2010 Kia Forte Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Kia Forte

Kia Forte Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 173 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 22/32 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2010 Kia Forte

  • Unlike the bargain-bin Spectra that it replaces, the new 2010 Kia Forte is good enough to compete against perennial segment stars from Honda, Mazda and Toyota.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Attractive exterior design, good fuel economy, excellent handling in SX trim, affordable, long warranty, standard Bluetooth.

  • Cons

    Four-speed automatic's overly wide gear spacing, tepid handling except for SX.

  • What's New for 2010

    The 2010 Kia Forte is an all-new compact car available in sedan and coupe body styles. It offers impressive styling and feature content at an attractive price.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (10 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Have to hand it to

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Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte Koup SX 2dr Coupe (2.4L 4cyl 6M)

The sport tuned suspension really makes this car fun to drive. It's no sports car by any means, but it is a beautiful blend of fun and practicality. There's a half inch dead spot in the throttle which makes first gear a royal pain, but it's a very simple fix for someone with a little know-how. Even with the mod, the gas pedal is REALLY light and sensitive. It takes a little getting used to. Blue tooth isn't great, but it's there. Back seats have an impressive amount of space for a coupe. Drivers seat sits high and and only raises from the back. Steering wheel controls are great, audio sounds good, interior controls have a comfortable and logical layout. Well done, Kia.



1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great car

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Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte Koup SX 2dr Coupe (2.4L 4cyl 6M)

I purchased the car in May of 2010 and have nearly 25,000 trouble-free miles on it. It has plenty of pep especially since I have added a few aftermarket parts. I get awesome gas mileage, even in the city. Averaging 28 mixed city and hwy. The paint is kinda crappy though. I've had a few cosmetic warranty issues but they were fixed immediately with no trouble from Kia Corporate or my dealership. $18,750 for a fully loaded car with leather, sun roof, and 17 inch wheels I couldn't be happier. The manual transmission took some getting used to. Overall great car.




Not bad for a kia!!!!

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Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte Koup SX 2dr Coupe (2.4L 4cyl 6M)

Bought the 2010 SX Koupe 6-speed manual used with about 36k on it. Work at a kia dealership and fell in love with the car on my first day. decent fuel economy (22 city 27-29 highway 56 miles roundtrip everyday). Could use a little more pep since its main competitor (civic) has about 200 horse while the sx forte has 174. If you buy the car, do it the right way and get the SX. Better handling, bigger engine and sport tuned suspension make the SX the way to go.




Screamin' hot value

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Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte Koup SX 2dr Coupe (2.4L 4cyl 6M)

Great features like Bluetooth, Sirius, nice leather, heated seats, and a wonderfully-tuned sport suspension. Motor pulls well, though a little weak below 2,500 rpm. I STILL haven't been able to make the tires howl in a turn, let alone break traction. Styling is wonderful. The exterior has fantastic proportions. The interior is comfortable, and there's remarkable rear seat space for a compact sports coupe.




Kia koup is the way

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Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte Koup SX 2dr Coupe (2.4L 4cyl 6M)

When I first started looking at cars i looked at used cars like Audi, Mercedes, and BMW. All great choices until you look at the warranties and cost of ownership. I then turned to the Kia Forte Koup SX and fell in love immediately. It is just as fast to 60 and handles better than you would think. It easily takes on-ramps at 55 mph with no tire squeal. So much more room than other coupes in the market. It even beat my roommates 2010 Ford Mustang V6 in a race. Limiter is set to 132 mph compared to the mustang's 116 mph. For those of you who like music, the stock radio is great but if you love more bass i suggest putting two 12 inch subs and 1000 watt amp. It makes it sound so much better.




Great value

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Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte Koup SX 2dr Coupe (2.4L 4cyl 6M)

Great car for the money. For under $20,000 you can get a LOT of options. Materials could be better, but I remind myself how much I paid. This car reminds me of my 2003 Honda Accord Coupe. My only complaint really is that after driving for over a week I still get frustrated with 1st gear. I’ve been driving manuals for over 20 years and I think this one is really touchy. Besides that if you want a lot of car but don’t want to spend a lot, the Forte Koup may be a good option.



Full 2010 Kia Forte Review

What's New for 2010

The 2010 Kia Forte is an all-new compact car available in sedan and coupe body styles. It offers impressive styling and feature content at an attractive price.

Introduction

Penned by a former Audi designer, the 2010 Kia Forte's sleek exterior signals that it's no longer business as usual in Kia's compact sedan department. The Forte's predecessor, the Spectra, was known for its cut-rate pricing and little else, but the new car announces its presence with authority thanks to crisp overall lines and unusual details like an upswept kink at the A-pillar. There are also derivative elements -- the nose is distinctly Civic-like, for example -- but the Forte is undoubtedly one of the best-looking small cars on the market. The question is whether the car itself is as good as the wrapper it comes in.

As it turns out, this Kia is actually a very competitive car, from its 156-horsepower base engine to its impressive fuel economy. The interior is pleasant, too, with plenty of standard features on most trim levels and decent-quality materials. As with the old Spectra, you get a lot for your money (including a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty), but this time around you're not going to feel as if you're driving a red-tag special. There's even a sharp-looking two-door "Koup" version that heaps an extra helping of two-door style onto the sedan's underpinnings.

As with any car, of course, things aren't perfect with the Forte. For one thing, the base 2.0-liter engine's four-speed automatic transmission -- the powertrain arrangement we expect most Forte buyers will be opting for -- is saddled with extraordinarily tall gearing. This helps fuel economy, of course, but it also means that you may not be able to summon those 156 horses when you need them. Additionally, the Forte's handling is uninspiring in the LX and EX trims -- we strongly recommend the SX model, as its more powerful engine and sport-tuned suspension make a big difference in the overall character of the car.

All things considered, the 2010 Kia Forte makes a strong case for itself as a legitimate alternative to established all-stars like the Honda Civic, Mazda 3, Scion tC and Toyota Corolla. From fuel economy to backseat space, this Kia is remarkably solid -- and in SX trim, it's also one of the most enjoyable economy cars to drive. There can be little doubt that the 2010 Forte marks Kia's arrival as a serious player in this hotly contested segment.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Kia Forte is a four-door compact car available in LX, EX and SX trims; The two-door "Koup" is available in EX or SX trim only.

Standard equipment on the base LX includes 15-inch steel wheels, a six-way-adjustable driver seat, a tilt steering column, Bluetooth connectivity and a four-speaker CD/MP3 audio system with USB and auxiliary audio jacks. The EX adds air-conditioning, full power accessories, a six-speaker layout for the sound system, cruise control and a 60/40-split-folding rear seat with (on the sedan only) a center armrest and adjustable rear headrests. The EX Koup adds 16-inch alloy wheels, firmer suspension tuning, sport front seats and a sportier exhaust note.

The SX trim tacks on a larger 2.4-liter engine, a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, wider tires, foglights, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, an enhanced gauge cluster, a trip computer, unique cloth upholstery and metallic interior trim. On top of these items and the EX Koup's extras, the SX Koup gets unique 17-inch alloys and a sportier version of the SX sedan's suspension, along with illuminated red speaker surrounds that can be configured to blink in time to the beat.

Options on the LX include air-conditioning and the split-folding rear seat, but power accessories are unavailable. The EX has an expanded range of options, including a sunroof, 16-inch alloy wheels (sedan only) and leather upholstery with heated front seats. A Fuel Economy package for the EX sedan adds a five-speed automatic transmission, electric power steering, low-rolling-resistance tires and aerodynamic enhancements. SX options are limited to the sunroof and heated leather seats. Notably, the SX's standard tilt-and-telescoping steering column cannot be specified on the LX and EX trims, which offer tilt only.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2010 Kia Forte LX and EX get a 2.0-liter four-cylinder good for 156 hp and 144 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a four-speed automatic is optional. Ordering the EX sedan's Fuel Economy package changes out the four-speed auto for a more efficient five-speed automatic. The SX has a larger 2.4-liter four that generates 173 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque; it gets a standard six-speed manual transmission or the same optional five-speed automatic as the EX.

For most Forte models, fuel economy is above average for the small car segment. The LX and EX (with either transmission) have a 25 mpg city/34 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined EPA estimate. Opting for the Fuel Economy package bumps the EX's figures to 27/36/30 mpg. The more powerful Forte SX has a less impressive 22/32/26 mpg rating with the six-speed manual and 23/31/26 with the five-speed automatic.

Safety

Standard Forte safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints.

Interior Design and Special Features

The new Kia Forte's dashboard design doesn't raise the bar aesthetically -- frankly, it's pretty boring -- but it includes easy-to-read gauges, a clean layout and generally intuitive audio and climate controls. Standard Bluetooth connectivity across the lineup is also a nice touch. Materials quality is good enough to satisfy expectations in this segment. Unfortunately, the telescoping steering column is only available on the SX, meaning taller drivers might have a hard time getting comfortable in the LX and EX.

Rear legroom is good for this class, though the Koup's rear quarters are predictably tighter, and they lack the sedan's center armrest. Trunk space is plentiful, measuring an impressive 14.7 cubic feet in the sedan and 12.6 in the coupe.

Driving Impressions

The 2010 Kia Forte isn't exactly a driver's car in LX or EX guise. There's lots of body roll during enthusiastic cornering, and the steering is rather numb. However, the SX model's sport-tuned suspension makes for a night-and-day difference. It's still not as sharp as something like a Honda Civic Si, but the SX's overall driving dynamics put it at the head of the economy class.

In any trim, the ride is comfortable enough, and with the exception of intrusive road noise on some surfaces, the Forte is a confident highway cruiser. The four-speed automatic's tall gearing means you've barely crested 3,000 rpm in 2nd gear at 45 mph -- good for your gas budget, but decidedly unhelpful if you need to pass anyone while traveling at that speed. On the plus side, the the five-speed automatic is a capable unit, particularly when mated to the SX's 2.4-liter engine. The SX's manual shifter, however, is as vague and rubbery as they come.

Talk About The 2010 Forte

Read more about the 2010 Kia Forte

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 22
  • cty
/
  • 32
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs