Three Things I Like - 2014 Kia Forte EX Long-Term Road Test

2014 Kia Forte EX Long-Term Road Test

2014 Kia Forte: Three Things I Like

July 17, 2013

2014 Kia Forte

I drove our long-term 2014 Kia Forte this weekend. Our test model is a fully-loaded EX with pretty much every option except mudguards and a rear spoiler. There's a lot to like about this car, but I've narrowed it down to three.

1. Xenon HID Lights
It is rare to find HID lights in a compact-class sedan. You can't get them on a Honda Civic, Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus (unless you get the more expensive Focus ST or EV), or VW Jetta. The Mazda 3 is the only other car I can think of that offers them in this price range.

The Kia Forte's HID lights are part of the "EX Technology" package, a $2,300 option that also includes navigation, HD radio, dual-zone climate control with rear vents and LED tail lights. It's a pricey package, but these are all options I'd want on a car I was buying.

2014 Kia Forte

2. Forward Visibility
It's been a while since I paid a compliment to the visibility on a modern car. It's hard to convey it in a photo, but the Forte's dash doesn't come up too high and offers a wide view of the road. The porthole windows on the A-pillar, while not too useful for locating objects, does add to the airiness of the cabin.

2014 Kia Forte

3. Large Sunglass Storage
I don't have those big '70s-style sunglasses that seem to be in vogue today, but my Oakleys don't fit inside the storage compartment in my own car, which is too bad. So I was pleasantly surprised to see that they fit in the Forte's case. Sure, there are other places to put sunglasses in a car, but if your vehicle has a built-in compartment, why not use it?

Ronald Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor @ 2,623 miles


  • FYI, Dodge Dart offers HID headlights, and they're only about $300 as a standalone option -- very good deal, IMO. However, I quite like this Kia, and would definitely consider it if I were shopping the segment.

  • karbuff karbuff Posts:

    Very nice styling in this class of car. I think this will still look good 10 years from now vs the Hyundai fluidic design language which already looks like yesterdays interpretation of forward design. Humble opinion.

  • Very nice looking (and I can't believe I'm saying that about a Kia). Also the Jetta has HIDs but only on the GLI Autobahn with nav or the Hybrid SEL premium.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    @karbuff: I second that. I still think people were out of their minds when they said the Elantra and Sonata were good looking. They're not, they look like alien fish and nowadays they're plain ugly. Kia's design, on the other hand, are excellent though so

  • tempesting_ tempesting_ Posts:

    I think the Sonata and Elantra still are great looking car. I still look again when a Sonata drives by. People are butt hurt about Korean cars but credit is due where it is due.

  • The disadvantage of Xenon lights is higher replacement cost down the road when they do burn out. If I was buying a compact car that I planned for keeping for a long time I wouldn't pay extra for them.

  • bc1960 bc1960 Posts:

    "It's a pricey package" Actually even pricier, because to have the privilege of paying $2300 for the Technology Package you are first required to purchase the $2600 Premium Package, which itself requires the purchase of the $300 17" wheel and tire upgrade. Thus is a $20K car transformed into a >$25K car by the check of one box.

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