Over the last few years, Kia has learned to conquer every new car segment except for one: The lucrative compact segment.
Until now. Enter the…
2014 Kia Forte
My loan vehicle was loaded up with every available option, including a Premium Package with heated leather seats (and an air conditioned driver’s seat), as well as a Technology Package with navigation, HID headlamps and an LCD display in the instrument cluster. It comes in at a hefty $25,515 but continues what Kia has started by offering a higher level of equipment on a compact car at any price than competitors.
Size wise I’d put the Kia Forte between the smaller Rio and larger Optima. It’s a nice compact size but not too small. The car’s look is pretty original and true to Kia with the honeycomb grille but the back tail lamps do resemble a Ford Focus just a bit. The beauty of originality continues with the (optional) 17″ alloy wheels. Unfortunately, I wasn’t impressed with the low-grade Nexen tires that it was outfitted with.
On the inside, you will be pleasantly surprised with all the features and gadgets Kia has given you right at your fingertips.
The dashboard is laid out quite nicely with most controls clustered in the center console. UVO eServices infotainment system, which requires no monthly charge, includes such conveniences as automatic 911 emergency response in the event of an accident and connectivity to a smartphone app. From the app or the head unit, owners can check the car’s diagnostics system or set a reminder so they can find the car using its GPS position from a parking lot.
Also, the Kia’s Bluetooth technology makes it easy to stream audio from your phone and exceptionally good call quality with little to no background noise.
The 2.0-liter’s 173 horsepower and 154 lb-ft. of torque make it on okay get up and go car. A button on the steering wheel offers a trio of modes for the tiller – comfort (ultra light steering), normal and sport (remarkably firm steering). We left our tester in “sport” for most of our driving. Though a tap of the button didn’t make a difference in my eyes so I was left feeling unimpressed with this feature. I wasn’t as impressed with the driving and handling as I had hoped. While I had the car for a week I wasn’t seeing great gas milage either. I only received about 22mpg highway but I have heard that people can get up to 30mpg on the highway. Not sure why I wasn’t getting that since to me that’s a huge difference.
2014 Kia Forte EX base price, $19,400. As tested, $25,515
17-inch wheels, $300; Premium Package, $2,600; EX Technology Package, $2,300; Floor mats, $115; Destination, $800.
We had some fun with the Forte. My husband especially and even said a couple times that he wants to own one really soon. I wish I could have experienced the performance upgrades a bit more than what I did, though. For the price paired with the quality, I definitely say the 2014 Kia Forte is a must buy for any driver type.
Curious about other Kia vehicles? Check out my other reviews:
- 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid
- 2012 Kia Optima Turbo
- 2013 Kia Sorento
- 2013 Kia Soul
- 2013 Kia Rio
- 2014 Kia Soul
- 2014 Kia Sorento
Disclosure: I was loaned the Kia Forte for 7 days for the purpose of review. Thoughts, opinions, and photos are my own. Your opinion may differ. Purchase after doing your own research.