Las Vegas Road Trip, Part 3 - 2014 Kia Forte EX Long-Term Road Test
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2014 Kia Forte EX Long-Term Road Test

2014 Kia Forte EX: Las Vegas Road Trip, Part 3

July 12, 2013

2014 Kia Forte EX

As if I didn't have enough reasons to dislike Vegas already, traffic was big-time backed up on Interstate 15 as we headed out of the city on Sunday. At 8:30 in the morning!

This was clearly going to be a miserable road trip back to southern California. A plan was needed. Super secret back route, here we come.

I discovered a back route through Amboy and Twentynine Palms years ago. It's considerably less direct than staying on the Interstate, but it's mostly two-lanes with minimal traffic and much better desert scenery.

In reality these back roads still usually take longer (or about the same time if traffic is horrible on the 15) than slogging along the Interstate. But it's a ton less stressful. And therefore a whole lot more enjoyable.

And I was happy to see that even though it's been some time since I last took this route, few people have caught onto it. Or care, apparently.

And, Roy's in Amboy was open for the first time in years.

Total miles for the trip: 979

Average mpg: 30.9

Best mpg: 32.8

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 2,293 miles


Comments

  • alex4515 alex4515 Posts:

    Agreed - even if it's going to be further in terms of distance or take longer overall, I'd rather be moving than creeping along or sitting still.

  • jeepsrt jeepsrt Posts:

    We were on vacation in Palm Springs and I drove to Vegas for the SRT experience at Las Vegas motor speedway for the night and headed back at 4:30 on a Sunday afternoon. It took me 9 hours to get to Palm Springs, I rented a Chrysler 300C so at least I was comfortable but it was a nightmare.

  • gslippy gslippy Posts:

    I wish Edmunds would qualify its fuel economy number with the speeds driven. 30.9 mpg in this car is terribly highway fuel economy, so I'm guessing you were going about 75 mph. If this is so, please don't complain about how "Kia lied, mpg died", when the average highway speed in the EPA test protocol is 48 mph.

  • jeepsrt jeepsrt Posts:

    We were on vacation in Palm Springs and I drove to Vegas for the SRT experience at Las Vegas motor speedway for the night and headed back at 4:30 on a Sunday afternoon. It took me 9 hours to get to Palm Springs, I rented a Chrysler 300C so at least I was comfortable but it was a nightmare.

  • gslippy gslippy Posts:

    I wish Edmunds would qualify its fuel economy number with the speeds driven. 30.9 mpg in this car is terribly highway fuel economy, so I'm guessing you were going about 75 mph. If this is so, please don't complain about how "Kia lied, mpg died", when the average highway speed in the EPA test protocol is 48 mph.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    So how was the ride on those two lane roads across the desert? Last time I went that way the surfaces were mixed to say the least. I also recall some interesting curves on crests with adverse camber. That sort of thing will find any flaws in the chassis in double quick time. I am guessing that the gas mileage took a hit as there are fewer places to make use of the cruise control going that way, at least until you cross I-40.

  • ryster ryster Posts:

    30.9 average mpg is not bad at all. The car is rated 24mpg city, 36mpg highway, 28mpg overall. Driving 75mph on the highway with the AC blasting will not get you 36mpg. At the same time, driving around with the AC blasting and returning 30.9mpg average is extremely respectable.

  • emajor emajor Posts:

    Mike, I gotta admit that I've been badly disappointed with your 3 road trip entries for this car. I like some discussion about why an editor went on a trip, what they did there, the back routes they took, but you have left out just about any discussion of the car and how it performed. Was it quiet enough? Seat comfort? Steering feel? Passing power? Was the audio system sound OK at freeway speeds? Gimme something here, man, because all I know from your entries is that it didn't overheat and eeked over 30mpg.

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