Find Some Bumpy Roads During Your Test-Drive - 2014 Kia Forte EX Long-Term Road Test

2014 Kia Forte EX Long-Term Road Test

2014 Kia Forte: Find Some Bumpy Roads During Your Test-Drive

April 2, 2014

2014 Kia Forte

Early on in our test of the 2014 Kia Forte, Mark Takahashi wrote about the rear suspension and how its relatively unsophisticated design can lead to awkward undulations coming from the rear of the car when driving over bumpy or choppy pavement.

This isn't something you'll encounter on a daily basis necessarily. But it is a quality that cars like the Mazda 3 or Ford Focus don't suffer from, and it's important enough that I'd encourage a shopper to factor it in for his or her car purchasing decision.

The problem is going to be testing out the Forte to see how much of this ride quality issue will bother you. If you're test-driving a Forte, the "best" type of pavement to drive over is indeed bumpy and choppy pavement, especially if that bumpy pavement is when you're going around a turn. Ideally, you'd want to drive a competitive vehicle (the Focus or 3, for instance) over the same stretch to serve as reference. The Forte's steering doesn't provide as good of a feel of the road as those cars, either, so that's another aspect to pay attention to.

Admittedly, this is kind of a tall order considering how structured test-drives at the dealer can be. But given how good all of these top-level small sedans are, even the little things like this can make a difference, and it's worth trying it out for yourself.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor


  • This is where if you can get lucky enough to find one on a rental lot it is great to be able to rent a car before you buy.

  • blueprint1 blueprint1 Posts:

    FINALLY, a good remark on the unrefined suspension in Hyundai / Kias. Up here, finding smooth roads is more the issue. That's why I bought a Sentra in 2008 - the Renault chassis is good on lunar pavement.

  • darex darex Posts:

    I test-drove the Forte5 SX hatch recently, and deliberately looked for the potholes (wasn't hard!) and tested this very thing, and was very pleasantly surprised by how I was UNABLE to elicit this behavior (unlike in my Hyundai Veloster), and how much better dampened this car is compared to my current ride. It also has clearly superior sound insulation. I'll take the Forte5 over the noisy, rattle-box that the Mazda3 is.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    This can't-get-suspension-calibrations-right is a recurring theme with Hyundai/Kia. There is a lot right with these cars, but this problem is a real deal-killer for me.

  • tigerheli tigerheli Posts: Replacement shocks can make a HUGE difference, though - that is for an Elantra, but it's the same chassis and the same shocks will fit the Forte.

  • darthbimmer darthbimmer Posts:

    Agreed-- definitely test-drive a car on imperfect pavement. Every time I walk in to a dealership I think to myself, "Where's there a crummy road nearby that I can test this car on because I have to drive roads like it regularly?" (Un)fortunately in many parts of California that's not a hard question to answer.

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