SHARP TURNS – Kia’s found its ‘Forte’ in compact cars

2013-06-14T00:00:00Z SHARP TURNS – Kia’s found its ‘Forte’ in compact carsMATT SHARP nwitimes.com
June 14, 2013 12:00 am  • 

If you have been reading my columns thus far, you should know by now that the compact car market is very cutthroat. Kia’s Forte puts them in the heart of it all; with five different model choices I could be here a while talking about this majestic car. So I will turn my attention to the Sedan EX, because like I said early on, I never really liked hatchbacks.

The Kia Forte EX is stunning from the ground up; it starts with standard 16” alloy wheels with Forte distinct rims. The swift wave of the body takes you from the front, Kia’s distinctive grille, to the back LED tail lights. The exclusive dual body-color heated and automatic folding outside mirrors are sure to grab attention. They also come with LED turn-signal indicators. If drivers need to fit through a tight space, the new automatic folding mirrors allow folding without the hassle of reaching out of the windows to do so.

The Forte’s door handles will change the way door handles get noticed. Kia took them and made them seamless with the body color, with an added chrome finish, plus illuminated at night. Some other great exterior features on the Forte include UV-Cut windshield glass with sunshade band, a locking fuel-filler door, chrome exhaust tip, and optional sun or moon power roof.

Like the exterior, the interior of the Forte has a lot to offer. The EX comes standard with knit and woven cloth seats, with a 6-way adjustable driver’s seat, with an option for a 10-way adjustable seat. To optimize trunk space, the back seats split 60/40 to accommodate any of your storage needs. There is also more storage in the sliding armrest center console, and in the glove box, which is a/c cooled.

Optional for the EX model only is the voice-command navigation system with HD radio technology and a vivid touch screen. Also on the touch screen is a rear camera display, Bluetooth wireless technology with steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and UVO eServices infotainment system. Microsoft powers the UVO and offers in-car connectivity based on the capability of personal devices. The steering wheel includes controls for the radio, cruise control, and FlexSteer. FlexSteer is a tunable electronic steering system that allows a choice of standard, sport or comfort settings. The setting will show up on the dash’s 4.2” TFT LCD display. The display offers a sleek, performance-oriented look while providing essential driver information at a glance. Sitting in the driver seat of this vehicle puts you in control of everything and makes you feel at home.

Forte EX didn’t skimp out on power either, it comes standard with a 2.0L inline 4 cylinder, aluminum block and head engine, with 173 horsepower at 6,500 rpm, and 154 ft. lbs. at 4,700 rpm of torque. The transmission is a 6-speed, and can be either electronically controlled or manual with the EX. That is one of many reasons the EX model is better then the LX model; with the LX you only get a 1.8L 148 horsepower engine.

Most new cars out there come with great safety packages, and really put a lot of focus on our safety. The Forte does the same to help minimize injuries when those traffic accidents are unavoidable. The front seats feature active headrests and seat-belt pretensions. Dual front airbags, front-seat-mounted side airbags and side curtain airbags for both front and rear seating positions are managed by an advanced sensor system. Forte wraps all of this in a protective, high-strength steel-reinforced body.

The most standard Forte LX starts at $15,900 MSRP, and goes up after more features are added. The Forte EX standard starts at $19,400 MSRP, and if you make that fully loaded, it comes out to about $20,805 MSRP.

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