2010 KIA Forte

2010 KIA Forte Car Review by Lauren Fix, The Car Coach

2010 Kia Forte car review by car expert Lauren Fix

2010 Kia Forte car review by car expert Lauren Fix

The 2010 KIA Forte is definitely a new direction for KIA.  It started with the Soul and now the new Forte.  The Forte is sleek, muscular and fuel-efficient compact sedan.  I was pleasantly surprised with the smart, stylish look.  The Forte is quite sophisticated for a car in this price point, and best of all many standard safety features including four-wheel disc brakes which is one of my requirements for a car to be called “safe”.

After spending a day driving the KIA Forte around the Seattle, WA area I was hard pressed to find many negatives.  The commitment to quality, technology and design is the future for KIA.  KIA has had some growth in market share (3%) in the last year, even with the automotive market and Forte will grab even more for this Korean manufacturer.

The Forte has great fuel efficiency with either the EX or the SX models (25/34 and 22/32 respectively) plus great pickup and the interior space of a larger car.  That combined with safety and some technology and it has almost everything for its size.

Lauren’s Pros and Cons for the 2010 Kia Forte:


  • Comfy seats
  • Tight steering and handling
  • Steering controls – well laid out
  • Bluetooth connection-factory
  • Speedometer illuminated red-cool
  • Engine performance –great pickup
  • Solid ride and confident feel too
  • Efficient and plenty of storage
  • Active head rests (protects front row in case of rear collision)
  • Nice side profile and interesting body lines
  • Multiple power outlets in front
  • Center stack – clean and easy to use
  • Nice fit and finish


  • No lumbar support
  • ECO lights is annoying and distracting – I prefer a gauge
  • Tachometer is too basic
  • No navigation system available
  • No back-up sensors
  • No optional back-up camera
  • No rear heated seats
  • No rear power outlets
  • No Diesel or Hybrid available

2010 KIA Forte

Forte EX  – starts at $15,795
Forte SX – starts at $17,195

Forte LX and EX are powered by a 2.0-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine, with156 horsepower
The SX features an upgraded 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine, with 173 horsepower.
Four transmission options are:  a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission; the SX model features a standard six-speed manual transmission and an optional five-speed automatic transmission.

The optional Fuel Economy Package, available on the EX model with the 2.0-liter powerplant, includes the five-speed automatic transmission, results in 27/36 mpg and a combined fuel economy of 30 mpg.

•    Front Wheel Drive
•    Power windows and door locks
•    Remote keyless entry
•    Air conditioning
•    Steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls
•    Dual front and rear cup holders
•    Floor mats

Standard Safety: Forte offers standard safety equipment, with front active headrests, dual advanced front airbags, front seat-mounted and side curtain airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, four-wheel disc brakes with an Antilock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BAS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), a Traction Control System (TCS), and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).

Sound System: Forte comes with a standard AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system outfitted with SIRIUS Satellite Radio.  Also standard on all models is an auxiliary audio input jack and USB port for connecting personal MP3 players as well as Bluetooth® connectivity with steering wheel-mounted controls, which enables hands-free operation for all compatible cell phones.

Interior: Forte continues to pamper its riders with a host of interior features, starting with comfortable, nicely appointed full cloth seats.  A six-way adjustable driver’s seat, tilt steering column, rear defroster and dual 12-volt power outlets in the center console are driver- and passenger-conscious luxuries standard on every vehicle.

Optional Premium Package that includes a power moonroof and 16-inch alloy wheels, or a leather package that includes leather-trimmed seats with front seat warmers, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and metal-finish trim.

The SX model brings even more standard features, including a unique black interior with sport cloth fabric adorned with red stitching, a telescoping steering column, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and metal-finish trim and pedals, and front seat warmers.

Bottom line is that the KIA Forte is stylish, safe and a great value – I can’t wait to drive the Koup (a 2-door version of the Forte available in August, 2010).  For more information go to your local KIA dealer or – www.kia.com.

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