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.
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