2010 Kia Forte Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Kia Forte Sedan

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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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (11 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Good car for the money

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Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

MSRP: $18510 My cost $16562 With the cash back of $1000. going to dealer. Also got the 2.9% apr for 60 months. Really a fun to drive economical car to drive. Blue tooth, nice stereo, ride is good. Great warranty. Would highly recommend. Drove a few others, but really liked what this car offers for the money. Get the 5 spd automatic, worth the extra $600.




Disappointment

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Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

This car is a major disappointment. Ride is rough. Brakes and gear shift poorly responsive, fuel injection uneven. No vision out rear window. Rear headrests further block vision. Back of car too high for vision. Driver's left vent for air very poor. Controls for sunroof make no sense in terms of open being opposite of closed. Takes excessive time for sunroof control to result in desired position. Remote key to open trunk is extremely slow. Have to be right at trunk for it to respond. The trunk door doesn't stay in the up position. Very narrow access to truck. Would recommend against anyone buying this car.




Great car!

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Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I love this Car! I saw this car advertised in the paper and it quickly caught my eye, then i saw the price and was like wow! after a quick test drive and the usual 4 hour negotiation with a trade I drove it home and that says a lot because I loved my Nissan xterra just not the gas it was costing me for my 50 mile round trip to work.




Civic killer

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Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I had a Vw jetta and a 2000 honda civic, and the Forte has more power than bothe.Smoothe 5 speed manual transmission, nice steering wheel controls, nicely placed heat vents. Only complaint is the sterio needs tweeters mounted up near mirrors, sounds a little muffled. Base model still outshined my other two cars. Plans to put some 18 inch rims, body kit, and better interior speekers. Hedders and axaust already available 3rd party, well priced. To not be a hybrid, the gas milage blows me away, but drop in K&N airfilter adds about 15 more horsepower and 75 more miles per full tank of gas. Fun car, lots of potential for us tuner car drivers,BUY IT.




Watch out for rust!!!

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Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I saw someone driving this car and I had to have one. I spent months researching it before test driving. Bought it Oct. 31st, and found rust LESS THAN A MONTH later!!! Car is great otherwise. So take your chances people, remember you get what you pay for.




Glad i purchased

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Vehicle: 2010 Kia Forte EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I just purchased my spicey red EX Christmas Eve. I need a commuter car that not only looks good but is fun to drive. I selected the 5 speed version making my commute to work a pleasure. The Forte's fit and finish is outstanding and the sound system can't be beat for the price. I looked at other cars and found that the KIA had more standard options for the price making it a no brainer. Mine has the sunroof and upgraded wheel package. It is a clean looking, fun, and comfortable vehicle that gets great gas milage. The price was just a Tad over 17K out the door. Can't beat that for a new that appears to be built to last. My dealer also gave me free oil changes and tire rotations 4 life.



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

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