2014 Kia Forte: In Relative Terms, the EX's Engine Is Strong
September 24, 2013
Our long-term Kia Forte is the EX model, and that means it comes with the upgraded engine. This 2.0-liter four-cylinder produces 173 horsepower and 154 lb-ft of torque, as compared to LX trim level's 1.8-liter engine that's rated at 148 hp and 131 lb-ft of torque.
As we reported a while back in track testing, our long-term Forte accelerated to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds. (In an earlier test of a different Forte EX, we recorded an even quicker time, 8.1 seconds.) But either way, this is actually one of the quickest times you'll see for a 2014 small sedan.
At Edmunds we keep an internal record of our track-test times. As an average, the typical small economy sedan with an automatic transmission does the 0-60-mph sprint in 9 seconds. Some specifics? The last Honda Civic we tested (2013) posted a 9.6-second time. A 2011 Hyundai Elantra checked in at 9.4 seconds. The Ford Focus was closer at 8.4 seconds.
In the real world, I think this difference is noticeable as our Forte accelerates with more pop than is typical. (I realize that this opinion does contrast with a couple of previous updates and here, though it's likely the difference is related to what we're comparing the Forte to.) But I would agree with other updates that the engine seems a bit buzzier than some others.
We haven't tested a Kia Forte LX yet. But overall I think the EX's extra power would be pretty attractive to me if I were looking to buy a Forte, especially since there's just a minimal drop in fuel economy (1 mpg in combined driving).
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 5,241 miles