2014 Forte EX - Initial Review - Kia Forte Forum : Sedan / Koup / Forte5 Forums
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#1 Old 04-28-2013, 04:00 PM
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Default 2014 Forte EX - Initial Review

This is the second Forte I've owned. I took the plunge and went with an EX model, which gets you tons of extra features at a great price - LED running lamps, Uvo voice-activated audio system, alloy wheels, upgraded seat fabrics, etc.

I have to say that I am thoroughly impressed by this vehicle except for a couple of nagging details. But first, the good.

Ride: This is such a huge improvement over the previous generation. Everything is quieter, smoother, and more refined. There are 3 steering modes that you can select, changing the steering's responsiveness - Comfort, Normal, and Sport. I keep mine in Sport mode, simply because I want the steering wheel to be as responsive as possible in my day-to-day driving. I could see putting it in Comfort mode on longer trips though.

Styling: Wow, what an improvement! The previous generation looked ho-hum to begin with, so there was plenty of room for improvement! I find the styling to be unique in a compact car market full of competition. Kia's current design language has transferred to this vehicle splendidly. The side view gives a very sports-like silhouette, but you won't be fooled as soon as you hit the gas pedal.

Performance: I would have to say that performance is "expected" I knew it was a compact car, and what that involves. However, I did think that with the 2.0 liter engine and a weight reduction, there would be a little more action going on when the gas pedal is pressed. Not so. Granted, this 2.0 liter engine has about the same performance as the previous generation's 2.4 liter, I'd still like to see a little more power in those times you need it. Most of the time I drive in "Active ECO" mode anyway, which dims your throttle response and changes the transmission shifts to maximize fuel economy. I'm averaging over 30 miles per gallon in a 50/50 mix of city and highway driving.

Interior: I love the huge upgrade the interior has made. There are soft touch plastics on almost everything, and leather accents all throughout the cabin - the arm rests, instrument panel, shift knob, etc. Everything is easily within reach and clearly marked. The water droplet effect on the doors and dash is not as pronounced as the stock photos would have you believe, so don't think it's going to be obtrusive, like the ceiling in a Nissan Cube. There is plenty of head room, and with the height adjustable drivers seat, you'd be hard pressed to not find a comfortable driving position. The fabric is two-toned grey and very pleasing to look at. There is plenty of room for four adults, making road trips a less dramatic affair.

Technology: This car has enough gadgets and gizmos to keep you busy forever. Make sure you read the accompanying manuals to get the most use out of everything. The Bluetooth pairing worked like a charm, and call clarity is as good as your phone's signal. There's a small information display in the instrument panel that displays statistics like average fuel economy, service reminders, settings for the door locks, etc. The backup camera is fantastic. I'm glad to see this becoming more commonplace in this vehicle class.

Complaint #1: Here's where the bad comes in: I'm not sure how I feel about the Uvo system. When plugging in my iPhone, it takes over a minute to start playing music from it. Additionally, you cannot skip a song until after it starts playing, which takes about 5 seconds from when you press the skip button to the sound coming out of the speakers. You might waste your whole commute just trying to find a song you want to listen to. On a side note, when streaming the audio over Bluetooth, neither of these things happen - the caveat is that you don't get anything but the song title over Bluetooth, and you cannot use the Uvo voice commands unless you're plugged into the USB port.

Complaint #2: Missing features from the Uvo system. This is the latest and greatest Uvo system with eServices. I should have Google Maps integration, Pandora integration, etc. None of that is available, and I can't figure out why. All the literature I received with the car states that I should have this integration, but I can't get it going. The literature does not cover specific apps, just that I should have it. I will talk to Kia/Microsoft about this.

Complaint #3: The key. The ignition gives a lot of resistance when trying to put the key in, making you think that you're trying to insert it incorrectly. The insertion angle feels awkward as well, but maybe that's just me. The key is rather large and chunky, and perhaps I'm not used to it.

Complaint #4: No rear air vents. Well I shouldn't say that. You can get rear air vents if you spend $5000 more. You have to get the Technology package (which requires the premium package) to get them.

Aside from these idiosyncrasies, I love the car. It's a huge step up from the previous generation, and gives you more features than you know what to do with.

Last edited by dbrewer80221; 04-28-2013 at 05:09 PM.
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#2 Old 04-28-2013, 08:20 PM
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From driving them around at work, I think they're nice. But I wouldn't give up my Koup for it.

2011 Kia Forte Koup SX Techno Corsa Blue
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#3 Old 04-28-2013, 10:11 PM
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Great initial review. The UVO issues are concerning though maybe some tweaking is available once you get through what must a huge manual.

Not sure what you mean about Google Maps integration?
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#4 Old 04-29-2013, 02:01 PM
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From what I've seen the sedans are very nice and look as a sedan should and from your review it's an improvement over past forte's. It's when you get into the Koup is where I feel most people have their problems. Not so much with performance but with styling. It has lost it's aggressive look and has lost it's identity that sets it apart from any other vehicle in the KIA line-up.
I know people are happy about the 1.6 liter turbo with 201hp. I am not that impressed with it. Considering our current 2.4 liter's with a TK turbo puts out between 300 to 350 hp (per TK website) and depending on which kit you get. I would have to say a 1.6 will never be able to achieve that hp output, reguardless of what you do to it.
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#5 Old 04-29-2013, 06:01 PM
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I just signed the deal on a 2014 Forte EX. Looking forward to my new ride. The review was that last nudge I needed.
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#6 Old 05-25-2013, 04:10 PM
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The UVO update is coming out this Fall. You will see all of the missing features plus more and you can update via a smartphone through the uvo app. I guess the app will notify you when there is an update, it will download, and the next time you connect with a USB cable, your car will go through the software update automatically.

Last edited by bicen; 05-25-2013 at 04:53 PM.
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#7 Old 06-20-2013, 10:50 AM
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I recently got this same vehicle and have the same issues with UVO. I can play music through Bluetooth but not through the USB connection and I can't access the Jukebox at all. And my salesman mentioned the Google Maps thing to me but I don't see that option yet either. Hopefully the updates will help.
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#8 Old 06-20-2013, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zztopva View Post
I recently got this same vehicle and have the same issues with UVO. I can play music through Bluetooth but not through the USB connection and I can't access the Jukebox at all. And my salesman mentioned the Google Maps thing to me but I don't see that option yet either. Hopefully the updates will help.
What phone do you have? I know that with my iPhone 4s I needed the Kia cable to get the audio and control to work with the phone. My android, unfortunately, can be controlled via bluetooth, but track information doesn't show up on the display.

It's ironic that the iPhone has the best compatibility, seeing that the UVO is a Microsoft device. Hopefully the patch this fall fixes some of the bugs and adds the new features we don't currently have.
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#9 Old 06-20-2013, 05:55 PM
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I just picked up a 2014 ex and I don't have navi or duel control climate. But it has everything else. Key less entry is great and my I phone 5 works great leather heated and cooled drivers seat is nice and I like that you can update the uvo really easy. Oh and the heated steering wheels will come in handy this winter

Nice write up and you will get use to everything !

Only thing its missing is tint and HID headlights and fogs but that will come later on for me !
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#10 Old 06-20-2013, 10:18 PM
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I have also notice that when you have the center arm rest pulled out it is in the way of pulling the e brake when you park. Also you cant close the sun roof if you turn the car off and not open the door, you can close the windows but not the sun roof.

Just a couple of things I have noticed, nothing I can not live with
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#11 Old 06-22-2013, 08:37 PM
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Can someone explain what this Google Maps thing is all about? I just test drove a loaded EX and they didn't even have the maps loaded for the navigation and the sales guy didn't know much about the car. I was only able to mess with my USB drive tracks and Sat radio on UVO.

Before there is a groan about another question asking newbie, I really didn't join to ask a bunch of questions, mostly to look at some of the pics that have been posted for colors and read through the threads. I was intrigued enough by my test drive today to check it out more.
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#12 Old 06-25-2013, 11:38 AM
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The internet is full of useful information and all one has to do is type in a few key (UVO GOOGLE MAPS) words and there it is.

Google Maps Comes to Kia's UVO Infotainment System

KIA MOTORS ANNOUNCES GOOGLE MAPS INTEGRATION TO ENHANCE IN-CAR CONNECTIVITY

Rj Arizona
2014 Forte EX Sedan replaced by 2014 Forte 5 EX
Shut up and drive
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#13 Old 07-18-2013, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicen View Post
What phone do you have? I know that with my iPhone 4s I needed the Kia cable to get the audio and control to work with the phone. My android, unfortunately, can be controlled via bluetooth, but track information doesn't show up on the display.

It's ironic that the iPhone has the best compatibility, seeing that the UVO is a Microsoft device. Hopefully the patch this fall fixes some of the bugs and adds the new features we don't currently have.
I have a 4S and all I use is the standard USB cabe, not the special Kia/Hyundai iPod cable. I can control all my music and UVO functions using the regular cable.
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#14 Old 08-06-2013, 04:02 AM
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I traded my 2011 EX with 28k miles for a 2014 EX with 7 miles on july 30th. in the week I've owned it I have put 800 miles on it. it's a completely different machine. I'm extremely pleased with the size of the car. leg room is amazing for over 6 feet tall and I like the gadgets. I have noticed lots of road noise from the tires, it's very bouncy over dips in the road and very rough over bumps. the steering feels slightly out of touch with the road as well. the engine is more powerful than my 2011 and have no complaints. ecoboost does make it noticably more sluggish and causes the transmission to shift differently. I don't use ecoboost. leather seems cheap as well. love the way it looks and drives and it will serve me until it's time to trade up.
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#15 Old 08-06-2013, 12:23 PM
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I really don't have to many complaints about mine. We bought it with 7 miles. We've put nearly 2k on it since June. I'm a big guy, yet it feels plenty roomy even for me. Traded a 05 Cadillac STS for it, so of course the ride isn't as good in the Kia, but really not bad. MPG has been the best of any car I've ever owned. Been averaging 30 mpg combined. Materials are actually NICER than the materials found inside my former Cadillac. Man more soft touch surfaces...I love the stitch work on the seats, arm rests, and the stitched leather wrapping on the dash just above the gauges.

By far the nicest Nav system I've ever had in a car. Love the pixel rate and screen size. And some of the things the Nav does while giving u directions are really quite helpful. For example, say you are turning. And there are several turn lanes all turning the same direction. This Nav will tell you the correct turn lane to be in to make your next set of directions easier, keeping you from having to fight to cross several lanes to turn right, bc you made your turn in the left lane.

It's fun to drive. Tossible even on the curves. Def not the fastest car I've owned, but def no where near the slowest.

It's a compact car that actually puts a smile on my face every time I get behind that wheel, and that is something I NEVER thought I'd say about any compact car.

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2010 Toyota Rav4 limited white pearl, navigation, the works.
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