The Kia Forte GT makes a strong value proposition. With its 201 horsepower turbocharged engine, choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed DCT, it’s hard to ignore. The value is there too, especially when you factor in its warranty and its cheap starting price of $23,490 that undercuts competitors like the Honda Civic Si, VW GLI by thousands. But with the wild car market right now, the Forte GT has fallen victim to being yet another model affected by greedy dealer markups.
Of the couple of hundred Forte GTs I found for sale across multiple car-buying sites, over half of them were marked up over $28,000 or more. Over 20 were for sale for over $30,000. Imagine walking onto a Kia lot and having to choose between a Forte or K5 because of price overlap. In a sentence I never thought I’d be writing, the two highest-priced Forte GT’s in the country are over $32,000.
The highest though is a $32,830 Forte GT for sale at Power Kia in Portland, OR. This dealer has tacked on a $7,800 markup on this Forte. While this is one of two Forte GT’s in this dealer’s inventory with a $7,800 markup, this is the priciest of the two, and the priciest in the country. (the other Forte GT carries a sticker of $30,535.)
I reached out to this dealer to see if there was anything to do about this markup. A markup of $7,800 is big for any car. But it’s even bigger on a compact car that has a starting price in the mid $20,000s. Posing as a customer, I asked the dealer if the markup could be removed completely and pointed out that they were asking over $30,000 for a $26,000 car. I got a response back that said maybe something could be done, but they were pretty much marking it up because everyone else is.
Hello this is Devin at Power Kia. We may be able to work with you a bit on it. However, this vehicle is being marked up all across the West Coast.
He then proceeded to ask me if I wanted the red or blue one. I wouldn’t take either of them. You can get more for that kind of money. A K5 GT with 290 horsepower starts at $31,090. But because of how screwed up the market is that’s even hard to find and dealers are marking those up for Stinger GT money. At this point, with markups reaching cars across every price and size spectrum as inventory starved dealers get desperate for business, 2024 might be a good time to be in the market for a car. Things don’t look to be cooling off anytime soon.