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Friday, April 25, 2014

2014 Kia Forte - Review




               PRICE : For 2014 Kia Forte LX Manual $15,900
                    PRICE : For 2014 Kia Forte LX Automatic $17,500
PRICE : For 2014 Kia Forte EX $19,500


Lately, Kia has been fielding strong entries in virtually every segment it enters. Now the 2014 Kia Forte has joined the roster in the compact car class. Previously, we had considered the Forte a decent pick thanks to its low price, respectable performance and generous standard features, but ultimately relegated it to mid-pack status for its lackluster cabin materials and elevated road noise. With this year's redesign, Kia has addressed those gripes in a big way.

Once again, the Forte will come in three body styles: sedan, four-door hatchback (known as the Forte5) and two-door coupe (Forte Koup). No matter the body style, one of the biggest draws to the new car is the way it looks. We usually don't talk about styling, given its subjective nature. But we doubt we'll find much argument when we say the Forte is one of the sharpest-looking cars in its segment.

Even better, the redesigned Forte isn't an example of form over function. It's longer, lower and wider than its predecessor, and you'll notice this on the inside, as the car is quite roomy. Rear seat legroom is especially good. You'll find plenty of features here, too, as even the base LX trim level offers Bluetooth and an iPod interface as standard, while high-end amenities like xenon headlights, keyless ignition/entry, a voice command system (for the audio system and your smartphone) and even heated rear seats are available. Overall interior quality is much better this time around as well.

There are three different engines for the 2014 Kia Forte, and all make more than competitive power. The upgraded 2.0-liter four-cylinder on EX models makes the new Forte one of the quickest cars in the segment, while an even stronger, turbocharged 1.6-liter engine is available on SX versions of the Forte coupe and Forte5 hatchback. The downside, though, is that none of these engines excels in the fuel economy department.

As you likely know, there are many good choices in this class. The Ford Focus and Mazda 3 are a little more fun to pilot and tend to get better fuel economy in real-world driving, while the Honda Civic and 2014 Volkswagen Jetta are well-rounded sedans with lots of refinement and comfort. And of course you might also consider the Kia's cousin, the Hyundai Elantra. But with its roomy interior, upscale features, strong engines and sharp looks, the 2014 Kia Forte is an excellent choice for an affordable sedan, coupe or hatchback.



EXTERIOR















There used to be a time when Kias were generally characterized as boxy and boring. That’s no longer the case ever since it changed the overall design language of its vehicles.

The all-new Kia Forte shares in this design revolution and now comes with the kind of aggressive stance that customers will surely notice. The headlights, in particular, convey a bulging look that makes the Forte look like it’s wide awake at all time. Design notwithstanding, the lenses cut deeply into the front fenders and incorporate projector headlamps while the LED lights create distinct eyebrows, giving further credence to the Forte’s up-at-all-times look.

The overall shape of the Forte is also something that’s worth noting, particularly the sculpting along the vehicle’s lower flanks, tapering the sheet metal inward and giving a look of a versatile vehicle. Over at the back end, the up-kicked fender line and trunk design, with its deep horizontal crease, adds even more presence to the rear of the vehicle. Combine that with the complex curves of the taillights and you have a car that looks as good as it was being pegged to be.

Finally, the wheel-and-tire setup varies, depending on the trim you get. The LX manual rides on 195/65R15 tires with 205/55R16 tires on 16-inch alloy wheels available as an optional feature. Then there’s the top-of-the-line EX, which comes with the same 55-series tires, but low-profile 215/45R17 tires mounted on sporty 17" alloy wheels are optional.



INTERIOR
















The Forte Sedan’s interior doesn’t really jump out when you first get inside it, although a case can be made that the entire cabin was designed with all the pieces fitting into the right place. We appreciate the high-quality materials used in dressing up the interior, particularly for the market that it belongs to. The large instruments don’t feel too cluttered at all and the optional 4.2-inch LCD screen is a must have. The interior also has loads of chrome accents, adding a touch of panache to the overall look of the car.

As far as premium features are concerned, we were impressed by what Kia put into the Forte to justify all the harking about the car being more upscale than most in its market. From the standard Bluetooth hands free phone integration to the power windows, mirrors and door locks, all the way to the power sunroof, and dual-zone automatic climate control with rear seat vents make for an interior that’s both comfortable and functional

► Cabin :

Opening the wide doors reveals a cabin sculpted in organic curves. Gentle ripples across the instrument panel convey serenity, as if small waves are radiating from a pebble dropped into a pond. The driver-centric cabin is canted 10 degrees and features high-quality materials and soft touch points. Large, easy-to-read instruments dominate the binnacle, and secondary controls fall easily to hand. The optional 4.2-inch color LCD screen nestled between the white-on-black gauges in the EX provides trip and ancillary vehicle information front and center to the driver. Tasteful chrome bezels ring the HVAC rotary knobs and the optional push-button start. Additional chrome accents, standard Bluetooth® hands free phone integration and power windows, mirrors and door locks enhance the all-new Forte's premium feel. Optional leather seating trim, power sunroof, and dual-zone automatic climate control with rear seat vents and HID head lights take the Kia Forte to new levels of sophistication.



SPECIFICATION



► Year : 2014
► Make : Kia
► Model : Forte
► Engine : 2-liter, double overhead cam, direct injection four cylinder with D-CVVT.
► Mileage: 24 mpg (city), 36 mpg (highway).
► Price: $15,900
► Power : 173 hp @ 6,500 rpm; 154 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,700 rpm
► Transmission : Six-speed automatic
► Brakes : Four-wheel disc with ABS
► Length : 179.5 inches.
► Wheelbase : 106.3 inches
► Type : Front-engine, front-wheel drive, five-passenger, mid-size sedan.
► Curb Weight : 2,959 pounds.
► Fuel (capacity) : regular (50L)



FEATURES












Over its short life, the Kia Forte has elbowed its way into the compact-car scene by adding a few more standard features and longer warranties to its list of equipment. The same is true for the 2014 model, though for the time being, the former SX model has hit the pause button.

The Forte LX is the base model, and prices are expected to come in just below $16,000. At that price, the Forte will offer standard power windows, locks, and mirrors; an AM/FM/XM audio system; Bluetooth; steering-wheel audio and phone controls; and air conditioning. Adding the Popular Package option brings 16-inch wheels; keyless entry; and cruise control; the Eco package tops it off with ISG stop/start control.

The Kia Forte EX is expected to carry a base price of less than $19,000 before destination, and gets a good assortment of premium features and options. It comes standard with keyless entry; a rearview camera; a cooled glovebox and a center armrest with a sliding lid. Premium Package options include a 10-way power driver seat; heated seats--all of them; driver-seat ventilation; leather upholstery; a power sunroof; pushbutton start; and 17-inch wheels. A Technology package gains LED taillights; a color LCD readout tucked between the gauges; and automatic climate control.

Navigation is also an option on this version, which comes standard with Kia's new version of UVO. Initial versions of UVO have been based on an early version of the Microsoft autos software that governs Ford's SYNC system. The new Kia system (iOS for now only, with Android in the works) is a lighter and more effective system that leverages the driver's smartphone for live information access, tapping Google for mapping information and the data stream for streaming audio. It also offers nice touches like service scheduling and a parking reminder--and it's free. We're convinced this is the future of infotainment systems of almost all flavors, and all the Kia system lacks is true mirroring--the ability to mimic a smartphone display directly on the infotainment screen.

► Standard Equipment :

Technically, the 2014 Kia Forte starts at $16,700 with destination, including Bluetooth and USB connectivity, air conditioning, and a split-folding rear seat. But it also has small steel wheels, a manual transmission and a host of feature deficiencies. Add $1,500 for an automatic transmission, then another $900 for the Popular Package – alloy wheels, remote keyless entry, etc. – and you've got yourself a respectable compact car, but for $19,100. The $19,400 Forte Koup and $20,500 Forte5 both start a trim-level higher, and include a lot of what's optional on the sedan. A full complement of active and passive safety features are standard on every Forte.

► Optional Equipment :

A fully loaded 2014 Kia Forte can surpass $25,000, but with an impressive set of equipment that includes common touches like leather seats, moonroof, keyless entry and push-button start, plus unexpected touches like a heated steering wheel, ventilated driver's seat and heated rear seats. The Google-powered UVO eServices infotainment system is also among the most comprehensive systems in the segment. Moving up to the turbocharged engine adds $2,000 to the Forte Koup, or $1,200 in the Forte5.



PERFORMANCE



The all-new Kia Forte offers spirited performance thanks to two advanced four-cylinder engines. The LX features a 1.8-liter powerplant, while the EX comes standard with a 2.0-liter engine. Both engines feature dual continuously variable valve timing and a lightweight intake manifold that reduces weight by 30 percent over a cast unit. The aluminum "bed plate" located below the cylinder block reduces engine NVH levels and improves block rigidity by 30 percent.

With 148 horsepower available at 6,500 rpm and 131 lb.-ft. of torque on tap at 4,700 rpm, the 1.8-liter MPI inline four-cylinder engine found in the LX routes power to the front wheels through either a standard six speed manual transmission or an optional six speed automatic gearbox.

Kia Forte EX enhances the driving experience with a 173-horsepower (at 6,500 rpm) 2.0-liter inline four cylinder GDI engine. With a robust 154 lb.-ft. of torque available at 4,700 rpm, the EX comes standard with a six speed automatic.

The all-new Kia Forte rides on a chassis that is longer (by 1.2 inches), lower (0.6 inches) and wider (0.2 inches) than the previous Forte sedan. With its 106.3-inch wheelbase, two inches longer than the outgoing model, the all-new Forte rides on a McPherson strut front suspension and a coupled torsion beam rear axle. On-center steering feel is improved utilizing larger bushings and revised front suspension geometry. Electric power steering has replaced the hydraulic system from the previous Kia Forte, reducing parasitic load. Optional Flex Steer puts the driver firmly in control with settings for Comfort, Normal and Sport, which vary steering effort at the touch of a steering wheel-mounted button.

The base LX manual rides on 195/65R-15 tires, while 205/55R-16 tires on 16-inch alloy wheels are optional. The top-of-the-line EX is shod with the same 55-series tires. Low-profile 215/45-17 tires mounted on sporty 17-inch alloy wheels are optional.



DRIVING DYNAMICS



Our Kia Forte EX looked pretty sporty and was powered by the more potent of the two available engines, but the driving dynamics skewed more toward relaxed.

One of the coolest features is the adjustable steering system that lets you toggle between Normal, Sport, and Comfort programs for the electronic power-steering system. The Sport setting did feel a bit heavier than the light-effort Comfort mode, but I couldn't really feel much of a difference in feedback or vehicle responsiveness between the three settings.

Under the hood, you'll find a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that uses gasoline direct injection (GDI) to output 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. Most of the competition use 1.8-liter engines (the Forte does as well at the entry level), so apples-to-apples comparisons can be difficult. Kia's 2.0 liter does boast more power than the Ford Focus or the Dodge Dart .

The only gearbox available at the EX trim level is a six-speed automatic deal with a manual shift mode. (The entry-point 1.8L LX is available with a six-speed manual.) Unfortunately, there's no sport program and no paddle shifters, so you're basically stuck with either the transmission default program or reaching down to faux-row your gears with the lever.



DRIVETRAIN



The 173-hp four-cylinder in the 2014 Kia Forte EX is one of the stronger engines you'll find in this class. This output doesn't translate to blazing acceleration, but in general, the EX feels quicker than the norm. The automatic transmission provides smooth gearchanges, and it's surprisingly responsive with downshifts during typical passing and merging situations. The only downside is that the 2.0-liter sounds and feels a bit buzzy during hard acceleration. The available 1.6-liter turbocharged engine makes for a livelier experience in both the hatchback and coupe. Although both transmissions are well matched to this motor, the slick-shifting six-speed manual is quite a bit of fun if you're so inclined.

The Forte has precise steering, and handling around turns is steady. On upper trim levels, you can even adjust the steering effort via a three-mode (Comfort/Normal/Sport) button on the wheel. Most shoppers in this segment will likely be satisfied with the Forte's overall ride quality. But the Forte's suspension can occasionally seem a bit unrefined. Rougher roads can produce subtle vibrations and undulations that aren't present in rivals like the Focus or Mazda 3, both of which have a more sophisticated ride.



TECHNOLOGY













The Kia Forte is filled with technological goodies. It’s not jam-packed to the point of feeling almost claustrophobic like some of the new Ford vehicles. Nor is it stripped down to the base. My test vehicle in SX trim is equipped with satellite radio, a navigation system, 6-speakers, Bluetooth, keyless entry, a start-stop ignition and dual-zone climate control, to name a few.

There is also this wonderful little button that allows for both the cooling and heating of the seat. Unfortunately, it is specifically for the driver’s seat (well, good for the person behind the wheel…less so for passengers). The front row and rear passenger seats include a button to heat their seats; they just lack the ventilation option.



COMFORT & QUALITY



With a longer wheelbase but a lower roofline, the Kia Forte has slightly less interior room on paper than the last version. It's not obviously shy in any dimension when compared to the top sellers in the compact class, and a closer eye (and ear) on details makes this Forte feel more substantial, too.

By the numbers, the Forte is 179.5 inches long, up a little more than an inch, and rides on a 106.3-inch wheelbase, up 2.0 inches. It's lower by an inch, to 56.5 inches, and in practice the subtle reshaping of the passenger cabin makes more of an impact on its handsome styling than it does on its usable room. Front passengers won't come up short in any way: the front seats have a good range of adjustment, and give even very tall drivers enough headroom. The extra width and a gently curved center console fall out of the way of knee space. The driver-side power and seat ventilation that come on the Forte EX are useful and eye-catching at order time, but we'd like a little more bolstering on the bottom cushions for better long-distance support.

The back seat is typical for compact cars, with not quite enough head room for six-foot passengers, but plenty of others. The front seats leave plenty of foot room, and the door openings make entry and exit easier than in some of the more sporty compacts we've driven this year.

Storage space is very good, with a 14.9-cubic-foot trunk larger than almost all the competition, save for the Honda Civic. The trunk lid's cut wide, for easy loading, and the rear seats fold down almost flat for the rare occasion when the trunk is taxed. There's a useful bin hiding under a sliding screen in front of the shift lever, and a fair-sized glovebox and center console bin.

It's a straightforward layout without a major flaw--and it's much better presented than even the last Forte. There's an elevated sense of quality in this compact car, from the soft touch of the plastic and the mix of materials chosen, to the added sound deadening that tamps down powertrain and road noise to better than average levels.



ENGINE





The front-wheel-drive Forte is available with three different engines, depending on body style, including one of the most powerful engines in the segment. Each is matched with the same 6-speed automatic transmission, while a 6-speed manual is available as well, again, depending on body style. The Forte's power advantage requires a small compromise in fuel economy, with the Forte's numbers trailing many of today's newer compact cars.

► Available Engines & Spec:

201-hp, 1.6-liter I-4 (regular gas)
148-hp, 1.8-liter I-4 (regular gas)
173-hp, 2.0-liter I-4 (regular gas)

1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder (Kia Forte Koup SX, Forte5 SX)
201 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
195 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/29 mpg (manual), 22/30 mpg (automatic)

1.8-liter 4-cylinder (Kia Forte Sedan LX)
148 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
131 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/37 mpg (manual), 25/36 mpg (automatic)

2.0-liter 4-cylinder (Kia Forte Sedan EX, Koup EX, Forte5 EX)
173 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
154 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/33 mpg (manual, Koup only), 24/36 mpg (automatic)



SAFETY



Every 2014 Kia Forte comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags.

In Automotive News brake testing, a Forte EX came to a stop from 60 mph in 121 feet, slightly shorter than average for this segment.

In government crash tests, the Forte sedan and hatchback both earned an overall score of four stars (out of five), with three stars for overall frontal impact protection and five stars for overall side impact protection. Within that three-star frontal rating, the Forte earned five stars for driver protection, but just two stars for the front passenger.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Forte its highest score of "Good" in its moderate-overlap frontal offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. In that agency's relatively new small-overlap frontal offset test, however, the Forte scored the lowest rating of "Poor." In fairness, of the relatively few vehicles that have been subjected to this new test, most have posted similarly low ratings.



FUEL ECONOMY



The 2013 Forte offered a choice between two engines. The LX and EX models came with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine making 156 horsepower and 144 lb-ft of torque. The sporty Forte SX had a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder generating 173 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed manual gearbox was standard, and a 6-speed automatic with Sportmatic manual shifting was optional for both engines.

This year, the 2014 Forte LX gets a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 148 hp and 131 lb-ft. In certain regions of the country, the Forte's Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) equipment restricts engine output to 145 hp and 130 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard for this model, with a 6-speed automatic optional.

For more power, choosing the Forte EX is necessary. The EX model's standard 2.0-liter 4-cylinder is rated to make 173 hp and 154 lb-ft of torque, and is offered exclusively with a 6-speed Sportmatic automatic transmission.

Last year, the Forte's 156-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder was rated to get between 25 miles per gallon in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, depending on transmission choice. For 2014, the Forte's 148-hp 1.8-liter 4-cylinder is expected to return 25 mpg city/37 mpg hwy. Basically, buyers choosing the 2014 Forte give up some horsepower and torque in exchange for a 1-mpg increase in highway mileage.

Differences are greater when comparing the 2013 Forte SX model's 173-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with the 2014 Forte EX model's 173-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. The former returned 22 mpg city/32 mpg hwy, while the latter improves to 24 mpg city/36 mpg hwy.

Examine the differences between the old Forte and the new Forte and you'll see the old car generally made more horsepower and more torque at lower rpm. Considering the Forte's curb weight is essentially unchanged between years, the primary benefit to choosing the new Forte instead of the old Forte is fuel economy. Even then, the improvement is largely limited to the more powerful engine selection.



VIDEO ( 2014 KIA FORTE )


Video by : Motormouth Ca


By : Automotive News & Super Modified Sports Cars

Posted by : Shahen Tharammal




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