2012 Kia Forte Koup SX
(2.4L 4-cyl. 6-speed Manual)
What our ratings include
Date Driven: 6/28/2011 (2011 SX Koup)
The same 2.4-liter 4-cylinder found in other Kias, a bit less underwhelming here in the Koup. Acceleration is OK, but engine doesn't make real power until 4,000 rpm. Six-speed manual has positive gates, but shift action can't be rushed.
This is a fine-handling machine due to its well-tuned suspension, despite steering that's a little on the slow side. It's very stable and composed. The brake pedal has a firm feel, but panic stopping distances were inconsistent.
Considering how precisely the Koup handles, the ride quality is more than acceptable. Plush yet laterally supportive front seats only serve to help the equation.
The Koup is about middle of the road of all the vehicles we've tested in terms of measured decibels inside the cabin. Wind noise is kept at bay, and while there was a bit of tire flap, it certainly wasn't obtrusive.
HVAC controls a combo of knobs and buttons. Simple? Yes. Effective? Definitely. Audio volume/tuning knobs are small though. The driving position is a bit high for our tastes.
Tiny A- and B-pillars make for airy front and side vision. But the C-pillars are huge and there's no back-up camera or even parking sonar to help out at all. At least the cowl is fairly low.
Seat Access & Space
Numberswise, the Koup offers little space. Front headroom is acceptable for average folks, the large doors making ingress/egress easy. It's the rear seat that will bother, both in terms of difficult entry/exit and cramped headroom.
Cargo & Storage
The Koup has plentiful storage, with good-size door pockets and center armrest bin. The front bin's surface is slippery. And while there are cupholders galore, they're also slippery. Trunk has a small opening but rear seats fold down.
We noticed an annoying rattle coming from the passenger seat over big bumps, and a couple of odd exterior gaps. While most trim pieces inside the Koup look to be pretty well put together, the materials themselves feel cheap to the touch.