2014 Kia Forte EX Long-Term Road Test - Maintenance

2014 Kia Forte EX Long-Term Road Test

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2014 Kia Forte: 15,000-Mile Service

May 9, 2014

2014 Kia Forte

With just over 16K on the odometer, our 2014 Kia Forte is slightly overdue for its 15,000-mile service.

Yesterday afternoon I called Kia of Cerritos, and was told they could take the car any time after 1:30 p.m. today.

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2014 Kia Forte: The Relentless Pursuit of Customer Satisfaction

November 22, 2013

2014 Kia Forte

The service advisor, of course, prepped me for what would come next. You might get a survey, he said, and we want to make sure you were 100 percent satisfied with the service. I nodded, smiled. I might have said that everything was great, and it was.

The next morning, I got an email from the dealership's CSI administrator. These initials, of course, do not stand for "crime scene investigation," but for "customer satisfaction index."

"If we have not achieved EXCELLENCE in your service experience, we have failed," the note said. The tone was one of slight panic. (I should add that the dealership didn't know that this was an Edmunds car. I used my own contact info.)

Later in the day, I got the dealership's invitation to join its email service-reminder list, with a promise of lots of perks. Still later, I got a phone call from the service department, just checking in to make sure the service experience was all it could have been. I assured the caller it was fine.

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2014 Kia Forte: First Service Visit

November 19, 2013

2014 Kia Forte

As Travis previously noted, our 2014 Kia Forte was subtly telling us it was time for its first oil change and other minor service stuff. I had the choice of three Kia dealerships for the inaugural visit and went with the one that was, by a hair, the closest to my house. The fact that it's within walking distance of a Nordstrom did factor into my decision.

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2014 Kia Forte: First Service Required Soon

November 14, 2013

2014 Kia Forte

I drove our long-term 2014 Kia Forte for three days before I noticed the service warning. It only appears for a few seconds before the display reverts back to the default information screen, so it's easy to miss.

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2014 Kia Forte: Can You Tow It Behind a Motorhome?

November 8, 2013

2014 Kia Forte

You can tow anything behind a motorhome if you load it on a trailer first. But most RV regulars see this as a huge hassle, and they'd rather not have to resort to a two-wheel tow dolly, either.

The ideal scenario is shown above. A so-called "dinghy" vehicle tags along behind on its own four wheels, ready to be unhooked and driven on side trips while the motorhome sits moored with its awnings unfurled and its sliders popped out in full relaxation mode. Flat-towing makes it unnecessary to fret about the extra towed weight, loading time and storage problem that a trailer or dolly represents.

That's all well and good, but could I tow our 2014 Kia Forte behind a motorhome?

Sorry, but the answer seems to be "no." The owner's manual in our 2014 Kia Forte does not authorize it for such duty.

This answer isn't spelled out specifically because, quite frankly, the owner's manual creates the impression that Kia doesn't even know what dinghy towing is. There's no acknowledgement that flat-towing exists beyond the need for vehicle recovery after a mechanical breakdown.

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2014 Kia Forte: Check the Oil

August 16, 2013

2014 Kia Forte

Preparing for a trip to La Quinta, Calif. in the desert where the temperatures are often 110 degrees Fahrenheit, I thought it would be a good idea to check the oil. I was recently in our long-term 2013 Cadillac ATS and tried to check the oil, only to find the dipstick was so hot I couldn't touch it. Also, the dipstick is at the rear of the engine and close to the hood so it was difficult to draw it out.

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