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.
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.
March 5, 2014
Rear vents seem like a no brainer, one of those things you expect to have in any modern vehicle with rear seats. Surprisingly enough, they're not always as prevalent as you think. There's a certain pickup truck in our fleet that has full-size rear seats and no vents.
February 14, 2014
Maybe the only downside to perforated pleather rear seats: crumbs from the kids. Our 2014 Kia Forte's rear seats offer heating elements, hence the holes. Heated rear seats are a pretty upscale feature for an economy compact, but this shouldn't surprise. Kia excels on the features-for-price ledger, and now does it with style and satisfaction.
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 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.
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.
November 13, 2013
I grew up in Philadelphia, sometimes affectionately referred to as Philthydelphia. From time to time (and this is pretty gross) a pig truck would try to take an illegal shortcut through my neighborhood and pollute the air. A pig truck is just like what it sounds, a truck full of pigs. And boy did they leave a trail of stick behind them. We'd all run for cover, shut our windows and protect our noses. I don't think they do this anymore, at least I hope not.
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.
October 24, 2013
It seems like some manufacturers find joy in "challenging" us with infotainment intricacies and all manner of hidden menus.
So it was refreshing to get into the 2014 Kia Forte EX the other night. Within seconds I had made room on the car's phone list by deleting "Scott's iPhone," whoever that poor guy might be.
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 26, 2013
If some friends of yours end up going along for a ride in your 2014 Kia Forte, they'll likely be pretty pleased with the rear seating.
September 25, 2013
We've already had a variety of previous updates noting that our 2014 Kia Forte EX came loaded with features, many of them unexpected for this class of car. I've collected those updates here so that you can see them in one place. I've also added a few more features that I've noticed.
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 26, 2013
Much like the contrasting stitching I noted before, our Forte has another notable design detail that's hard to miss. The section you see above is just above the glove box. In most cars, it's dead space. No design needed, just make it look smooth and non-reflective.
August 23, 2013
Can you notice two discrepancies in this photo of our long-term 2014 Kia Forte?
August 22, 2013
Aside from our Tesla, this 2014 Kia Forte is my current favorite car in our long-term fleet.
I have a soft spot for cars in this economy compact segment. They are the workhorses of the middle class. And in the real world (that world that exists outside the fantasy of automotive journalism), this is probably the level of car I would buy for myself.
August 19, 2013
I tried hard to find something about the 2014 Kia Forte that I didn't like. Ultimately — and this is pretty lame — the only thing I really disliked were the wheels and the graphics on the nav screen. Everything else worked so effortlessly, was so well designed, and so nicely balanced, that it was beyond reproach.
I did, however, find several features worth calling out.
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.
August 7, 2013
Contrasting dash stitching in a Kia? Yep, and it's not even the big dollar Cadenza. And would you look at that faux carbon-fiber trim? A tad ambitious maybe, but it doesn't look half bad.
These are just a couple of the surprising styling details I've noticed in our 2014 Kia Forte. There are more, too, but the fact that there are any at all shows just how far Kia has come.
August 5, 2013
As a former art director/layout slave, I have a certain fondness for good graphics. And our Kia Forte's got them.
August 1, 2013
I was killing time at a stoplight on a recent hot summer afternoon, when my eyes landed on the passenger side door panel of our long-term 2014 Kia Forte. And I was struck by those subtle arching lines the designers put there. Everyone probably knows by now that the Forte was completely redesigned for 2014 and that Kia was trying to up the ante with this version of the compact sedan, especially when it came to interior materials and styling.
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.
July 17, 2013
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.
July 8, 2013
I did the initial instrumented testing on our latest long-termer, the 2014 Kia Forte EX. Nice car.
It was exceptionally hot out in Fontana the day we were running the numbers, so I was thankful for the Forte EX's front seat coolers.
But later on I noticed something that hadn't stuck out in the bright California sunshine.
July 5, 2013
I broke in our new 2014 Kia Forte by using it to carry precious cargo: my dog Mya. Since it was a gorgeous weekend I wanted to bring her to Santa Monica for a morning run. Fortunately, the Forte had everything to make her short trip to the beach extra comfortable.