’t relatively as fuel-efficient as the more powerful model. With a 2.0 L manual engine, Forte has a fuel economy of 29/40 MPG in city/highway and a combined 33 MPG while the 2.0 L Automatic six-speed transmission has 30 MPG in the city and 40 MPG on average on the highway.

Forte 1.6 L engine attains the fuel economy of 27/35 MPG in city/ highway with a combined MPG of 30, while Kia Forte FE has 31/41 MPG in city/highway with a combined MPG of 35.

FORTE  1.6 L35 MPG  27 MPG30 MPG

2014 – 2018

The EPA estimates that the base engine with manual transmission earns 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. The Forte 5 gives a mileage of 33 MPG on the highway and a mileage in the city of around 25 MPG.

KOUP 2/1.6 L34 MPG25 MPG28 MPG
FORTE 5 1.6L29 MPG21 MPG24 MPG

2010 – 2013

The 2.0 L engine of the Kia Forte coup attains EPA-estimated fuel economy of 34 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, and 31 mpg in the city, and 41 mpg on the highway with the IVľ.  Meanwhile, Forte 5, 2 L engine gives a mileage of 33 MPG / 25 MPG on highway/city, while the 1.6 L gives 29 MPG/ 21 MPG on highway/city.

KOUP 2.4 L35 MPG25 MPG29 MPG
FORTE 5 1.6 L29 MPG21 MPG24 MPG

What Is the Gas Tank Size of Kia Forte?

Kia Forte 2010 – 2013 model in forte 5, Coup comes with a tank size of 13.7 gallons or 52 liters.  All 2014 – 2018 models of Forte come with a tank size of 13.2 gallons. While all the models after 2018 come with a large tank size of 14 gallons.

How Much Does It Cost To Fill Up Kia Forte?

It costs around 63 dollars to fill up the tank of your 2010-2013 models of Kia Forte filled once with regular gasoline in California, the state with the costliest petrol in the US. In Mississippi, the state with one of the cheapest petrol, it will cost you only 41.1 dollars.

If you are using Forte models between 2014 – 2018, it would cost you around $60.72 in California and 29.6 dollars in Mississippi. For the later models after 2018, it will cost you $42 in Mississippi and $64.4 in California.

Closing Thoughts

The Kia Forte, a steadfast choice for reliability and economy, is engineered to run optimally on regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87. While higher octane fuels won’t necessarily harm the engine, they won’t provide a noticeable benefit to justify the added cost.

Using the right fuel is essential to avoid the issues that arise from fueling with inappropriate gas, everything from decreased fuel efficiency to costly engine repairs.

For those who pay attention to the minutiae of their vehicle, beyond just the fuel requirements, knowing the bolt pattern of your wheels is equally essential. You can find this information for your Forte in “The Exact Bolt Pattern of A Kia Forte” and for other Kia models in “The Exact Bolt Pattern Of All Kia“.

Your Kia Forte is more than a car; it’s an investment. Treat it with the respect it deserves, starting with the right fuel.


Have More Questions? Join Our Facebook Group!

Do you have any more questions that weren´t answered in this blog post? Join our free Facebook group and ask your question there. We promise you you´ll get an answer from one of our team members. Join the group here!