2014 Kia Forte EX: Sittin', Chillin'
September 9, 2013
A semi-tropical heatwave has settled in Southern California, bringing heavy air from Texas and storm leftovers from Mexico's Baja peninsula. The Forte registered an ambient temperature of 90-degrees F. at noon today, slightly unseasonable but not unusual. Sixty-percent humidity makes the day stickier and sweatier, so it's a good time to be grateful that we spec'd our long-term 2013 Kia Forte with a ventilated driver seat.
You don't expect to find bum coolers in the Forte's class. Granted, we ordered them in a $2,600 package that also includes a sunroof, power-adjustable leather front seats, heated rear seats, push-button start and a heated steering wheel. But even with that package and other features we opted for, our loaded EX comes in under $26,000. Not exactly budget compact money, but not bank-busting either.
The ventilated seat isn't the best. The spread feels a little uneven, as if you're sitting on thin dowels of chilled air instead of a cool pad. There's no back cooling. But these are absurd criticisms. This is not an Equus, a Quoris or whatever else Kia's eventual luxury flagship will be called. With the 2014 Forte, Kia further hones its value equation. You feel like you get a lot of car for the money here.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor