DALLAS, October 28, 2013 — For the new year and moving into 2014 the Kia Forte is offering an entirely new redesign. It’s a snappy new look with a compact car price and, even better, some serious interior space and a standout warranty coverage package.
Competition in the Kia Forte class includes the Ford Focus, Mazda 3, Hyundai Elantra or for a bit more sedan, there is also the Honda Civic or the Volkswagen Jetta.
The 2014 Kia Forte does keep up since it is so versatile and roomy and comes in sedan, coupe or hatchback options.
Trim levels on the 2014 Kia are the sedan in LX and EX trim levels, a four-door hatchback in EX and SX trims and the two-door coupe, which will come out later in 2014.
On the LX sedan you get 15-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, power accessories, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat and electronics like Bluetooth phone, satellite radio and jacks for USB and iPod.
Available on the LX is the “Popular” package that will give you 16-inch alloy wheels, mirror-mounted turn signal repeaters, keyless entry, upgraded interior trim, cruise control and a fold-down rear center armrest and dual lighted vanity mirrors.
Taking a step up the EX offers a bigger engine, but also goodies like adjustable steering, fog lights, LED running lights, chrome accents, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and the Uvo voice-activated infotainment system with Bluetooth audio connectivity. There is a rearview camera as well.
There are also options on the EX allowing you to opt for 17-inch wheels and either a Premium package with the additional sunroof, keyless ignition/entry, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, ventilated eight-way power driver seat and auto-dimming rearview mirror or the Technology package with xenon headlights, LED taillights, dual-zone air-conditioning and a navigation system.
For the hatchback, some trim options vary, with the EX it is more of the same features as on the sedan overall, but on the SX hatchback you get a much sportier look and feel with a turbocharged engine, 17-inch wheels, chrome exhaust tips and metal sport pedals. You can also go for option packages on the EX and SX hatchback that are the same as on the sedan versions.
Under the hood, the LX trim has a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque. It is a six-speed manual or automatic transmission option but on the EX it is only automatic moving up to a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque.
For safety, expect standard the usual antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control as well as front side and side curtain airbags.
Inside the 2014 Kia Forte the stylish taste means well, thought-out design with higher than usual materials and knobs that are positioned without too many bells and whistles, but very intuitively placed. The techie aspects of the features on the Kia Forte stand out, as does the comfortable seats front and back and lots of leg and head room even for rear passengers passing six-feet tall. Cargo space comes in with a good size 14.9 cubic feet for hauling.
Behind the wheel of the 2014 Kia Forte, you won’t win any races, but it runs nice and smooth with a dependability car buyers love. Couple that with the ease of handling and also keep in mind that on the higher trim level you have the steering that offers a three-mode option to drive “Comfort/Normal/Sport” with just the touch of a button located on the wheel.
Should You Need to Know: Lots of great amenities even on the lower trim, like the Bluetooth and an iPod interface on the base and later in 2014 the Kia Forte coupe will also be available with a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine that give outs 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.
Miles Per Gallon: The 2014 Kia Forte EX I drove had 24 miles to the gallon in the city and 36 miles per gallon on the highway.
Cost: The cost for the 2014 Kia Forte EX came in at $25,515 with some additionally installed equipment.
Rita Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association and can be followed on Twitter at @ritacook13. She is also a 15-year veteran journalist and author, her latest book from History Press www.historypress.net is about Prohibition-Era cocktails in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
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