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AutoBlog: First Drive: 2010 Kia Forte a compelling new compact sedan option

45 posts in this topic

Filed under: Economy, Sedans/Saloons, Kia, First Drive

kia-forte-ext.-10_opt.jpg
2010 Kia Forte - Click above for high-res image gallery

If there's one thing we can say about Kia, it's that it keeps making progress. In the 15 years the brand has been selling cars in the United States, South Korea's second largest auto manufacturer has increased its market share every single year. The future looks bright as well, with new vehicles like the Soul receiving rave reviews and a new billion dollar production facility set to open this year. Hoping to build on that success, Kia has launched its new 2010 Forte, replacing the Spectra that failed to stand out among cars like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Mazda3. With a new name, a new face, upgraded powertrains and aspirations to exceed consumer expectations about the brand, can the Forte help Kia finally make its mark in the compact sedan segment? Read on to find out.


Continue reading First Drive: 2010 Kia Forte a compelling new compact sedan option

First Drive: 2010 Kia Forte a compelling new compact sedan option originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Jun 2009 11:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hay!!! who photo shopped a Honda Civic nose onto a Kia?

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honda won't be having the last laugh. this car will eat into the civic and corolla sales and it actually makes a rough road for the cruze too.

why they didn't keep it 'spectra' though..........

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that plastic engine cover is NASTY cheap looking though.....

i guess 96.8 cu ft of interior space will make up for that......

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This looks far better than the Civic ever has, if you can't tell the differences you're blind.

Who gives a $h! about what the engine cover looks like in a compact car (or any car)?

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Also, with regards to the never ending Civic front end comparisons, they don't share anything besides teh fact that they buck the trend of having giant headlights, and instead go for slim ones. No a single part is the same shape.

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I like it, but holy crap was that interior taken with black and white film? It bugged my eyes a bit.

Also interesting is that I see many interior components that must come from the same Korean parts manufacturer as for the previous GMDAT cars. For instance, the signal and wiper stalks, interior light dimmer control, vent duct control wheels, seat belts, and probably a few other bits and pieces are identical to what's found in the Suzuki Reno/Forenza and Chevy Optra and Epica. My wife's little '04 Optra has been a perfect car since we bought it new, so if a lot of these components are channeled out to other makes, I'd be pretty comfortable with their reliability.

Edited by ShadowDog
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Waaaay too much gray plastic inside. Pretty dreary.

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Local dealer got their first one, a BASE car with no options. It's still cheapo, imo, although it is sharper looking than the Spectra.
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This looks far better than the Civic ever has, if you can't tell the differences you're blind.

Are you serious?

It may have attractive styling at first glance, thanks almost entirely to the sexy headlights (which look very similar to TSX and Civic headlights with some minor tweaks; and probably the reason many people get a Civic vibe when they see it), but looking closer at it and it is still a very cheap looking compact Kia. Albeit one of the better looking Kias so far. The Civic looks refined and modern in comparison, and it's on its last year.

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siegen, I agree, Kia has come a long way, but they still have a LONG way to go to approach Honda for desirability. Kia still sells on price. The Soul is the only Kia that has any sense of desirability about it, and even then you have to purchase one of the two high-end trim levels to get a decent one.
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Are you serious?

It may have attractive styling at first glance, thanks almost entirely to the sexy headlights (which look very similar to TSX and Civic headlights with some minor tweaks; and probably the reason many people get a Civic vibe when they see it), but looking closer at it and it is still a very cheap looking compact Kia. Albeit one of the better looking Kias so far. The Civic looks refined and modern in comparison, and it's on its last year.

You wanna elaborate on the 'looking closer' cheapness? "Civic" "refined"... it's not like a compact econobox is a phuckin' fine wine. Gees, get over yourself, man.

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Anyone who thinks this:

2008_honda_civic_sedan_119.jpg

Looks better than this:

kia-forte-ext.-10_opt.jpg

Needs their head examined.

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ag_08civicexl_frtlt1.jpg

10kiafortefd005.jpg

Yeah...no, this generation Civic, especially in sedan form, never was and never will be a looker. It is refined inside, it is refined handling, but it's styling on the outside is not refined or good looking unless you've got the blinders on and have chugged about 30 gallons of kool-aid.

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The Kia is better looking than the Civic. Although, the Civic coupe IS a looker in my opinion, minus that spaceship interior.

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The front of the high-end Kia shown is nice (the base model I saw wasn't nearly as special), but the side profile still looks cheap, malnourished, third-string.
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The front of the high-end Kia shown is nice (the base model I saw wasn't nearly as special), but the side profile still looks cheap, malnourished, third-string.

Subtle elements have me on the opposite side when it comes to the profile. For instance, the window inserts at the A-pillar and the door sheet-metal-mounted side mirrors on the Civic are a kind of old-school oddity compared to the cleaner appearance on the Forte. There was some bit of detail in the raised belt-line approaching the A-pillar as well. I liked it on the G6 and it seems to give the profile something extra. The signal indicators on the side mirrors are a nice touch for this compact car. I appreciate the look of the carve-out along the rocker panels as well. That's a styling element I rarely notice on cars.

Oh well, different strokes for different folks, as it's said.

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ag_08civicexl_frtlt1.jpg

10kiafortefd005.jpg

Yeah...no, this generation Civic, especially in sedan form, never was and never will be a looker. It is refined inside, it is refined handling, but it's styling on the outside is not refined or good looking unless you've got the blinders on and have chugged about 30 gallons of kool-aid.

I agree. The Forte is definitely the looker of the two. Whether Kia "copied" the Civic's styling or not (if Kia really "copied" the Civic's styling, the Forte would be just as bland and ugly as the Civic; it's not), they sure did make a much more attractive and interesting compact sedan design. If Kia has improved their reliability and refinement with the Forte, I would seriously consider it. Even with the Civic's renowned reliability and refinement, I would never consider it because the design simply doesn't appeal to me.

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The front of the high-end Kia shown is nice (the base model I saw wasn't nearly as special), but the side profile still looks cheap, malnourished, third-string.

I guess you don't like the G6's profile then, because if they borrowed an element from anything, it was the G8's beltline.

full-studio_2.jpg

Although I think a better job was done on the Forte, with better detailing.

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I just noticed the Forte has one piece rear door windows. I love that. I's so much better than the glues in fixed window and mini pillar most cars have.

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Local dealer got their first one, a BASE car with no options. It's still cheapo, imo, although it is sharper looking than the Spectra.

i still don't know why they didn't keep the spectra name. BTW for any value shoppers out there, current spectras have 3k rebates. FWIW even the elantra has big rebates too.

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I guess you don't like the G6's profile then, because if they borrowed an element from anything, it was the G8's beltline.

full-studio_2.jpg

Although I think a better job was done on the Forte, with better detailing.

yeah, first images i thought of the forte were civic front end with some of the G6 in profile.

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Local dealer got their first one, a BASE car with no options. It's still cheapo, imo, although it is sharper looking than the Spectra.

So I s a base Cobalt, so is a base Focus, so is a base Civic, so is a bas Caliber, so is a base any economy car.

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i don't think there has ever been a civic sedan that HAS been a looker. I visually can't even remember any previous civic sedan or this generation, being a looker.

on that alone, the Kia already has trumped years of honda styling and the forte is not a design to drop you dead on your tracks.

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i don't think there has ever been a civic sedan that HAS been a looker. I visually can't even remember any previous civic sedan or this generation, being a looker.

on that alone, the Kia already has trumped years of honda styling and the forte is not a design to drop you dead on your tracks.

Well no, the Forte wouldn't make you stop dead in your tracks, but like I said, nothing else in this class will either. The closest thing that could was the old Mazda3, but the new one has a creepy smile now, the Cruze looks more Korean than the Fote and has some bad detailing, the Corolla is both bland and ugly, the Caliber is blocky and not pretty, the Focus isn't easy on the eyes, the Civic looks droopy and awkward, and the Elentra looks like a squished, even uglier LaCrosse.

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