The 2014 Kia Forte offers an impressive selection of engines, slick exterior design and spacious cabin, with enough special features to amaze even the most sceptical car buyer out there. Despite all that, the car has one major flaw – extremely poor security, which can be a huge deal-breaker for many safety-conscious individuals.
The 2014 Kia Forte is an affordable and efficient vehicle that comes with a whole new look and an impressive selection of engines. It also possesses a well-designed and spacious cabin with enough special features to lure any prospective car buyer into its firm embrace. If there is one issue with the new Kia, it would be its poor safety features – which under deliver to the point of being a real deal breaker. So, if you choose to ignore this car on account of its subpar safety features, we wouldn’t blame you – all we can do is tell you where this vehicle succeeds and where it fails.
The 2014 Forte is available in three different forms – a sedan, a hatchback or the sporty Kia Forte Koup. Kia has given all the versions a significant upgrade in size, though their height is actually lower. Thanks to this redesign, the sedan variant is particularly slick-looking, being very reminiscent of the Hyundai Elantra – from its curved headlights to its “round” silhouette. You might also notice some similarities with the Honda Civic and Ford Focus, like the “smiling” grille and narrowing rear end. Overall, Kia’s exterior design borrows most of its features from other cars, so there isn’t much originality here, but that isn’t a bad thing since it’s still a very good-looking car.
Inside, Kia Forte offers simplicity, elegance and space all in one impressive package. What you get here is a simple yet stylish dash that uses split console design to reduce the size of the centre stack. The controls consist of high-quality plastics with occasional touches of metallic trim. Everything is very user-friendly and easy to use, so you won’t have any trouble figuring out all the systems.
In terms of size, you’ll find that there’s plenty of space for the majority of adults, both in front and back. Kia has even reshaped Forte’s doors to make getting in and out easier. That said, Forte could benefit from a bit more headspace due to a much lower roofline, and its cabin may be a little too tight for taller individuals. In the end, however, it does its job and complaining about much else would be nitpicking.
Under the hood, the 2014 Forte offers a choice of two engines: a 1.8-litre four-cylinder and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder. The 1.8-litre engine pumps out 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque, while the 2.0-litre variant produces 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. In addition to these engines, Forte comes with a choice between a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmission, though not all models allow you to choose between the two. For instance, the Forte EX only comes with a six-speed automatic, while the manual gearbox is only available on the low-end LX model. Both engines offer moderate acceleration and neither of them are particularly quick. That said, the new Kia Forte is not too far behind the much faster Ford Focus, so the slightly lower speed shouldn’t be a deal breaker.
What might be a deal breaker is the car’s abominable attitude toward safety. Though it’s packed with safety features like a rearview camera and stability control, it wasn’t built to withstand severe car accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has rated it four stars overall and three stars for front impacts. Meanwhile, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has given a problematic “poor” rating in the small overlap frontal test. Though these numbers may seem reasonable, don’t be fooled – many similar vehicles perform much better.
As such, your decision to buy the 2014 Kia Forte will heavily depend on whether safety is your number-one concern or not. If you’re willing to overlook it, then you’ll find a fine exterior, a very decent selection of engines and a plethora of special features to enjoy – all for a very affordable price. However, if safety is what you want, then move on to the next car on your list.
The 2014 Kia Forte is a slick and curvaceous economy vehicle that looks delicious enough to compete with similar vehicles – though we’re sure it’s actually edible. It’s available in three different styles: a four-door sedan, a five-door hatchback and the sporty two-door Kia Forte Koup.
You’ll notice that all the iterations of the car look quite a bit like the new Hyundai Elantra thanks to their curvaceous nature and low roofline. You might see some similarities to the new Honda Civic, though Forte’s sloping windshield is offset by a dip in the sill and by a short vertical trim piece near the back of the side glass, which frames the rear passenger. You will also find that the side window starts ahead of the side mirror, while the car’s backside is narrow enough to complement the taillights. Overall, Forte’s exterior is slick and sexy enough to compete with other vehicles in its class, but you won’t find too much originality here.
And on the inside, the new Kia Forte looks just as good as on the outside, if not even better. Its design is simple yet elegant, and it delivers plenty of features that are on par with what’s found in similar cars.
|Engine||Regular Unleaded I-4|
|Horsepower @RPM||148 @ 6500|
|Body type||4dr Car|
|Drive Train||Front Wheel Drive|
|Transmission Type||6-Speed M/T|
|Power and Performance:||The 2014 Kia Forte comes with two very solid engines, both of which offer just enough juice to stop you from looking at other similarly-priced vehicles. The engine that you’ll find in the base models is the 1.8-litre four-cylinder, which can generate 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque. It can be paired either with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission, both of which complement the engine perfectly.
The other engine is the 2.0-litre four-cylinder that can crank out 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque at 4700 rpm – which is very high. What’s great about this setup is that the car isn’t overly fast, but it’s not too slow either. Add to that extra support to the engine and mounting and you get a vehicle that can rev up to 6500 rpm. Unfortunately, not all higher end models come with a six-speed manual gearbox, such as the EX, so keep that in mind when selecting your trim.
In terms of fuel economy, the new Kia Forte is doing quite well too, but it’s not doing as well as certain other compacts on the market. The EPA rating ranges from 8.0 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and 5.3 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway to 8.4 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and 5.7 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway. If fuel efficiency is a concern of yours, then consider getting a Kia with an Eco Package to increase your gas mileage. The package adds Kia’s Idle Stop & Go system that powers off the engine when the car stops and restarts it when the driver removes his foot from the brake pedal.
|Interiors and Special Features:||Inside, the 2014 Kia Forte comes with the same level of quality as on the outside, offering a simple yet elegant design. The first thing you’ll notice is a slick dash with a compact centre stack that clearly enjoys the benefits from its split console design. The controls smoothly protrude from a dash surface, finished in high-quality plastics and a touch of metal. With the addition of an LCD screen, the dash looks even slicker – almost on the same level of quality as its higher priced cousin Optima.
In terms of size, there’s a bit less room in the car than in the previous models due to a somewhat lower roofline. The new Kia Forte is 179.5 inches long and 56.5 inches high – which has resulted in less space for rear passengers. Tall passengers will notice that headroom is in short supply in the back, but they’ll enjoy the amount of legroom due to the car’s increased length. The driver and front passenger remain unaffected by the changes since the front seats have a good adjustment range and offer plenty of headroom. The sedan also comes with a very sizeable trunk that’s larger than the ones found in similar cars, except for the Honda Civic. And if you need even more space, you can fold down the back seats flat to get it.
The notable special features include a 10-way power driver seat, heated seats, leather upholstery, a power sunroof, pushbutton start, an LCD readout and automatic climate control. Forte also comes with Kia’s new version of UVO, which can extract live information from the driver’s smartphone, access Google maps and stream audio data.|
|Safety features:||When it comes to safety features, the 2014 Kia Forte is not at the top of the list, so if safety is the most important aspect of a car to you, then you should probably ignore this vehicle altogether. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given it a three-star rating for front impacts and four stars overall. Meanwhile, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has given it a “poor” rating in the small overlap frontal test and “good” ratings in other categories. Though these ratings may seem decent, don’t be fooled – because plenty of similar vehicles have scored higher.
The safety features that you’ll find here include six airbags, stability control and the option of ordering a rearview camera. If that doesn’t sound like much to you, then you should be looking for a different car.
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|Engine: 1.8L DOHC 16V 4-Cylinder D-CVVT|
|Transmission: 6-Speed Manual|
|4.33 Axle Ratio|
|68-Amp/Hr 600CCA Maintenance-Free Battery w/Run Down Protection|
|90 Amp Alternator|
|Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers|
|Front Anti-Roll Bar|
|Electric Power-Assist Speed-Sensing Steering|
|50 L Fuel Tank|
|Single Stainless Steel Exhaust|
|Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs|
|Torsion Beam Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs|
|4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front Vented Discs, Brake Assist and Hill Hold Control|
|Wheels: 15" Steel w/Cover|
|Tires: P195/65R15 -inc: low rolling resistance|
|Spare Tire Inflator|
|Body-Coloured Front Bumper|
|Body-Coloured Rear Bumper w/Black Rub Strip/Fascia Accent|
|Black Side Windows Trim|
|Body-Coloured Door Handles|
|Body-Coloured Power Heated Side Mirrors w/Manual Folding|
|Fixed Rear Window w/Defroster|
|Light Tinted Glass|
|Variable Intermittent Wipers|
|Front Windshield -inc: Sun Visor Strip|
|Fully Galvanized Steel Panels|
|Black Grille w/Chrome Surround|
|Trunk Rear Cargo Access|
|Auto Off Projector Beam Halogen Daytime Running Headlamps w/Delay-Off|
|Radio: AM/FM/CD/MP3 Audio System w/SiriusXM -inc: AUX and USB input ports, Bluetooth wireless technology and 4 speakers|
|Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Speed Compensated Volume Control and Steering Wheel Controls|
|Window Grid Antenna|
|Front Bucket Seats -inc: height adjustable headrests and driver height adjuster|
|Cloth Front Seats w/Cloth Back Material|
|6-Way Driver Seat -inc: Manual Recline and Fore/Aft Movement|
|4-Way Passenger Seat -inc: Manual Recline and Fore/Aft Movement|
|60-40 Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Cloth Rear Seat|
|Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column|
|Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Engine Coolant Temp, Tachometer, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer|
|Power Rear Windows|
|5 Person Seating Capacity|
|Remote Releases -Inc: Mechanical Trunk/Hatch and Mechanical Fuel|
|HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts|
|Illuminated Glove Box|
|Driver Foot Rest|
|Full Cloth Headliner|
|Vinyl Door Trim Insert|
|Urethane Gear Shift Knob|
|Day-Night Rearview Mirror|
|Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination|
|Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage, Mini Overhead Console w/Storage and 2 12V DC Power Outlets|
|Front Map Lights|
|Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting|
|Full Carpet Floor Covering -inc: Carpet Front And Rear Floor Mats|
|Carpet Floor Trim and Carpet Trunk Lid/Rear Cargo Door Trim|
|Cargo Area Concealed Storage|
|Cargo Features -inc: Spare Tire Inflator|
|Cargo Space Lights|
|Instrument Panel Covered Bin, Driver / Passenger And Rear Door Bins|
|Power 1st Row Windows w/Driver 1-Touch Down|
|Delayed Accessory Power|
|Power Door Locks|
|Outside Temp Gauge|
|Manual Adjustable Rear Head Restraints|
|Sliding Front Centre Armrest|
|2 12V DC Power Outlets|
|Electronic Stability Control (ESC)|
|ABS And Driveline Traction Control|
|Side Impact Beams|
|Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags|
|Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags|
|Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags|
|Airbag Occupancy Sensor|
|Rear Child Safety Locks|
|Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Centre 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners|