first of all, this car is FAST. And BEAUTIFUL. Looks like an Audi A3, or a Mercedes C551. I got a, deal on a new 2016 in snow white with grey leather, moon roof, fully loaded with sun roof, nav, back up camera. Haven't figured out uvo infotainment system yet. Says my usb cable won't transfer data?
I bought this car as a daily commuter, I drive 90 + miles a day round trip to and from work. I average over 40 mpg. I gave the car five stars in performance because I am rating it against other cars in its class and price range. The manual trans. version (which I drive) accelerates circles around other subcompacts like Corolla, Sentra, Fit (not Hyundai -- same platform). Its cornering isn't amazing, but if I wanted something that took corners great, I'd have had to pay for it. Reviewers who hack on a sub $20K car's performance because it won't compare with that of a $60K sports car are trolls. This is my second KIA, having owned a 2013 Soul which I put 130K miles on with no problems what so ever. Likewise, I have had no issues whatsoever with the Forte. When this one reaches 100K miles, I'll most likely trade it for another KIA. The 100K mile warranty is the best in the industry.
I got a fantastic price of $12,999 + tax plus 0.9% financing on the LX manual. I purposely got the bare-bones LX with zero options. This way I could add the equipment/brands I wanted ala carte without paying manufacturer priced packages with unwanted options. Major upgrades were: 17" wheels and tires $1300, LED daytime running lights w/fog lights $265, rear lip spoiler $106, waterproof floor and trunk mats $108, neoprene front seat covers $239, mud flaps $46, stick on LED map lights $4. With tax et al my in-the-garage cost was $16,206. With the 17" tires the car handles as if on rails, brakes like a demon and the black 5-spoke rims on the pearl white car look incredible. That is under the MSRP and includes the sales tax! The 6-speed manual has short throws, is crisp and a joy to run through. Care must be taken going down from 6th to 5th as if you are lazy you can find 3rd by accident. I have also increased fuel economy and performance by switching to full synthetic oil and a K&N air filter. I live rural and average 40+ MPG. As for infotainment the stereo is fine and a smart phone or tablet interface using google maps saves $thousands$. I also find 'driver aids' an excuse to pay poor attention to driving and another unnecessary expense. A manual gearbox guarantees full involvement and enjoyment plus extracts as much from the engine as you need. My only complaint which is mentioned by another is the final drive ratio with the manual. Like my other row-your-own vehicle I pull way too many RPM's on the highway due to the gearing compared to the automatic. I get 40+ MPG all around yet under 40 highway because I am at 2800 RPM as opposed to 2-2500 on surface streets. Still a great car and a blast to drive.
I would advise anyone looking to get a 2016 Kia Forte Ex steer clear. The transmission is very hesitant, especially on the freeway. The car rattled until on the fourth repair attempt they finally fixed the issue. The car is a nightmare for anyone who has an interest in cars. The engine makes pretty good power but it does not start to really get moving until around 5000 RPM. The transmission is always in the wrong gear. Eco mode just means the throttle will not respond almost at all. When cornering the traction control system tries to intervene and does a horrible job at that (even when the system is turned off it still tries to work.) The brakes overheat and fade pretty quickly in a stop and go higher speed situations. The drivers seat is extremely uncomfortable and lacks support. The plastics look cheap and feel the same way. I have had two bad tires because the stock tires went bad when in both cases a small rock on the road hit the sidewall of the tires. I am very upset and honestly will never own another car from Kia. I would suggest anyone to look at other upscale CPO cars instead of this one. I am not going to bother trying to fix anymore of these issue because at the end of the day it is not worth wasting my time. I honestly have stopped caring about my car. I used to wax it and wash it all the time but with all the problems I have had it doesn't seem like it is worth the care I would normally give to a car.