Right for You?

Kia looks to resonate with young, tech-savvy consumers in a big way by offering a highly connected motoring experience. The Forte is also blessed with fresh good looks and is the segment leader in both fuel economy and power output. Therein lies the strength of the Forte: it offers highly desirable standard features yet it can play many positions, from utility outfielder, to ace pitcher, to home-run-slugging star. It can be configured as a cost leader (LX), as a gas-mileage champ (EX) and as a spunky sport sedan (SX). The Forte is a solid car from stem to stern, and its fit and finish inside and out are on par with its direct competitors.

How will the Forte be perceived against the top offerings from Japan? Kia, as a brand, is on a roll with the introduction of the Soul urban passenger vehicle and its viral, hamster-powered commercials. The Forte builds on that momentum in all the right ways and, on paper, has the street cred to seal the deal against the big guns in the compact segment. The lineup will be further enhanced by the Forte Koup, which is slated for a 2010 late-summer release.

    See also:

    FULLY LOADED YET DISAPPOINTING INTERIOR
    The same cannot be said for the interior. While the swooping design of the dash is nice, it’s really only visible on the passenger side. As for the temperature controls, they appear out of place ...

    Handling: Capable but Not Quite There
    As noted in our prior drives of the SX sedan, the Forte’s chassis isn’t tuned for serenity. The hatchback’s MacPherson-strut front and torsion-beam rear suspension, combined with 17-inch whe ...

    Automatic transaxle
    Checking the automatic transaxle fluid level The automatic transaxle fluid level should be checked regularly. Keep the vehicle on the level ground with the parking brake applied and check the ...