2010 Kia Forte Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Kia Forte Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Kia Forte Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 156 hp @ 6200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 25/34 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

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.

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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Great little car

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

we bought the ccar used in 2012, since then it has been all over fl and 2 trips to ga. on the hwy i get between 36-41mpg and on the slower back country roads going 55 i get 52mpg. not a single problem with the car the only reason i gave it a 2 for comfort is the front seats are only good for about 150miles anything longer and and they let you know your in an econmy car. the car has good pick up and go too




Good cheap car that runs

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte LX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

My car has 50,000 miles, 2.0L 4 cylinder, 5 speed manual transmission. I bought it used. This car has been great. It has been my daily driver for 2 years. I needed cheap, reliable transportation and it fit the bill. Comes with great features and a great warranty. That being said, beware of this cars resale value. I have put about 10,000 miles on it in the 2 years i have owned it and it went from being worth almost $13,000 retail/$10,000 trade to about $7500 retail and $5000 trade. For those who want to buy this car to keep and drive till it dies, it is well worth it. However if you plan on trading it in after a year or two, look away. I wish i hadn't bought it just for that reason alone.




I loved my forte!

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Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

I recently traded in my 2010 Kia Forte for a 2013 Nissan Sentra, but I only traded it in because it was high in miles (over 100k). Otherwise I would still be driving it. I was a little leery about buying a Kia, but I was pleasantly surprised. Mine came equipped with all kinds of toys: Bluetooth, Sirius satellite radio. Acceleration was more than ample for passing.




Not so bad

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Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

2010 forte ex sedan 2.0L 4 cyl automatic. overall, i'd have to say i love this car. traded my nissan titan for this in 2010, and i'm LOVING the gas mileage. now has 26k miles. the exterior and interior both look really nice, and the ride is comfortable. i drive from dallas to corpus almost every other weekend, and it handles like a boss. pick up isn't that great, but that's to be expected with a 2.0. only thing i don't like is this thing is prone to dents. i just leaned on the car and i got a dent on the drivers side door. a girl from my university also hit the passenger door with her purse and dented it, and her purse was freaking tiny lol. despite that, KIA made one nice little car :)




Great car

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

keeping in mind this is an econmy car not a luxry car, its a great car. quick great on gas, and at 6'4" its very roomy for me. have a few friends that also have this model and they love there as much as i love mine, for the price of these forte's you are geting a great little cat




We are getting excellent value

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

We have a 2010 FORTE EX lease car for $ 239 a month with -0- down, -0- first month payment and a $ 400 disposition fee. So our monthly cost for this car is pretty low. We have 20,000 miles on it to date. We just drive 500 miles Sunday Dec 9,2012 and we got somewhere between 32 and 35 MPG. We have Blizzack Snow tires, four adults in the car, limited luggage. We adjusted the seats to get good leg room, we are all 6 foot tall. We have the Automatic 4 speed. The car's equipment all works good. We have had no dealer service. We do oils changes and tire changes. That is all. Our dealer is a dishonest crook. ( Vision Kia of Fairport NY ). He can't change so we just pray for him and hope for best



Talk About The 2010 Forte

2010 Kia Forte Discussions See all Started By

steven39
steven39
07-29-2009
hello folks,i recentley compared the new 2010 kia forte with the 2010 corrolla and the forte imo beats the corolla in every category except resale value.the forte has more hp,more standard features,be...


Let's talk about the new Forte!...


conwelpic
conwelpic
11-14-2009
[I]"Forte 5-door. A five-door hatchback model will join the Forte sedan and Koup, likely in 2010."[/I]...



Read more about the 2010 Kia Forte

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 25
  • cty
/
  • 34
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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