Smooth, Quiet and Not Very Fast - 2014 Kia Forte EX Long-Term Road Test

2014 Kia Forte EX Long-Term Road Test

2014 Kia Forte: Smooth, Quiet and Not Very Fast

July 29, 2013

2014 Kia Forte

When you upgrade to the "EX" trim level of the Kia Forte you get the bigger 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. With 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque, it's one of the more robust engines in the compact segment. And combined with a standard six-speed automatic you would think it would be pretty quick.

In reality, it's peppy but hardly quick. Between the power band of the engine and the shift program of the transmission, this Kia doesn't accelerate with much urgency.

On the plus side, the engine is very smooth and quiet no matter how hard you push it. And the shifts from the transmission are very refined as well. In fact, some of the engine's lazy feel could be chalked up to the fact that it never really feels like it's working very hard. Not a bad trait for a compact, four-cylinder sedan.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 2,934 miles


  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    I have not seen any instrumented testing of this car yet. Did I miss it? If not, get it out on the track to see if your seat-of-the-pants-o-meter is calibrated properly. It might be quicker than you think, or at least quick enough for purpose.

  • bassrockerx bassrockerx Posts:

    yeah with 170 hp its not going to be "fast" but its not slow by any stretch of the imagination! i remember hearing somone discribe the honda fit as "gutless" before and i had to facepalm because in its segment its the quickest and the vehicle is not designed for haling [non-permissible content removed] but it is very fun and peppy.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    Would be nice to see numbers. How does it compare to the Toyobaru, your recently departed Prius C, and most importantly the Dodge Dart??

  • If 173 hp is not fast enough, what car is considered fast in this segment?

  • gslippy gslippy Posts:

    Motor Trend got the 2.0 to go from 0-60 in 7.8 seconds; that's pretty quick. The Civic and Corolla do it in 9.1 and 9.8 seconds, respectively. I think the quiet drivetrain belies its power.

  • bassrockerx bassrockerx Posts:

    its only half a second behind a civic si and less than a second away from a gti

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts: in the introduction and now here you folks pointed out that it had more power than any of the competition, but now you're telling us it's a dog...but that's all right with you - ? Hyundai/Kia does know how to game the EPA mpg ratings, but boy - the REALLY know how to game SAE for their horsepower ratings.

  • edriver2 edriver2 Posts:

    With all due respect Ed, Motor Trend just tested this car against the Mazda 3, Dodge Dart, Honda Civic, and Nissan Sentra. That is its core competition. IT WAS THE QUICKEST CAR IN THE TEST. If you think it is slow, Honda makes a manual transmission Civic Si with a lesser equipped interior at a higher price. Seriously, what were you expecting out of naturally aspirated 2.0L?

  • sabalito sabalito Posts:

    you could dyno all Hyundai/Kia engines given that they are known for bloating data, all of them have the specs to be the fastest in their category but curiously they arent

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