2010 Kia Forte & 2010 Kia Forte Koup. Click image to enlarge
Vehicle Type: Coupe, sedan or five-door
History/Description: With the Forte, Kia hoped to break into the Canadian compact car scene in a big way. Competing with the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, Mazda 3 and Hyundai Elantra, Forte was launched by the high-value Korean brand for 2010 as a sedan before the range expanded to include a five-door hatch and a sporty two-door coupe variant as well.
Top safety performance as rated by industry authorities combined with Kia’s unbeatable warranty coverage helped create the confidence that drew many shoppers into showrooms, with good overall value and generous feature content helping to seal the deal.
Engines / Trim: All models got a four-cylinder engine displacing 2.0 or 2.4L and making 156 or 173 horsepower. Look for manual or automatic transmissions with up to six gears, depending on the model selected.
Up-level feature content, depending on the model and grade selected, may include push-button start, navigation, automatic climate control, a sunroof, windshield-wiper de-icer, heated leather seats and plenty more.
Note that Forte nomenclature sees the LX trim applied to more basic models, with EX and SX representing mid and up-level grades. “Plus” and “Luxury” packages added even more feature content, and all models were front-wheel drive.
The Forte 5 Forte packed 550 litres of cargo space for your gear, shopping, pets or sporting equipment. Folding rear seats add to interior versatility, and a plethora of cargo carriers, organizers and protective equipment help kit up the Forte 5 for skiing, camping, or anything in between.
The two-door Forte Koup (intentionally misspelled), got sporty touches like dual exhaust, a spoiler, bigger wheels and fog lamps. The entire package rode a tightened, more responsive suspension system. Both of Forte’s engine options were available to Koup shoppers, as were manual or automatic transmissions.
Kia Forte, 2010–2013. Click image to enlarge
Note that Forte is covered by a “5-5-5” warranty, which includes 5 years or 100,000 kilometres of comprehensive warranty coverage, Powertrain protection and roadside assistance anywhere in North America. Maximize your confidence by opting for a model with plenty of warranty coverage remaining.
What Owners Like: Many Forte owners love the styling of their machines first and foremost – and both inside and out. A great list of standard features, decent fuel economy and a nice steering feel are also noted. Braking performance, especially on the Koup model, is rated positively, as is the overall performance and fun-to-drive factor. Forte 5 owners typically comment positively on a good price-to-space ratio and appreciate the model’s flexible, ready-for-anything utility. In all, whether it’s the standard sedan, the Koup or the five-door, owners tend to report getting exactly what they needed in a car at a great price.
What Owners Dislike: On models with a manual transmission, many owners complain of a fake, vague and “delayed” feeling to the electronic throttle. Your writer glanced at his test-drive notes of a 2010 Forte Koup and confirmed that this was a major gripe. Other complaints include a “cheap” feeling to some interior trim and limited headroom for taller drivers. Finally, some owners complain of squeaks and rattles as their Forte’s collect some mileage.