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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am SOOOO excited!

I live in Whitehorse, in the Yukon Territory in Northern Canada (we border Alaska, if your sense of geography is fuzzy). My wife and I bought a new 2007 Kia Sedona van, and we've been really happy with it.

It's been time to get a new "commuter" car for a while, and we were all set to pick up a nice, black 2010 Forte Koup SX from our local dealer, but when I went in last week, cash in hand for a deposit, my car had been sold a half-hour earlier! Sure, there was an EX on the lot, but I really wanted that 2.4 litre motor...

Did a little calling around Alberta, and found a deal on a blue SX in Calgary, so I fly down tomorrow morning to take delivery!

The even cooler part, I get to drive it home the 2400 clicks or so to get it back home by Monday! I'll post pics :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I like blue better anyway :)

Whitehorse is the biggest city on the Alaska Highway, but at 25,000 it's still a pretty small town. There's already two black Koup's (three with the one I missed buying), and no blue ones so far, so I think I got the better end of the deal.
 

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Welcome and congrats on your new ride!!!

I too have a Sedona and now the Forte. Have a fun and safe drive back.

Look forward to viewing your pics. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Heh heh... I got it!
Pics to come (posting from my BlackBerry)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Some quick first impressions...

First, amazingly QUIET for what's supposed to be a small, sporty coupe. Great feeling of refinement. Considerably quieter than the Civic 2 dr I was looking at.

VERY nice stereo (and the iPod integration is fantastic). Best sound I've ever heard on satellite. Not impressed that it took four attempts to pair my BlackBerry with Bluetooth, but it works now so I won't gripe (and handsfree calling is great... did I mention it's QUIET?!)

The only downside is that the clutch provides ZERO feedback, otherwise I'm totally jazzed. This is an amazing car for the money.
 

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Welcome Its a great drive wow have fun I did it in 2006 for vacation. But I must say I am envious to be doing it in a Forte vs a 22ft camper...lol Enjoy!!! drive safe and looking forward to the pics....
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Finally home!

Alright, here's the big story!

First, I had a great experience at Eastside Kia in Calgary. There were minor issues, like the accessories I'd ordered were nowhere to be seen, but they took care of it in a hurry.

A bit too much of a hurry, as it turned out. I was in a big rush to check out my new wheels and wound up forgetting a couple of small details...

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Headed home, day one

I went for a little spin around the east side of Calgary, and wound up at a parking at a shopping centre to pair my phone and try out the iPod connection.

The BT connect with my phone didn't seem to want to take, and I went to find the owner's manual to see if I was missing anything. Surprise! It wasn't in the glovebox. Or anywhere else. And as I dug around I realized I'd only been given one key, too. Yay.

Otherwise, I was totally digging the car. It was a sunny, mid-20s (C) day in Calgary, so I was able to try out the auto-AC. Didn't want to drive too aggressively, since it only had 61 km when I left the lot, but I was impressed with the firm ride and flat cornering. I've never owned a car with anything CLOSE to this much lateral grip. This would be a considerable improvement over the early-90s vintage Civic I'd been driving for the previous decade.

Spent the night at my in-laws' place, and e-mailed my salesman the next morning to let him know I'd be in to get the manual and the second key. I'd also noticed that one end of the weatherstripping at the back of the moonroof had come loose, and would stick out when the roof panel was closed, so I told him I'd like that re-glued, too.

My in-laws stuffed the trunk and backseat with cargo to take north with me, including a couple of sets of new dishes and all the Christmas presents they'd bought for my family (yes, they're that organized that they had all the presents--WRAPPED no less--ready to go in late September... the back seat looked a bit like Santa's sleigh...)

After I left their house Saturday morning, I tooled around Calgary a bit before heading back to Eastside, getting this pic against the downtown skyline:



...and once back at Eastside, my salesguy apologized profusely while he handed over my manual and extra key, and the service guys got the weatherstripping glued in minutes. The service advisor told me to watch out for the clutch, that he'd had a woman turn her new Kia back in after burning hers out at 5,000 km. I'd noticed there's not much engagement feel in the clutch, and had actually stalled out several times. I have to say, the vague clutch is the only nit I have to pick with the car, but it's already getting better with experience.

Anyway, got on the road, and had a great, 1,000 km trip north to Fairview, where I'd arranged to spend the first night with friends. I was still cautious with my green engine, varying the revs and not letting it settle in at one speed for more than a couple of minutes at a time. Toward the end of that first day, I crossed the mighty Peace River at Dunvegan and couldn't resist pulling the car around for this shot:



1,000 km down, another 1,400 to do the next day...
 
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nice, i was thinking about getting the blue, but i got the red instead. about stalling out, you should do that "best clutch mod ever" its some where in the forum. it really helps out alot. great car, and good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Day Two

Had a great visit with my friends in Fairview, and intended to sleep in to get a good rest for a long day's drive home, but I woke early and was too excited to get back to sleep, so I headed out about 8 MDT...

The rural, Northern Alberta highways were arrow-straight, dry, and almost deserted on Sunday morning, so I opened my little blue Kia up and posted some speeds that surely would have seen me locked up in the local hoosegow, covering the 200 km to Ft. St. John in about 90 minutes.

I used to drive truck, and became a Sirius satellite radio addict in the process, so it was VERY nice to have a car that had it built in to the factory system. Loved the sound on the music channels, though the talk/news channels all seemed to have a high, popping sound. Guess I'd just be sticking to the tunes. Too bad :D

When I returned to the car after breakfast at McD's in Ft St John, I couldn't help but grin at the cool car I was about to head home in.

Highway traffic was heavy going north from St John; it's an area of heavy oil and gas development, so there's a lot of service vehicles out ALL the time, but I quickly learned that a shift down to 3rd or 4th would get me around even an 80'+ Super-B tanker in seconds. Usually with a huge grin on my face. I made it the 360 km to Fort Nelson, BC in about 4 hours, but a big chunk of that was due to road construction.

Had a quick lunch, and used the handsfree to call my friends in Fairview to thank them for their hospitality (they weren't up when I left). I can't get over how QUIET the Koup is; handsfree calls work really well, even at highway speeds. Also gave my baby her first bath, in Ft Nelson, if only to take the accumulated bugs off the front end...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Day Two, part two

The Alaska Highway from Fort Nelson, BC to Watson Lake, Yukon is a beautiful two-lane mountain road. I used to drive truck, and as a result I've driven it literally hundreds of times. I never tired of the trip, and at this point I really DO know it like the back of my hand.

I once covered the 450 km stretch in my Honda in four and a half hours; a fair achievement given some of it is VERY twisty. It typically takes six or seven hours in a loaded semi (under ideal conditions; they aren't, always). Having already put 1,400 clicks on my Koup, I had a feeling I might have a decent chance to better my personal record, if the beautiful conditions held.

Fortunately, they did. The road was mostly bare and dry, and I was at Summit Lake (100 km west of Fort Nelson) in about 45 minutes...



When I reached Toad River in just past one hour (normally 2:30 by truck) I knew I had a good chance of getting to Watson in record-shattering time. I was really starting to test the Koup's cornering ("Kornering"?), doing 30 km corners at 70 and 70 km at 110, holding my own lane the whole time. Passing (legally and sanely) was a breeze; a good thing with all the trucks on the road.

As I approached Muncho Lake, I was stuck behind a big crane that was thankfully signalling to go into a pullout, and when I looked to my right I could see why...



The caribou were a little pesky through the mountain parks; this is when they migrate, so there were several on or near the road.

I had packed a swimsuit and towel for a trip to the Liard Hot Springs, but having reached it in only two hours after leaving Ft Nelson, I felt like I was on a roll, and I didn't want to stop. Besides, I was having too much fun, but only a few minutes later I was about to hit a significant roadblock:



Anyone who drives this stretch of the Alaska Highway regularly gets to know these guys all too well: the Liard bison herd. They mostly hang together as one big herd (with the odd "bachelor bull" elsewhere), so once you're past them you're usually clear for the rest of the trip. This time they straddled the highway just shy of the Smith River bridge, and they were fairly restless. After all, it IS rutting season. Several were mating around me as I CAREFULLY picked my way through, in fact, and I was very mindful of how aggressive the bulls could be even when they weren't hormone-crazed.

The bison had slowed me down, but not too badly. When I got to Watson, I checked my time: 3:40. I'd taken 50 minutes off my previous record time! And just another 450 km to get home...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ahh, home!

I managed to make it most of the way back to Whitehorse before dark, switching my headlights on just before reaching Teslin. The headlights are adequate, but I think I'll be looking for an HID pair soon.

Reached home around 9:30 PM PDT, making it a drive of 14.5 hours from Fairview that morning. Not bad considering food/fuel breaks, construction and animals. I found the Koup a fantastic long-distance driver, with a comfortable driver's seat, a REALLY good steering wheel, and lots of easily accessible entertainment and communications options.

I'd found the ride firm but comfortable. The pavement on the Alaska Highway isn't all the best, but despite some significant potholes, frost heaves, and bridge joints, the suspension never bottomed out even with its short travel. Fuel mileage was great considering how aggressively I drove. It took about 4 full tanks to cover the 2,500 clicks I've driven since taking delivery, and I still have close to half a tank left.

I can honestly say I love the car even more than I expected :D

 
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