I purchased a Kia Forte SX Coupe 2 months back for about 16k. It had 6,000 miles on it and was is great shape. Now that the honeymoon is over I'm still very pleased with my purchase.
My Kia is definitely turning heads in the parking lot, something that doesn't often happen with a car < 20k. Besides the attractive styling, the comfortable interior with leather and power sunroof (optional) make it a very comfortable daily driver.
Further, when you're feeling more engaged, the stiff suspension and ample horsepower make it a blast to drive.
Compared to other "economy sport" cars like the Civic or Mazda3, I feel the Forte Koup SX is far and away the best "fun to dollars" ratio.
I absolutely adored this car. Bought it brand new off the lot, had one weird fluttering valve issue to start, that got fixed immediately and for free, and then I literally never had a single problem with this car since. It was reliable; I drove it 4 hours to and fro from college to visit home quite a few times, and I took this thing across the US in three days. Fantastic.
I just totalled it (I am unhurt, thank you, KIA!) and am already on the hunt for my next Kia.
I guess a lot of people complain about road noise? I didn't notice. Stereo could be a bit better and front seat a bit more comfy.
I never did any of the 15,000/ 25,000 whatever mile maintenance either. They kept telling me the car was in such great shape I didn't need to and it looks like they were right.
I selected the forte EX coupe over the SX because I didn't want a sunroof and, more important, I already have a set of winter tires and rims that would fit the EX, but not the SX. I was impressed with the long list of standard features that are extra-cost options on cars like the Civic, Cruze, Corolla and Focus. In addition, compact coupes are becoming quite rare now, but the Forte fulfills my needs almost perfectly. Its 156 hp engine, 2845 lbs. weight and 6-speed manual transmission combine for lively performance and excellent gas mileage. In addition, it handles well, absorbs bumps better than my previous vehicle and brakes smoothly. It's also quite unique; I've seen very few others yet.
Super fast for 2.4L non turbo, shifting paddles, smooth transmission shifts, leather with red stitch accents, music lights up speakers, carpet, new mats (covered with Weather Tech) no snow, no rain car, polished, chrome exhaust tips (2) all black plastic is like new, no events, perfect paint, headlights could be brighter (no Phillip bulb replacements, will burn through plastic, running with fog lamps on solves path lighting) Auto transmission great for new drivers. This is a perfect high school car. mine is a 2011, the Audi A4 look alike with sports wing on trunk. This model had to be discontinued due to Audi (Designer came from Audi to Kia and took too many great Audi styling hints) This makes this 2 door very special, no other model looks like it, has the Audi Grill, wind skirt, mud flaps, locking Hubs to protect the smoke gray custom wheels only offered on the 2011.