Kia Forte Forum banner
1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

Greetings from Toronto.

After test driving 6 cars, I'm down to 2 - the Versa Hatch SL & the Kia Forte-5 LX+. I don't know anyone with a Kia and found this forum.

I test drove the Forte sedan (because they didn't have the hatch to drive); then later drove the hatch (although because of the time, the highway was out). I'm booked again later this week for a highway drive.

Since the Forte-5 is relatively new, although I've found some reviews, I've found little feedback about the overall experience. I've checked out this forum (some excellent info!), and any of your ideas could really be helpful.

In general, is the mileage good (aside from what they 'say')

How about performance on highways (for let's say 5-hour trips)? Stable? Consistent?

It does seem a bit noisy and revs up loudly under 60km - do you find this an issue?

Any ongoing problems that seem to come up? As a 'new' hatch, I'm thinking there might be issues they need to smooth out in the future - any of these really a problem?

Overall, would you buy the car again?

And how is winter driving (if you get winter tires)?

If you have any ideas (for the above) and even for stuff I didn't ask, I would welcome it. Enough with the test drives - time to get a car:)

Thanks,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
true - versa 2012 is coming up with a new car - but it's for the sedan. the hatchback probably 2013...and I'm in for buying a car in the next couple of weeks :).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
344 Posts
Nissan just recalled almost 200,000 cars lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
Of the two cars, I'd recommend the Kia for the following reasons:

*Mileage for the 2-liter Kia (I assume this is the engine for the Canadian LX+ trim) should be on par with the Versa. Neither car is going to set new standards for mileage, but such small engines don't consume much gas anyways.

*Highway performance for the Kia is quite pleasant with the automatic transmission. Tall gearing lets the engine spin slowly at highway speeds, so engine noise isn't an issue while cruising. I have no experience with a manual option, if there is one. Highway stability is also good - any car that's unstable at highway speeds probably just needs an alignment. EDIT: I noticed that the LX model lists 15" steel wheels as standard. I assume the LX+ gets you 16" alloys. Either 15 or 16-inch wheels should provide a nice highway ride for 5-hour trips.

*The Kia engine can get a bit noisy when pushed hard, but this is a minor issue when Kia's price/features/warranty is considered. As I mentioned before, when cruising, Kia engines are reasonably refined and are not intrusive.

*Regarding long-term reliability, I can't speak from personal experience. I would consider a Forte as reliable as a Versa, though.

*I'd buy another Kia based on my limited experience. Very good fit/finish/features/performance for the price.

*If you have winter tires, the Forte should be as good in the snow as any other car of similar size/weight.

Hope this helps... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,428 Posts
I've driven 2 Versa's as rentals. I thought both were OK (softest door armrests ever!), but I did not think the handling was very good and the engine was coarse. I don't find my 2.4L in the Kia coarse, but I have a different engine from the model you are looking at. The handling in my SX is superb.

I didn't consider the Versa when I was looking at cars. I just didn't find it to be a very compelling automobile, so it didn't interest me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
I'm not familiar with the Versa, but I can say my EX 5 door is a pleasure to cruise on the highway. My daily commute is quite hilly,(40 miles one way) so I maybe should have gotten the 2.4L SX but I'm still getting 28-29 combined(about 50-50)

As far as noise, I think the Forte is actually more quiet than many think.
I mean, quite compared to what? Compared to my old Protege5 this thing is a luxury car as far as noise. And compare to the Kia Soul it is a full 3Db quieter.

(yes I got out my Db meter app, which is calibrated, as I AM a pro, fulltime musician and recording studio owner)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Why not simply get the SX trim and you'll have plenty of power with the 2.4 engine and it is fine for acceleration and long trips? Engine noise is very acceptable. I just drove mine about 1,000 miles on vacation and it did wonderfully. The fingertip controls on the steering wheel are invaluable and the fog lamps will be appreciated at night. Plus the handling is far superior.

Thus far I am averaging about 25.2 mpg in over all driving. Last highway mileage was 34 mpg.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
That's great to hear that you got 34MPG, Missourimule. I'm trying not to get overly optimistic regarding real-world mileage. Here in the flatlands of Ohio I'm still expecting to exceed the EPA figures, but my SX hasn't seen anything past 29MPG overall in the first few tanks. Obviously, 29MPG overall is right in line with expected MPG, but I'm pretty easy on the gas.

At this stage, my instant fuel economy meter never cracks ~31MPG at a 70MPH cruise...

EDIT: Sorry for going off-topic, cinzano. Frankly, the main reasons that I chose the SX were aesthetic - I couldn't pass up the 17" wheels and nice exhaust tip. The larger SX engine was just an added bonus. In all but the most aggressive situations, though, the two-liter engine is smooth and has excellent throttle response.

In my opinion, if your main priorities are low price/high mileage/quiet ride, the LX+ with the 2 liter engine is the "sensible" Forte choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
My 2 cents

In general, is the mileage good (aside from what they 'say')
I have not driven it long enough or have collected enough data for an accurate reflection of my mileage

How about performance on highways (for let's say 5-hour trips)? Stable? Consistent?
Most I have driven is two hours, but it's decent. They said the forte had a stiffer suspension that leads to discomfort, but I personally have not felt it. It could be that b/c I'm young and unrefined.

It does seem a bit noisy and revs up loudly under 60km - do you find this an issue?
I have a manual 6speed 2.0 Liter, so the noise level under 60km (i'm guessing around 45 mph) is easily controllable. I do keep it around 2000-3000 rpms for cruising, and personally I felt the noise level is acceptable for this vehicle category. Now, on the highway it's a bit different. When I run at 80 MPH (120 km/h?)the engine revs at 3000 rpms in 6th gear, which I feel is a bit high. Combined with increased wind noise and tire noise, it does feel a bit loud. But I usually drive at 65mph so it's not really a concern for me.

Now about reving it up loudly, it's a common known issue in all fortes that the engine throttle tip-in is rather abrupt. I do find it an issue when starting from first and trying to engage in the clutch.

Any ongoing problems that seem to come up? As a 'new' hatch, I'm thinking there might be issues they need to smooth out in the future - any of these really a problem?
Things I have heard range from thin paint, crunchy gearboxes, to touchy throttle. Touchy throttle I have experience personally. Other issues, such as gearbox, I'm not so worried about. It's a car, it has a lot of moving parts, there will be things that wear out or break, etc etc. It's one of the risks you take when you don't shell out over 50k for a nicely engineered european car. It's a budget hatch, and it comes with its plate of cons and pros.

Overall, would you buy the car again?
Yes, but I would also consider other cars on the market such as VW Golf, VW Jettawagen. Volvo c30, Ford focus hatch, hyundai veloster, etc etc.

And how is winter driving (if you get winter tires)?
N/A

If you have any ideas (for the above) and even for stuff I didn't ask, I would welcome it. Enough with the test drives - time to get a car
I think kia forte comes with a lot of nice features. All around safety stuff for all trim lvl, satellite radio, airbags, abs brakes yada yada yada. This is definitely a good buy in this segment, if you're looking for a nice transportation device.

Now, if you're looking for a driving machine, I'd start considering putting a bit more money down for more reputable names in business. Forte drives nice, but it's somewhat lacking in refinement if you get down to it. There's a certain bit of numbness in translating driver's inputs to the car, and a lot of nuances that start creeping up the more you drive it. Comfortwise, it's top notch, safety wise, it's top notch, mechanical wise (power, torque, etc) it's decent. But when you start driving it, the car drives you as much as you drive the car. It feels like a struggle between car reacting to your input and you reacting to car's input.

"in Soviet Russia, car drive you!":mad:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
I don't know about this "more reputable business." I've owned 55 cars in my lifetime and to be perfectly honest this is the best car I've yet owned. And on a 1,000 mile vacation it was great. I'm 6'6" and 260 pounds and there was plenty of room with comfort and I could keep up with any traffic anywhere under any road conditions and in most cases run off and hide from other "more reputable cars." I left a few BMWs and Mercedes in my rear view mirror in the Ozarks mountains. Of course I had the 2.4 SX. So maybe that's the difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
I don't know about this "more reputable business." I've owned 55 cars in my lifetime and to be perfectly honest this is the best car I've yet owned. And on a 1,000 mile vacation it was great. I'm 6'6" and 260 pounds and there was plenty of room with comfort and I could keep up with any traffic anywhere under any road conditions and in most cases run off and hide from other "more reputable cars." I left a few BMWs and Mercedes in my rear view mirror in the Ozarks mountains. Of course I had the 2.4 SX. So maybe that's the difference.
that's actually quite right. it is very comfortable, and I, being 5'7'' and 180 lbs, don't need very much room. It's quite roomy for me in the forte.

And I don't need any more power than I have currently in the 2.0 for my commuting purposes.

And obviously you have a lot of experience, having owned over 50 cars in your lifetime. I've only driven 4 cars in my life, so I don't have quite the baseline established as you do.

Maybe I'm just hard to please, or it's just human nature to never be quite satisfied. Some part of me is thinking, maybe I should've shelled out more money for a more expensive car.

but I'm willing to bet, had I bought a more expensive car, I would still be grumbling and complaining -.-

i mean it's a great car, and i love parts of it. I was actually pleased when I realized that doors automatically lock once the car starts moving over certain speed, and the satellite radio is banging.

But i feel that maybe they could've done a bit more work with minor details of the car. But of course, the car would get more expensive that way. All in all, it's a good buy for the money, the Forte.

But I'm glad I leased it instead of owning it. the Kia lineup's bound to get better (i hear they have a rwd coupe and a roadster in the works, as well as a 4wd soul). I am very expectant of what they'll offer in the future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
Another factor to consider when looking at a Kia is resale value. Although the situation appears to be improving, Kia still has an image problem with most people. The first reaction I get from anyone is along the lines of "Nice car, but the resale values are awful".

I have been impressed with my Kia so far - but I've only had it for 750 miles in moderate spring weather. Things might be different when the temps drop below freezing or climb into the nineties and the miles pile up. I'm giving Kia a pass on the dud I got and swapped-out with my dealer (I think a seam wasn't sealed).

Time will tell...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
On the other hand if the same equivalent vehicle is purchased in a better known brand with a proven track record it may cost another $3,000 or so to get the same quality vehicle with the same features. So that offsets to somewhat this rap that the resale is low.

I'm not sure that means as much as is claimed. I have found that when dealing with dealers they always seem to find some way to diminish the value of a customer's trade-in. And that crosses all vehicle lines. And when one tries to do a private sale it can be near impossible to sell it for what it is worth yet the same buyer will pay $2000 more on a dealer's lot. I've used local newspapers and catalogs and the various internet sites and it always seems the same. Unless you are willing to give away the vehicle the buyers are not there. Not from the private seller, in any event. The dealers will "steal" the trade-in and can afford to let it sit on their lot for a long time but eventually someone will come along and buy it or they can wholesale it at one of the auto auctions. The private seller can't do this so they are automatically at a disadvantage.

I heard it best expressed by a long time auctioneer; now a U.S. Congressman who put it this way. "Something is only worth what someone else is willing to pay." If you have top quality merchandise and the buyer wants it, the advantage of a used car over a new car is that no two used cars are identical. You just have to find that buyer. You would be astonished what vehicles can bring at a public auction such as an estate sale. Buyers will come out of the woodwork for that super clean vehicle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
I agree about the dealer/buyer finding a way to diminish value no matter what the brand. I've had deals that involved supposedly "rock-solid" brands for resale value; despite shopping clean trades to lots of buyers, the numbers were always lower than expected.

I figure that if I'm going to get screwed at trade-in time, I may as well pay less up-front... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
I agree about the dealer/buyer finding a way to diminish value no matter what the brand. I've had deals that involved supposedly "rock-solid" brands for resale value; despite shopping clean trades to lots of buyers, the numbers were always lower than expected.

I figure that if I'm going to get screwed at trade-in time, I may as well pay less up-front... :)
I agree. In order to get a real good deal is to wait for a day with really lousy weather on the last day of the month or the first day of the month. Let the monsoons come down and walk into the dealership with the numbers from Edmunds that will value your trade-in and the typical price paid for the vehicle you want. Then let the dealer negotiate with himself. That's what I did when I bought my Forte. I never once made an offer. The price kept coming down, until it was $1,800 off the original deal and then I let him "twist my arm" literally so he would feel like he had a good deal. When both the dealer and the buyer come away feeling like they got a fair deal then the price is right. If either one feels like they are being shafted it will just leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth. I'm not trying to squeeze the last nickle out of the dealer; just a fair deal and he will give the "clean" trade-in value or I'm walking. But a person is unlikely to walk out on a bad weather day. Let them know you are a genuine buyer and talk about all the things you "love" about the car to reinforce you are actually a prospect rather than a suspect.

As you might guess, I love to negotiate for new cars although I think this will be the last one for a while. But you never know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
I've owned a ton of cars and I've been quite pleased with my little EX hatch. Especially for the money, it is a great car. The hatch design, especially with the seats folded, provides a great hauling capacity. The car is fun to drive in everyday traffic and on the back roads. I considered the VW Jetta wagon but the price was too steep and the non-diesel mileage wasn't so hot. The Forte ride is a little stiff for my aging bones but not bad. Driving in snow this past winter was no big deal--even without snow tires. I've had positive comments on the interior and exterior appearance. Power, now that the car is getting broken in, is quite reasonable. Had to do a fast merge into hiway traffic the other day and was pleased when it got quickly up to 65-70. Appearance is good with the EX trim bit I do like the SX alloys.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top