For the 2010 model year, Kia has introduced Forte's in both a sedan and high style coup. These will replace the spectra in Kia's lineup. The coup is available in only two trim levels, the more value oriented EX and the sportier SX. The Sedan however, is available with three different trim levels to choose from.
Each trim level comes with its own engine. The SX has a 2.4 liter four cylinder which provides 173 horsepower with a 6 speed stick or auto transmission choice. The EX gets along with a 2.0 liter four generating 156 horsepower and a choice of a 5 speed manual or a 4 speed auto transmission. Both engines lose a couple of HP in their SULEV incarnations.
As there aren't many coupes in this price class, the Honda civic is a good vehicle for making comparisons. The Forte even invokes some of the styling of the Civic. With overall excellent fit and finish and the two different performance levels, as with the civic and civic SI, the Forte is a viable competitor to the civic.
Body styles: Coupe
Engines: 2.0L I-4, 2.4L I-4
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 5-speed manual, 6-speed automatic, 4-speed automatic
Models: EX, SX
The five-passenger Koup shares its wheelbase with the sedan and is shorter, narrower, and sits lower. For 2011, the Koup SX is now offered with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic (replacing the five-speed) with paddle shifters. The only exterior change is the addition of LED daytime running lights. Inside, a navigation system is now available. Both four-cylinder engines return unchanged.
Aggressive lines and a narrow greenhouse define the looks of this compact coupe. At some angles, the Koup looks a bit like the Civic Si. The EX rides on 16-inch wheels and the SX comes with 17-inch wheels standard.
Fit and finish are excellent in the Forte Koup's cabin. There's good bolstering in the front seats; rear seats are tighter than in the sedan. Both trim levels get sport seats, but the SX gets its own special cloth. There are many standard features, too.
Performance & Handling
With all of the expectations that this was going to be another Civic Si, the reality at the track was a bit disappointing. The Koup SX is fun to drive and tossable, yet handling and ride are closer to the regular Civic than the Si. It reaches 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, 0.4 second slower than the Si, and needs 117 feet to stop from 60 mph.
Dual front airbags, dual front seat-mounted side airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags are standard on the Forte Koup, along with disc brakes with ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution, and brake assist; stability control; traction control; and tire-pressure monitoring.
EPA Fuel Economy
EX: 25 mpg city/34 mpg highway
SX: 22-23 mpg city/31-32 mpg highway
- Cool looks
- Lots of standard equipment
- Fun to drive
- Comfortable ride
You Won't Like
Looks like Civic Si. Doesn't drive like it
If You Like This Vehicle
- Honda Civic
- Ford Focus
- Scion tC