2014 Kia Forte: Rear Suspension
August 6, 2013
So there I was, making my daily migration to Santa Monica in our long-term Kia Forte. There's a small section on my drive where the road is pockmarked and choppy. And that's when I felt something familiar.
It was a strange and slightly unsettling shimmy coming from the rear wheels. The first time I felt it was when I was driving the Hyundai Veloster, and it's all down to a similar rear suspension. A Torsion-beam suspension.
Torsion beam suspensions offer some advantages, namely in the cost and packaging departments. In terms of disadvantages, well, there's that shimmy I mentioned.
In its defense, the Forte remained composed over these ruts, but it just felt like the tires were skipping from side to side. In the Veloster, I also felt another more unsettling shimmy under hard braking while heading into turns. This one felt more like the beginnings of a tail-slapper, but it never got to that point.
Considering that this Forte has no performance-based aspirations, the torsion-beam is probably just fine for the majority of drivers. Me? I prefer either a truly independent rear suspension or a solid rear axle a-la Ford Mustang. I know, that's a pretty wide range there, but this middle-ground beam thing doesn't do it for me.
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 3,164 miles