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First Drive: 2014 Kia Forte

The art of making an affordable, fun-to-drive small car.

by on Feb.13, 2013

The look of the 2014 Kia Forte sedan builds on the maker's now-familiar tiger-nose design.

Car making is an art.

But it seldom reveals the kind of breakthrough genius or inspiration that infused, say, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Instead the creativity and improvement seem to come in increments.

The new 2014 Kia Forte is a case in point on how well-thought out incremental changes can improve a vehicle substantially.

Sitting on an all-new chassis that is longer, wider and lower than the previous-generation Forte, the updated version of the Forte delivers slightly better performance and some incremental improvements in the suspension and steering that make it more fun to drive out on the open road. It’s also roomier and a lot more pleasant to look at.

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And that we can credit to Peter Schreyer, the maker’s new president but, more importantly, one of the industry’s most creative designers.  His arrival at Kia in 2006 marked a grand transformation of a brand whose products could then best be described as cheap and cheerful. The former Audi styling chief introduced Kia’s distinctive “tiger-nose” theme that today positions it as one of the industry’s design trend-setters.


Kia Forte: Smart and Fun for a Nice Price

by on Feb.02, 2012

The Kia Forte is fun to drive, but comes at a budget-friendly price.

Sometimes in life, things are not as they appear.

Take this Kia Forte. What looks like your basic compact economy sedan, is actually a stealth sports sedan in disguise. It handles the curves well, has quick, confidence-inspiring steering and just enough power to be interesting.

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For many young folks just leaving college, it could be just the right ride. After years of eating ramen noodles for dinner, scrounging for money to pay tuition and asking mom and dad for cash infusions, they finally get out on their own, only to find out that their entry-level job really doesn’t leave them with much more money than they had in their college days.

Quickly, ideas of buying a fashionable sports sedan fall by the wayside. The really cool wheels will have to wait until you make partner.

Kia would like to think that its small Forte sedan is just the ticket for sports sedan fans on a budget.