June 18, 2014
It started with a bit of an apology. I had a road trip up to Berkeley coming up and requested something fun. It was a stretch, sure, as most of the time the car would be parked, but the way up and back would be on California's 1 and 101 highways. If you haven't driven either, you need to. In something fast. I've done it before and was still excited
But then, due to scheduling, I was dumped into our 2014 Kia Forte.
Personally, I've never been a big fan of this Forte. Objectively it's darned good. We gave it an overall rating of A. I'm just not that into the interior style and find the seats flat, featureless and lacking enough thigh support and seat-bottom recline for even short drives. (The driver seat is heated and cooled which is nice. Gotta give it that.)
Turns out, with the Forte, time is your friend.
June 16, 2014
Well, I wasn't expecting this in our 2014 Kia Forte.
May 30, 2014
Despite my choice to live in Southern California for the past 14 years, I dislike hot weather very much. I love air conditioning, especially when driving. I like to shut out the noisy world and drive in temperature-controlled splendor. But the A/C in our 2014 Kia Forte is only OK.
No matter what temperature I set with the rotary dial, the air only feels slightly cool, not cold. I had to double-check that the A/C button was actually on.
May 27, 2014
In the past, I've commented on what a good road trip car our 2014 Kia Forte is. But the Forte also serves very well in the considerably less glamorous, but much more commonplace role as a commuter. From start to finish, the Forte makes it as easy as possible. Walk up to the car and the perimeter lights automatically greet you. Open the door, hop in and fire it up. All while leaving the key in your pocket thanks to the optional keyless entry/ignition system.
March 18, 2014
At 6'4", I realize I am slightly taller than the average American male (5'9", according to the Centers for Disease Control, in case you were wondering). My height has been known to cause me discomfort in certain automobiles, especially in compact cars. Such is the case in our long-term 2014 Kia Forte.
January 20, 2014
Our 2014 Kia Forte EX sedan is pretty loaded with features, so much so that I overlooked a few during my drive to Vegas last month. Halfway through the trip, my husband and I realized we hadn't been taking advantage of its seat memory settings for the driver seat.
January 9, 2014
Xenon headlights are one of my few must-haves on any car. The reason is simple: I like seeing things. Good headlights facilitate seeing things at night and make road trips a lot more enjoyable.
Problem is manufacturers tend to bury them in the upper trim levels and/or expensive option packages. On our 2014 Kia Forte EX sedan, they're part of the $2,300 Technology package.
January 3, 2014
Under the original plan, my family members were all going to rent cars during our holiday rendezvous in Las Vegas. So when I picked out our long-term 2014 Kia Forte EX for my road trip, I never envisioned more than two adults riding in it.
However, for most of our travels around Vegas (including this day trip to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area), there were four or even five adults inside the compact Kia. It was cozy, but for the most part, the Forte was up to the challenge.
January 2, 2014
Vegas would never be my first choice for a holiday destination, but when one side of my family decreed that we'd meet up in Sin City (instead of our usual spot: subfreezing central Illinois) the week of Christmas, my husband and I were obliged to make the drive. Never mind the annoyance of good weather, though. This would be an opportunity to take our long-term 2014 Kia Forte on a short road trip.
I hadn't spent much time with the redesigned Forte before this trip. Experience with the previous-generation car shaped my expectations, though. I knew I would enjoy all the amenities packed into our $25,735 long-term car but figured I'd find the actual driving experience rather dull, no more than adequate.
But after spending close to 1,000 miles in our 2014 Forte, I like our Kia a great deal more than that.
November 25, 2013
I spent some time in the passenger seat of the 2014 Kia Forte this weekend. It's a nice place to be, in many respects.
First and foremost, Kia allows passengers to set destinations and otherwise use the navigation system while the car is in motion, at speed. Hooray for common sense. It's a minor but understandable inconvenience that the screen is canted slightly toward the driver. Most passengers won't mind that.
November 15, 2013
I always get happy when I see that a car has seat heaters. Our 2014 Kia Forte positioned the buttons right where you can't miss them. The Forte driver gets heated and cooled seats, but the passenger only gets heat.
But that's OK. At least they provide something for the passenger.
October 28, 2013
Lots of cars have adjustable fore/aft center armrests.
But they aren't all created equal.
The one you see here in the 2014 Kia Forte EX is one of the good ones.
September 27, 2013
Each time I get in the 2014 Kia Forte, I'm slightly more amazed at how much stuff they squeezed in here: heated front seats (ventilated and 8-way power adjustable for the driver), power-folding mirrors, a nice nav and multimedia system, a rear-view camera, keyless touch entry and ignition, and upholstery and steering wheel covered in something resembling leather.
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.
August 20, 2013
Our long-term 2014 Kia Forte EX comes with heated back seats, which I don't really need to tell you is a rarity in the compact sedan segment. In fact, only the mechanically and corporately related Hyundai Elantra offers them. More common, though still rare, are the Forte's rear seat air vents.
August 9, 2013
After sitting in the sun for three hours atop a plastic baseball stadium seat, just about the last thing I wanted to do was return to a car that's been sitting in that same sun for the same amount of time atop black tarmac. And yet that's exactly what happened yesterday in Los Angeles of Anaheim.
July 30, 2013
See that little button on the steering wheel of the 2014 Kia Forte that looks like a steering wheel? You might assume it was the switch to turn on the heated wheel (which it also has), but you'd be wrong. That button changes the feedback of the electric-assist power steering (EPS).
Click through to see more.