By James Bergeron

Photo Gallery:
2010 Kia Forte Koup

Day 1:

2010 Kia Forte Koup
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As one would expect, I know most of the options, pricing and features of most cars; it’s a part of the job kind of thing. Obviously, when new cars come out I may not know everything about it, but typically a lot of content is carried forward from previous-generation vehicles or siblings in a manufacturer’s lineup, so even then I have some inkling of what to expect in a car for a set price. For me, the Kia Forte Koup is a complete mystery; I know nothing about it; I have driven it for a day now and am starting to form some opinions of it. Upon sitting down to investigate features and price point, I’m a little shocked!

The pricing is the first shock — my tester is an SX model, in which the only available option on top of the healthy standard feature list is an automatic transmission, for $1,200. Heated seats, leather, 17-inch alloy wheels, sunroof, climate control, fog lights, satellite radio and a six-speed manual transmission are some of the features. All of this for $21,495? Am I in some kind of dream land? This seems like a bargain and I haven’t dug very deep yet.

2010 Kia Forte Koup
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From my limited time behind the wheel, I have noticed one thing that stood out, and that was the torquey engine, with its smooth powerband from 1,500 rpm all the way up to redline. Taking a look at the numbers confirms what I felt by the seat of my pants: a 2.4-litre engine powers the Forte Koup with 170hp and 168lb-ft of torque; these are very competitive in this sporty coupe class that would include such cars as the Honda Civic and Chevrolet Cobalt. Perhaps you could also throw the Mazda3 sport in there as a competitor.

So what else do you get in this little Kia as standard? A host of unexpecteds, that’s what: heated leather seats, voice activated Bluetooth hands-free, front windshield wiper de-icer, side-curtain, front seat-mounted side and dual front mounted airbags, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, traction control and stability control.

The Koup seems like a compelling package from my experience so far. I wonder what this week will have in store for it and me?

2010 Kia Forte Koup SX
MSRP as tested (excluding destination): $21,495

For more information on Kia and the Forte Koup visit Kia Canada

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