2014 Kia Forte: Steering Feel
February 21, 2014
Last week I spent five days in a 2014 Nissan Altima S while my Leaf was in the shop. It reminded me how important extended test drives are in selecting the car you want to buy. Case in point: the Altima is a pleasant commuter car, but after a few days I began to notice that the light steering requires frequent adjustment to stay centered in the lane. As soon as I identified this issue, it grew in my mind to the point where I think it might be a deal breaker. Was I being overly critical?
Enter the 2014 Kia Forte EX.
I got the Kia Forte for a run to Las Vegas. With steering feel on my mind, I noticed how the heavier steering feel and the chunky steering wheel inspires confidence. Or, you can dial in your favorite setting with a touch of the steering-wheel button on the electric-assist power steering (EPS). It seemed to need little correction to point it between the dotted white lines.
On a long trip, this might be fatigue-reducing. In the twisties it would mean a more pleasurable precise driving experience. If you're doing a lot of around town driving and parking, the comfort setting might be a good choice.
I then put myself in the place of the average car shopper. Would the weight of the steering be noticeable on a typical test drive? It's doubtful. For that reason, when you're car shopping, ask for a little freeway time. And key in on steering feel.
Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 12,870 miles